Uniform activator system for flux, flux concentrates, and flux gels

Being able to use flux for mass production and small series without paying attention to the activator has many advantages. Employees can’t confuse different fluxes, cross-reactions are absent when using different activators, and the customer can obtain all flux products from a single source. Emil Otto now also offers flux gels that use the uniform activators employed in existing fluxes.

Flux gels are often used for repair work on populated printed circuit boards. In the past, fluxes for manual and repair soldering, which included other activators that were used for series production, often had to be used. Emil Otto’s newly developed flux gels are based on uniform activators, which are contained in the previous electronic fluxes. “Emil Otto is the only manufacturer offering products based on activators, from flux concentrate to finished flux and flux gel”, says Markus Geßner, marketing and sales manager at Emil Otto GmbH.

Emil Otto can offer the corresponding gel with the identical activator system for fluxes EO-B-001A to C, EO-B-002A to C, EO-B-006A to C, EO-B-007A to C, and EO-B-009A to C. The respective gel is highly concentrated and is characterized, among other things, by high activity and good wetting and spreading. The paste should be applied sparingly due to these properties. The gel is applied from a dosing syringe with a metal dosing needle. This makes possible accurate application or positioning of the flux.

The flux gels have been tested on standard soldering systems. The test results were very satisfactory here. For instance, the existing flux EO-B-006 was applied to printed circuit board types (HAL, OSP, copper). The soldering results were quite good. EO-B-006 was also divided into versions A, B and C during the course of this development. Emil Otto introduced these versions in 2017. The A variants, which were specially designed for full-tunnel nitrogen applications, generally feature a low proportion of solids around 1% to 2%. They guarantee a broad process window and great temperature stability when using full nitrogen. The B variants on the other hand represent the standard version with a solids content of 3%. An all-round version is involved here.

The C variants, which exhibit a solids content of 4%, round out the spectrum. These were developed especially for power electronics where large component bodies have to be soldered at low mounting densities.

The EO-B-009 flux has been completely redeveloped and achieved similarly good soldering results. These fluxes, too, will be available in versions A, B, and C. EO-B-009 was developed for wave-, selective-, and manual-soldering processes as well as for cable assembly. Application can proceed via all of the usual application methods except for foam fluxing. The solids content is 2.0 for the A version, 3.0 for the B version, and 4.0 wt% for the C version. EO-B-009B and EO-B-009C are especially recommended for OSP circuit boards.

Flux gels are ideal when the same flux activator is required in different processes on the customer’s side. The customer can resort to a provider in this case. Uniform activators avoid cross-reactions that can occur when using different activators from different manufacturers. The dosing syringe enables the gel to be applied carefully and precisely. The metal dosing needle is thermally resilient and can be employed during use with the hot air or soldering iron. The gel even activates contaminated pads and component legs. No crystals form and the flux gels stay homogeneous and stable. The gels leave no sticky residue after soldering.

The flux gels are processed using reflow or bulb soldering. The flux soldering of critical components can be supported with a flux gel in individual cases, which the user must check. The flux gels are available in 5 ml or 10 ml dosing syringes, including dispensing needle and cap.

Emil Otto will exhibit at the SMT 2018 in Nurnberg, in hall 4A, booth 144.