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What is a Reflow Soldering Oven and What is its Use?

When talking about reflow ovens, these are electronic heating devices that are used today in mounting electronic components to the PCB or otherwise known as printed circuit boards through using the surface mount technology.

Reflow ovens are the perfect choice when it comes to your soldering needs. The best results can be achieved through identifying all of the aspects of the characteristics of the product, which includes the component types, board and solder requirements, and some others more.

When it comes to the electronics manufacturing industry, this actually maintains the surface mount technology to be the standard of the industry because of the various advantages that it offers like a simpler construction of electronic devices. Reflow ovens also vary in type and size.

The cost when it comes to the commercial reflow ovens ranges from thousands to tens of thousands of money. Though there’s the option of constructing DIY or homemade reflow ovens where it helps with cost reduction, it would usually limit its durability and functionality.

Reflow ovens help in solving the issues of having to spend a lot of time manually soldering electronic components to the printed circuit boards. Reflow soldering involves the process of melting a paste of solder and flux in giving a permanent bond between the electronic components and the printed circuit boards.

With the typical reflow solder procedures carried out. The process starts by laying a stencil that comes with holes cut out for the individual pads over the PCB and in applying the solder paste to it.

The old reflow soldering procedure follows a temperature profile which gives the highest rate of cooling and heating. This is where the solder paste and the components must experience. The following are the four zones of thermal profiles:

Cooling Zone

The cooling zones will also lower the temperature at a rate that’s controlled up to 4 degrees celsius. This is done in order to form a solid solder interconnection between its components and the board.

Preheat Zone

The preheat zones involve heating the whole assembly at a controlled rate up to 4 degrees celsius. Another thing is that the rate of heating in such zones is important in order to avoid thermal shock towards its components.

Reflow Zone

The reflow zone will also heat the assembly towards a temperature that’s higher than the melting point of the solder for up to a minute so that it will ensure reflow on every lead that’s soldered.

Soaking Zone

The soak zone will hold the temperature at a steady for several minutes, which is up to 170 degrees celsius. This is going to allow the fluxes in activating and temperature to stabilize throughout its components.

Measurements of thermal temperatures in an oven include a complex time and temperature data. These data define the profiles which are being referred to as a ramp to spike or the ramp to soak to spike. This means that the temperature should change the structure of the solder and the time necessary for it to occur.

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