Soldering iron is a common device used in the repair of electronic circuits. It is practiced by almost everyone who is just starting out the course of Electrician or an Expert.
The working principle depends on the type of soldering iron. A common one runs on the principle that when electricity flows through the tip of the metal, it melts the solder which then fuses between the gaps of the electronic circuit where it requires the fixation.
The forge, on principle, creates a bond between two workpieces using a filler metal. The melted solder forms a joint between two workpieces.
Components of Soldering Iron
Solder is made up of soft metal toys, usually composed of different materials. Typically, it includes a low percentage of a soft metal alloy such as zinc and a high percentage of tin. Tin is a soft metal, but it helps strengthen the bond between the workpieces. Another major component of solder is flux. Flux is a chemical substance that comes in gel form which works as a catalyst in the soldering process. The gel transfers the heat from the iron to the metal to form a bond with the metal. The flux is contained in the iron in the form of core solders. The flux can also be bought separately and added to the iron.
The other major component of this tool is iron. The iron is made of a handle and a tip. There are different styles of irons. When electricity passes through the resistive material inside the iron, it produces heat. Thus we can meet the desired part by using the iron tip.
Types of iron
There are five types of iron. Except for the last one, all four work on the same iron principle, as discussed above.
1. Soldering Stations
Soldering stations are advanced versions of irons. These soldering irons come up with the temperature control and other featured functionalities.
2. Adjustable irons
The adjustable irons are similar to the soldering stations, but it has high adjustable temperature control. Its temperature ranges from 280 degrees Celsius to 480 degrees Celsius. You need to adjust the temperature to 400 degrees Celsius if you want lead-free soldering and to 350 degrees Celsius if you want 350 degrees Celsius.
3. Pencil irons
A pencil iron has a thin, long shaft and an insulated handle. The tip sizes range from 1 inch to 6 inches in length. It’s used for making electrical connections on circuit boards and for many other things around the house, such as plumbing work or hobby projects like repairing electronics.
4. Cordless irons
This type cordless irons are designed for easy access in confined spaces this irons offer flexible pivoting heads and various other modern features to make the job easier.
This type clowtorches are fuel-burning tools used in metalworking. These torches use gas as a fuel. Blow torches are widely used in the metal industry to cut and alter the shape of metal. It focuses a high degree Celsius temperature flame on the desired place.
Steps to follow when soldering to join metals
The first step is to determine the right temperature for your task. The temperature depends on the material you are joining and the kind of solder you are using. The best solution is to use the lowest temperature while still getting the job done, i.e. the joining parts of the metal.
Then touch the solder where it needs to fill the gap and bond the parts between each other. The filet will not take more than a few seconds. Finally, it would help if you held it for a few seconds after removing the iron from the point of interest. It will cool down, and the parts will be bonded perfectly. Check the soldering joint for quality.
Difference between soldering and welding
Like many other terms in DIY tools, soldering and welding are used interchangeably. In soldering, metal gets heated up but never melts. In welding, metal fabricators melt the base metal.
Another difference is that joints bonded by welding are stronger than joints by irons. Welding requires a temperature as high as 7000 degrees Fahrenheit, while soldering requires up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
This article discusses how different metal parts could be bonded using irons—an Ironworks on the principle of heating a resistive element when an electric current passes through it. Finally, the different irons and steps to follow while soldering has been briefed. Also, the differences between soldering and welding were summarized.