How to weld with a tan

Tin soldering irons, also known as soldering irons, are fundamental tools in electronics workshops, however, not all of us are specialists and many times we need to solder elements at home, which is why many of us want to learn how to solder properly and easily.

Even if you are not a professional tinner, you should know that welding is a task that requires care and technique, since it is the union of metals through which an electric current frequently flows, this means that an error could cause a short circuit and damage the device we are repairing.

In this sense, when it comes to very small parts that have electronic components, so-called soft soldering is used, which does not need too much heat to melt. In this case, the melting temperature of tin is approximately 350 °C, which is why it is found in many of the printed circuits, transistors, among other elements of the devices that we use daily. If you don’t know what tin is, the answer is very simple, it is a metal known in chemistry with the symbol Sn.

One of the advantages of soldering with tin is precision, since the manual electric soldering iron is small, has an ergonomic handle that allows a good grip and has a fine tip. In addition, this tool is much cheaper than an inverter welder, so it is very easy to buy one to use at home. 

If you want to know what can be soldered with tin, it is good to mention that tin is used for very simple tasks, such as soldering cables, but you can also use it to replace damaged potentiometers, make tracks on circuit boards, as well as repair a satellite decoder pirate or any other device with transistors.

What kind of tin to use for soldering?

There are basically two types of solder, one that comes in the form of wire on a spool and one that comes in paste form. Both are very good for welding, but are used differently. In the case of the thread, it is an alloy, where 40% is lead and 60% is tin, but it usually also includes a resin that facilitates the work. To melt the tin, it is necessary to have a soldering iron or manual soldering iron.

As for the solder paste, it is microgranulated tin combined with a flux known as flux, which acts as a flux and is very useful for soldering brass with tin. In this case, a soldering iron is not used, but a hot air gun. First you have to apply the paste with a scalpel on the pins, then place the piece to be soldered in the correct position and finally apply heat with the gun. The good thing about this tin is that when the temperature increases it automatically melts and settles on the pins and terminals. 

9 tricks to make a good welding with tin

1. Check the condition of the pieces that you are going to weld, since it is very important that they are very clean and dry. Also, there is a special paste for soldering, which serves to prepare the surface and helps the tin to disperse quickly and adhere more firmly to the metals. 

2. If you want to know how to solder with wire, this trick is for you. It is normal for the soldering iron to get dirty during the process, but it is important to check that the tip is always clean and in good condition, so it is good to have a bit of cotton handy to constantly clean it. This will allow you to have a cleaner and more professional result. On the other hand, if the tip is damaged after some time of use, you can buy a kit of soldering iron tips, but you must make sure that they are compatible with your soldering iron.

3. Most manual soldering irons have the option to regulate the temperature. This is very important, as not all pieces are the same size. Tin melts from about 300 °C, but in some jobs it is necessary to increase the temperature to 400 °C and even a little more. On the other hand, many non-dimmable soldering irons are also capable of reaching these temperatures, all it takes is 25 to 40 W of power. The best way to get precision temperature control is to use a soldering station, It is a device for professional use.

4. One of the most used tricks in soldering work is to start by soldering the pieces independently. This means that experts recommend applying a small amount of tin on the area where the solder will be. In this way, by applying the heat of the soldering iron or the gun, the union will be made more easily, quickly and homogeneously.

5. Do not move the pieces while you are applying heat. Instead, you should bring them close until they touch and keep them as still as possible. In case of using very small elements, it is recommended to use a stable base with clamps and other support systems for greater stability.

6. It is crucial that you respect the drying time, therefore avoid blowing or using any type of method to quickly cool the tin. You must wait for it to dry naturally, otherwise the solder can be very brittle and could easily split.

7. Use the soldering iron in an inclined position on the piece, so that the surface of the tip is in contact with the area to be soldered, which increases the temperature quickly and facilitates the melting of the tin, thus achieving more durable solders.

8. The cheapest and easiest way to detect faults in circuit components is by using tin rosin, since this natural resin is precise and durable.

9. Tin solder does not stick easily to aluminum surfaces, so you should sand or polish the area you wish to solder very well until it shines. However, you should pay attention to the composition of the thread on the label of the spool and make sure that it has a low amount of lead. This is the best way to solder aluminum.

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