Wave Soldering

Wave soldering is a large-scale soldering process by which electronic components are soldered to a printed circuit board (PCB) to form an electronic assembly. The name is derived from the use of waves of molten solder to attach metal components to the PCB. The process uses a tank to hold a quantity of molten solder; the components are inserted into or placed on the PCB and the loaded PCB is passed across a pumped wave or waterfall of solder. The solder wets the exposed metallic areas of the board (those not protected with solder mask, a protective coating that prevents the solder from bridging between connections), creating a reliable mechanical and electrical connection. The process is much faster than manual soldering of components.

Wave soldering is used for both through-hole printed circuit assemblies, and surface mount. In the latter case, the components are glued by the placement equipment onto the printed circuit board surface before being run through the molten solder wave.

As through-hole components have been largely replaced by surface mount components, wave soldering has been supplanted by reflow soldering methods in many large-scale electronics applications. However, there is still significant wave soldering where SMT is not suitable (e.g., large power devices and high pin count connectors), or where simple through-hole technology prevails (certain major appliances).

Read more about Wave SolderingWave Solder Process, Process Characteristics, Fluxing, Preheating, Soldering, Cleaning, Finish and Quality, Geometrical Possibilities, Process Monitoring, Fixtures, Solder Types, Effects of Cooling Rate, Thermal Profiling

Other articles related to "wave soldering":

Wave Soldering - Thermal Profiling
... For maximum efficiency, separate PWI values are computed for peak, slope, reflow, and soak processes of a thermal profile ... To avoid the possibility of thermal shock affecting the output, the steepest slope in the thermal profile must be determined and leveled ...

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