Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Need to clean parts to be soldered prior to applying solder.
To clean parts prior to solder you need to consider what residues you are trying to remove from the parts and how you want to clean. For general purpose oils and residue cleaning by manual, soak or ultrasonic cleaning methods, we recommend using a warm or hot 1% Liquinox solution followed by a thorough rinse. If you want to remove surface oxides and brighten the parts, we recommend using warm or hot 2% Citranox solution followed by a thorough rinse.
We need to remove RMA solder flux on indium/lead soldered subassemblies. Most aqueous cleaners attack this solder.
According to the Materials Handbook by GS Brady et al, indium lead solders are alkali resistant solders. Rosin based RMA fluxes are best cleaned by alkaline/saponifying cleaners with no conductive cations such as Detergent 8.
The organic amine in Detergent 8 forms a water soluble soap with the rosin. Because Detergent 8 is cation free, it cannot leave conductive residues. We recommend using a 3% Detergent 8 solution for ultrasonic immersion cleaning or a 5% Detergent 8 solution for manual cleaning of indium/lead soldered subassemblies.
Detergent 8 is a hazmat that most package sizes must ship by ground. You can ship a 5 gallon jerrycan of Detergent 8 by air.
Friday, April 08, 2011
In sufficient quantity, Alconox, like just about anything, will impact the environment. If you discharge 5,000 lbs of Alconox at once, you would be discharging an EPA reportable quantity under CERCLA regulations. I presume you have no intentions of discharging anything like this quantity.
Alconox does contain phosphates which are essential nutrients and can promote algae growth in phosphorous limited ecosystems. The algae can deplete oxygen and then die causing silting up of surface waters - this is eutrophication. You would need large quantities of Alconox to cause significant eutrophication.
Alconox contains surfactants, which in high enough concentration are hazardous to fish - typically you would have to reach 100s of mg/L in concentration to be harmful to fish.
Alconox has been widely used for field cleaning of environmental sampling equipment for decades and we have never had any reported incident of environmental impact. Alconox is biodegradable.
If you spill enough Alconox directly in to a lake, I imagine it could form a stable detergent foam that might take a few hours to dissipate. Although this foam would not be particularly harmful, it would be unsightly. I suspect that a bucket full of Alconox dumped briskly in to a lake might make enough foam to be unsightly.