When it comes to welding even the most experienced do-it-yourselfers pull back because it is commonly considered a difficult activity that must be left to specialists.
But if you are reading this article it means that you are among those daredevils who have decided to buy a soldering iron all for themselves and who now just have to figure out how to use it, hoping that it is not as complicated as many think.
By continuing to read this article you will discover that tin welding is indeed the most basic and that everyone, with the right precautions, can understand how to weld without too many complications.
But let’s start by trying to understand what tin is and what makes it the ideal metal for welding.
What is tin?
We talk about “tin welding” for convenience, but in reality, tin is not used in pure form but combined in an alloy with another metal, usually with copper or silver, depending on the application. But why exactly the pond?
Tin is a silver-colored metal that is often used to bond with other metals thanks to its characteristics: its extreme malleability, its high resistance to corrosion, oxidation and its low melting point, just below 232 ° C, which allows you to weld without avoiding the use of too complex systems or high amperage currents.
What is tin welding?
Tin welding consists in joining two metal elements using a third molten metal which is deposited along the seam of the two elements to be welded. A tin-based alloy is used which melts at a variable temperature between 195 and 325 ° C. When the metal solidifies, the soldering or brazing is complete.
This type of welding is widely used in the electronics field to connect the components of the boards, but also in electrical connections and to join large metal parts such as, for example, two sheets.
What do you need for tin soldering?
After understanding what tin is and how the welding that uses this metal is defined, we can move on to the next step, that is, to list the tools needed to finally proceed with welding. To be able to weld we need:
- Tin wire or rod
- Joints to be connected
The welder is a tool with an insulating handle, a copper alloy tip that is suitably heated by a resistor located inside. There are different types on the market: pistol, nail, mallet, with switch. But the choice of welder depends mainly on the type of work to be done.
The tin alloys for welding are usually sold in the form of wire spools of varying thickness and with the core consisting of flux, solder paste or solder paste that serves to remove the oxide from the points to be welded.
THE joints to be connected it is precisely the two ends that must be welded.
How to solder with tin
Welding, regardless of the type of welder used, must be carried out carefully following a standard procedure that we could divide into 3 phases, the preparatory phase, the actual welding phase, and, finally, the final one:
1. Preparatory phase:
- Tin the tip by sanding it with abrasive and dipping it for a moment in the flux paste to prevent the tip from oxidizing and the molten tin dripping off the tip;
- Thoroughly clean the edges to be joined by sanding them to eliminate all traces of slag and apply a layer of deoxidizing paste on top;
2. Welding phase:
- Hold the tin wire with one hand and the soldering iron with the other;
- Approach the two edges to be joined to melt the tin and pour it directly on the joint of the two ends to be welded;
- Spread the molten tin well with the tip of the soldering iron;
- Keep the two parts firmly for at least ten seconds to give the tin time to cool down and then to carry out the welding.
3. Final phase:
- When the tip is still hot, remove the excess tin from the tip with a rag or paper;
- These instructions must be followed in case the ends to be joined are not excessively small. In this case, especially when it comes to the soldering of electronic components, the procedure becomes a bit more complicated because it is not necessary to pour too hot tin on the components as it could deteriorate them.
Read on and we will explain, step by step, how to solder small electronic components.
How to solder to tin in electronics
Tin soldering is the primary method of soldering small electronics components, and if you don’t pay proper attention, some elements could be damaged. Here then is well explained in detail how it is welded in these cases:
- Immerse the hot tip of the soldering iron in the flux jar;
- Hold the piece to be welded with the pliers to avoid burns during welding. The pliers act as a heat sink;
- Bring the tin wire close to the heated tip and wait a few seconds until a drop has formed;
- Carefully drop the drop of molten tin onto the electronic components to be soldered;
- Wait for the pond to condense.
Final tips and tricks
It is essential to take care of the soldering iron to prevent it from getting damaged. That’s how:
- If the tip of your soldering iron were to become black, it may be useful to use a file or an ammonium salt tablet to remove the oxidation.
- Another useful suggestion is to place the soldering iron on special support while working, keeping the tip well away from the table to avoid burns.
- Also, pay attention to the power cable. If the soldering iron accidentally touches it, it will melt it and cause a short circuit.
Finally, I advise you to get involved and use that soldering iron you bought to do some DIY work in your home. If you have perfectly understood how to solder with tin, with a little attention and precision, you will have all the tools you need to weld yourself, without the need to contact specialists.