Soldering and the Role of Solder Flux Remover

Soldering is a metallurgical procedure that binds two or more pieces of metal together by liquidizing a “filler metal” that distributes between them via capillary action. If clearance between the pieces is too great or too small (.0015” inches is recommended), the stability of the joint can suffer, as its strength primarily relies on the strength of the filler metal that binds metal together.

Comparable to Brazing and Welding
By combining metal pieces with filler metal, soldering is similar to brazing — a procedure that combines two or more metal pieces using filler metal. The primary difference is that brazing is often performed using an industrial furnace, whereas soldering is commonly done by hand to fuse together small metal pieces, such as a series of electrical contacts for electrical wires. However, there are also specially designed soldering furnaces that assist with the endeavor.

Soldering is also somewhat similar to the welding process for the same reason it is similar to brazing: two or more pieces of metal are combined together using a heat source. However, there is significant difference between soldering and brazing and their close counterpart welding: Whereas the first two processes use filler metal and don’t melt the base metal, welding melts the base metal at strategic points in order to produce a precision part or an assembly.

The Use of Solder Flux Remover
Solder flux remover is an essential component in the metallurgical soldering process, particularly for metals whose alloys are highly sensitive to heat treatments. Depending on the metal involved, soldering can be performed in open air or with a soldering furnace. In either case, it is essential to coat the area of heat application and its adjacent areas with solder flux remover, as this will prevent metal from tarnishing and support excellent dimensional stability.

When the soldering process is performed in open air or in a standard soldering furnace, applying solder flux remover can be essential for ensuring that final product addresses the customer’s needs. However, after the metal is heated, the flux often leaves a residue that solder flux remover excels at removing. If you need solder flux remover, Ecolink can provide you with a flux remover (e.g., FluoSolv® AP) that banishes unsightly flux residue.

How Ecolink Can Help
If you need a solder flux remover that can be used for various soldering operations, Ecolink has the experience and expertise to provide you with a solution that meets the needs of your specific operations. If our readymade removers don’t address the specifics of your requirements, we can also provide a custom formulated flux remover that is formulated for your unique needs and can be used to efficiently remove different types of soldering flux residue.

To get started on selecting a solder flux remover, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website. We look forward to providing you with highly efficacious solder flux remover. By using our products, you will never again have to worry about removing the residue of soldering flux to ensure that soldered metal has the right appearance.

Selecting a Flux Remover for Stainless Steel Brazing

In the field of metallurgy, flux remover is applied to stainless steel and other alloys to prevent them from oxidizing when they are heat treated. However, when it comes to brazing stainless steel, flux is not the go-to solution for preventing oxidization while the metal is treated.

Instead, the alloy is typically placed in an “atmosphere-controlled” furnace that removes oxygen from the heating chamber and creates an environment where the metal can be treated without experiencing the ill effects of oxidation: a tarnished appearance and weak dimensional stability.

Stainless Steel’s Metallurgical Profile
Stainless steel is a chromium alloy that contains at least 10.5 percent chromium by mass. Chromium is the chemical element that gives stainless steel its characteristic shine and excellent anti-corrosive properties under normal conditions. However, when chromium is heat treated in the presence of oxygen, it oxidizes rapidly, causing the metal to develop a tarnished, drossy appearance. The layer of oxide can also weaken the assembly’s braze joints.

This is why stainless steel is typically brazed using a furnace that maintains a pure nitrogen or hydrogen atmosphere, or removes all gasses from the heating chamber. Furnaces that are commonly used to braze stainless steel assemblies include: atmosphere-controlled continuous furnace, vacuum furnaces, and bell annealers. However, there are occasions when an assembly is simply too large to fit inside a furnace and must be brazed in open air.

Brazing Stainless Steel in Open Air
When a stainless steel assembly must be brazed in open air, the braze joints are formed using a high-powered torch that melts the filler metal and causes it to fuse the workpieces into an assembly when it cools. When this procedure is performed, flux should be applied to the braze joints and the adjacent areas to prevent a stable layer of oxide from forming on the metal.

As long as the flux is formulated to use with stainless steel, it prevents the metal from oxidizing. However, it isn’t uncommon for flux to leave behind a residue. When this happens, flux remover for stainless steel can be applied to remove the residue. Without the application of flux remover, sections of the assembly that were covered in flux are likely to have a tarnished appearance.

Where to Find a Flux Remover
When choosing a flux remover for stainless steel, it is important to select a product that has no ingredients that tarnish chromium alloys, such as ammonia and corrosive elements that the EPA lists. At Ecolink, we provide flux remover whose natural formulation makes it an excellent choice for treating sensitive metals. If one of our ready-made solutions doesn’t meet your needs, we will create a custom product that addresses your unique requirements.

For assistance choosing a flux remover for stainless steel, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or refer to the contact page on our website. We look forward to providing you with a flux removal solution that is safe to use on stainless steel and safe to use in the work environment, as well!

Flux Removers: What Are They, and How Do They Impact Safety?

Flux is a product that is applied to glass, metal, and other materials that undergo a high-temperature heat treating process to achieve a specific result, such as annealing glass to shape it, or brazing metal pieces to form a stable assembly. Available in paste or semi-aqueous form, flux is applied to the surface of a material to prevent the end product from developing a stable layer of oxide that tarnishes its surface and/or causes weak dimensional stability.

Flux and Heat Treating Operations
Not all high-temperature heat treating operations require the application of flux. For example, when stainless steel is brazed in an atmosphere-controlled furnace that eliminates oxygen from the furnace chamber, the chromium in the alloy does not oxidize, and thus the metal requires no flux. However, flux is almost always recommend for high-temperature heat treating operations that are performed in open air, typically with the use of high-powered torches.

Flux helps prevent oxidation during the heat treating process, but it often leaves a residue that must be removed to ensure that the final product has the right qualities. To remove the residue, service providers apply flux removers, many of which traditionally contain flammable aerosol chemicals, lead, and chemical toxins that threaten the environment. On the bright side, companies can replace flux removers with ones that demonstrate a better safety profile.

The Easy Way to Replace Flux Removers
Unless your company employs a team of chemists that can create a novel, eco friendly flux remover to replace a toxic one, the easiest way to replace flux removers is to work with an experienced provider of eco friendly cleaning solutions that can offer you a good replacement option. For example, EcoLink offers FluoSolv DX – Solvent Flux Remover, a non-hazardous solution that is designed for heavy-duty flux removal and has a high allowable exposure limit.

FluoSolv DX – Solvent Flux Remover is an ideal replacement for flux removers that contain N-propyl Bromide-based defluxing solvents. More specifically, it is a viable replacement for Asahi AK-225, a Class II ODC that was phased out on 1/1/15. In addition to being better for the environment, the solution also helps reduce the exposure of workers to toxic liquids and fumes.

Contact EcoLink Today – or Shop Flux Removers Here
If your company needs a replacement flux remover for Asahi AK-225 or another hazardous degreasing solvent, the chemical and solvent specialists at EcoLink will recommend a solution that meets the requirements of the previous one without possessing so many of its dangerous qualities. In addition to benefiting the environment, a safer solution can also mitigate the negative effects workers experience when exposed to toxic cleaners, and thus help improve productivity.

If your company is in the market for eco friendly flux removers that don’t take a toll on the environment and help protect workers, call EcoLink today at (800) 563-1305 to schedule a free evaluation of your needs, or simply fill out the contact form on our website. We look forward to assisting you with finding the ideal replacement for all of your flux removal needs!