Flux Removal Cleaners – Custom Solutions

When circuit boards are assembled, the parts comprising the circuit board are soldered to minimize and eliminate the potential for damage. In order for the solder to make a perfect connection to the parts and to the board, a substance called flux is mixed into the solder, which removes oxidation and cleans up the surfaces of the different parts so the solder will properly adhere. After the board is assembled, some flux will still remain. A flux remover dissolves the flux and washes it away.

Flux Removal

Removing flux is considered a two step process. The first step is dissolving the flux, and the second step is rinsing the dissolved flux off the circuit board. The rinsing step is critical because after dissolving the flux, it may seem as though the solids in the flux have disappeared. However, once the flux remover has evaporated, the solids will redeposit on the board as white residue. It must be ensured that the dissolved flux solids are removed from the board before the flux remover evaporates and the solids redeposit. Depending on the reason you are using flux and on what type of surface the flux is being applied, certain industrial companies, such as Ecolink, offer custom solutions for the removal of flux. Ecolink provides flux removal cleaners of different varieties, depending on the custom needs that will best fit your solution.

Looking for Flux Removal Cleaners?

Flux removal cleaners are an important component to ensuring no damaging flux particles or residue is left on a circuit board that could later cause devastating problems to IT hardware or any electrical part or circuit board. Because it is quite a meticulous process to remove flux, please consult with Ecolink to ensure you are receiving the optimum custom solution that pertains to your exact need. We will be happy to evaluate your current cleaning process to make sure you are using the most suitable flux removal cleaner that best fits your custom solution needs. Contact us today!

PCB Cleaning Solvents: 3 Key Performance Indicators

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are found in all but the simplest electronic devices. Because PCBs featuring embedded or non-embedded components are protected by equipment housing, they seldom experience physical stress that could cause damage, such as warping and cracking.

However, because equipment that contains PCBs frequently contains a ventilation system, PCBs are subject to accumulations of dust, oil particles, or other particulate matter that can pass through the ventilation slots, forming a stable layer of accumulation on the boards.

There are two options for addressing the situation: Eliminate accumulating particulate matter from the environment where PCBs are present, or use PCB cleaning solvents to remove accumulations. Many companies and organizations find the second option more feasible than the first.

Choosing PCB Cleaning Solvents

Because equipment housing — as well as parts inside the housing, in some cases — must be removed to access PCBs, cleaning them can be a pain. However, if they carry accumulations, the electrical conductivity of the boards can suffer. With this in mind, we look at three key performance indicators of PCB cleaning solvents that should be considered before purchase.

  1. Dielectric Formulation

If you need to clean PCBs while the equipment containing them remains energized, using a solvent with a dielectric formulation is a must. The dielectric in the solvent serves as a buffer that prevents electricity from traveling through the solvent and delivering a strong shock. The more live voltage is involved, the more crucial it becomes to use a dielectric solvent for safety reasons.

  1. Solvent Residue

Solvent residue can spell doom for the functionality of PCBs, especially if the residue contains  a dielectric that impedes transmission of electricity. Even when a dielectric isn’t present, the presence of residue poses a common problem: Particulate matter is attracted to the residue. Consequently, using a solvent that leaves a residue can require PCBs to be cleaned more frequently than if a non-residue solvent were used.

  1. Compatibility With Materials

Unless PCBs are removed from their devices for individual cleaning, the user needs a PCB cleaning solvent that won’t harm materials that surround the boards, particularly plastic and metal computer components.

PCB cleaning solvents are often used aerosol form to ensure solvent is dispersed uniformly across the cleaning surface. The aerosol will also contact nearby components, and should be selected based on compatibility with the components’ materials.

Need PCB Cleaning Solvents?

If so, Ecolink is a great place to get you need. We offer eco friendly stock solvents that are suited for cleaning PCBs, as well as create custom solvents that are designed for specific users.

Choose the method of solvent dispersal you need (e.g., aerosol, hand wipe, pump spray, etc.) and order your solvent in a small volume, a large volume, or something in-between. Before you order, you also have the option of receiving a free test sample, with no obligation to buy.

To get started on selecting an environmentally preferred PCB cleaner, call us today at 800-563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to assisting you!

Need a Circuit Board Flux Remover? Consider Using Hypersolve™

Flux removal is a procedure in which flux that is applied to metal to protect it during a heat treating process is removed to improve the integrity of the metal. If flux isn’t applied in the first place, the integrity of the metal can also suffer, particularly from the development of oxidation that results from a change in the metal’s microstructure during heat treatment. In the creation of circuit boards, both flux and flux remover are needed to create a perfect, finished product.

Choosing a Circuit Board Flux Remover
Metallic components in circuit boards are fused together through soldering — a metallurgical process in which “two or more items are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal” (Wikipedia). After the soldering process is complete, flux residue is removed using flux remover. If you need a circuit board flux remover, using Hypersolve™ offers the following six benefits, among others.

1. Compatible With Many Metals

When Hypersolve™ is properly stabilized, it is non-corrosive to many metals that are commonly used for the composition of circuit boards, including brass, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium. The more metals a flux remover is compatible with, the less likely that it will need to be replaced due to changes in circuit board composition through the release of new products.

2. Efficacy Similar to Trichloroethylene

Hypersolve™ delivers the same flux removal power as Trichloroethylene without all of the negative effects of Trichloroethylene, as assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it should be noted that one of the primary, active ingredients in Hypersolve, Bromopropane, has its own safety issues, being classified by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”.

Consequently, use of Bromopropane solvents is best suited to entities that use them in relatively low volume, have a special filtration system that removes airborne contaminants from the work environment, and outfits workers with the proper level of personal protective equipment (PPE) for working with Bromopropane.

3. No Flashpoint

Based on standard ASTM procedures, Hypersolve™ has no flashpoint. This makes the cleaner exceptionally safe to use and store in environments where potential sources of fire ignition are present. If a fire does occur in your facility, your store of Hypersolve™ won’t react like a solvent that has a low flashpoint and adds fire to the flames.

4. Low Ozone Depletion Potential

Unlike many Trichloroethylene-based cleaners, Hypersolve™ has a low ozone depletion potential (ODP), which classifies it as an environmentally friendly circuit board flux remover. This makes Hypersolve™ a great option for entities that are located in low emission zones (LEZs), where there are tighter caps on chemical emissions than normal.
5. Fast Evaporation

Hypersolve™ evaporates quickly, which helps protect metallic circuit board parts from oxidizing and produces minimal solvent waste, which in turn helps to reduce waste disposal costs. Thanks to its fast dry-to-dry cycle, the cleaner can serve as a as a rinse/drying agent for slow drying hydrocarbon solvents.
Contact Ecolink Today
For additional information on the benefits of Hypersolve™ as a circuit board flux remover, or to request a free sample of the solution to test it for your flux removal needs, please call us today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website. We look forward to supplying you with an eco friendly solution that is perfect for your circuit board flux remover requirements.

Choosing a Flux Remover Spray for Treating Chromium Alloys

Chromium alloys are metals that contain at least 10.5 percent chromium by mass. Chromium is a silvery, lustrous chemical compound that gives metal such as stainless steel its characteristic shine. A sufficient amount of chromium also makes metal highly resistant to corrosion under normal conditions. However, when chromium is heat treated in the presence of oxygen, it tends to oxidize rapidly, causing the metal that contains it to have a tarnished, drossy surface quality.

This is why chromium alloys are typically heat treated in atmosphere-controlled furnaces that maintain a pure hydrogen or nitrogen atmosphere, such as vacuum furnaces and bell annealers. However, when a workpiece is too large to fit inside one of these furnaces, the piece is typically heat treated in open air using a high-powered torch. In this situation, flux would be applied to the metal to prevent it from oxidizing as it is heated in the presence of oxygen.

Choosing a Flux Remover Spray

There are several things to consider when choosing a flux remover spray for chromium alloys. Below, we look at four considerations that apply to practically every type of user. If you need additional information for choosing a flux remover, don’t hesitate to call us at (800) 563-1305.

  1. Product Formulation

The top priority is to choose a flux remover whose formulation won’t damage the chromium alloy that you need to deflux. If you apply a remover that tarnishes the alloy, the only way to restore the surface quality is through finishing measures that strip away the stable layer of oxide that develops. If you aren’t sure what type of formulation you need, always ask the manufacturer.

  1. Method of Application

For small workpieces, flux remover is often sprayed on in aerosol form; while for unusually large workpieces, the remover may even be sprayed on using a power washer. The goal is to deflux the alloy as efficiently as possible, especially if heat treating metal is one of your organization’s core practices. Determine the most efficient method of application before you place an order.

  1. Product Flashpoint

Because environments where metal is heat treated often contain ignition sources — particularly torches and furnace flames — workplace safety dictates that you should choose a flux remover spray that has a high flashpoint or no flashpoint. In addition to seriously injuring workers, flux remover that combusts easily could make the alloy catch fire and damage its surface quality.

  1. Product Residue

Because the goal of applying flux remover spray is to remove flux residue that is left behind after the heat treating process concludes, it makes no sense to apply a flux remover that leaves a coating of residue on the metal. Chromium alloys are often polished after having flux residue removed, but the cleaning process should not entail the removal of flux remover residue.

Looking for Flux Remover Spray?
Whether you need flux remover spray for a chromium alloy or another type of alloy, Ecolink can provide you with a readymade solution or a custom solution that meets your requirements. We can also supply the solution in different forms, including aerosol, sprayable liquid, and saturated wipes. If you need flux remover spray, the product probably plays a crucial role in your heat treating process. That’s why you should choose the best, and call us today at (800) 563-1305.

Using Rosin Flux Remover to Remove Rosin Soldering Flux

In the metallurgical industry, rosin is used as a flux for soldering applications. It is used to prevent metal parts and assemblies from oxidizing during the heat treating process. Commonly used for soldering electronic parts, rosin creates a barrier between metal workpieces and the heat source that’s used to perform the soldering operation. This scenario is essential for keeping metal contacts from oxidizing and causing costly repairs for unanticipated electrical problems.

Using Rosin Flux
According to Wikipedia, rosin flux that is commonly used for electronics “has about 1% rosin as a flux core helping the molten metal flow and making a better connection by reducing the refractory solid oxide layer [that is] formed at the surface back to metal. When the heat treating process is complete, leftover rosin is frequently as the burnt or clear residue that [surrounds newly soldered] electrical parts.” This description of rosin soldering inherently underlines the importance of using a high-quality rosin flux remover on affected electrical components.

Using Rosin Flux Remover
Rosin flux remover is formulated to remove the “burnt or clear residue” that rosin flux leaves after the heat treating process is complete. When rosin is used as a flux for soldering electrical contacts — particularly those that other precision components tightly surround — using an aerosol rosin flux remover offers several benefits over using a flux remover in wipe form. Below are some essential benefits of using an aerosol solution instead of one that is wiped on by hand.

  • Easier to control dispersal of the solution
  • Less waste flux remover in the waste trap
  • Easy to implement and put directly to use
  • Even dispersal of remover on affected parts

A small amount of rosin flux residue that surrounds electrical contacts may not seem to be a major problem to the casual observer. However, there are several reasons to remove the accumulation, with the following reasons being highly crucial to the operation of the equipment and its acceptance by customers who need to use the equipment in a business-critical capacity.

  • A rosin shell may cause contacts to become hotter than usual
  • The chemical consistency of rosin may cause contact corrosion
  • Rosin on contacts may cause customers to reject the product
  • Depending on its properties, rosin make attract dirt and grime

For these reasons and others, it’s important for metallurgists that use rosin soldering flux to use a rosin flux remover to remove excessive accumulations of rosin-based flux residue, too. If your company is looking for a chemist-created rosin flux remover, FluoSolv® AP that is available from Ecolink in aerosol and liquid form may be the perfect solution for your work processes.

Contact Ecolink Today
Rosin makes an excellent soldering flux for metallurgical heat treating processes. However, like many other types of flux for metallurgical procedures, rosin tends to leave a residue on heat treated parts that should be removed to help sustain the performance of the equipment, and help to make it a product that discerning customers can feel confident about purchasing.

If you need a rosin flux remover that addresses the situations above, contact Ecolink. We have specially formulated products that accomplish flux removal in a manner that poses a minimum threat to workers and the environment. If you need help choosing a readymade or custom rosin flux remover that meets your specific needs, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website. We look forward to supporting your flux removal needs!