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What is solderability testing in PCB and PCBA industry


Are you trying to improve your soldering procedure? Is it unpleasantly time-consuming for you to confirm the authenticity of a joint’s solderability? Solderability testing is the answer to these questions!

Solderability is one of the vital steps during component soldering or rework. A successful solder joint requires contact, solder wetting, and alloy flow. Unhandled defects can adversely impact product performance and quality.

Therefore, it becomes vital to ensure that correct criteria are applied before and after soldering operations. Solderability testing provides a simple, cost-effective solution by providing an easy-to-understand visual representation. Here’s an in-depth guide on what solderability testing is, why it’s important and how it can help improve your soldering processes.

What is meant by solderability?

Solderability refers to the ability of a material to accept and retain a solder joint. The term is typically used in electrical engineering as solderability is important for making metal permanent connections. Solderable materials must be clean, chemically compatible with the metal being used, and properly prepared in order to create a good solder bond.

What is solderability testing?


Solderability testing is a way to determine how well a solder joint will form between two surfaces. It is used to evaluate the quality of contacts made in the soldering process and ensure reliable electrical connections. The testing involves the immersion of materials into molten solder, typically tin-lead alloys, where the wetting behavior of the contact surface is observed. Solderability testing helps provide assurance that contacts are fit for purpose before being incorporated into electronic devices or assemblies.

The results of solderability testing provide a reliable and quantitative way to measure how well the solder sticks to leads. If there is poor wetting, it could indicate that there are contaminants on the surface or that the wrong type of metal was used. It’s important to make sure that all components pass this test before they move on to the next level of assembly, as it can help prevent costly rework down the line.

How do you test solder quality?

Testing for quality when soldering is a crucial step in the process. There are several methods for testing solderability, including visual inspection, electrical continuity testing, and wetting tests.
●Visual Inspection: Visual inspection is a simple way to check for solderability. It involves looking at the joint to make sure that it has been properly formed and that there is no visible damage or contamination.

●Electrical Continuity Testing: This method involves testing the electrical continuity of the joint to make sure that it is making a proper connection. This can be done with an ohmmeter or other electrical testing device.

●Wetting Tests: Wetting tests are used to measure how well the solder has adhered to the metal surface. This is done by measuring the contact angle between the solder and the metal surface. A higher contact angle indicates poor wetting, while a lower contact angle indicates good wetting.

How is the solderability test done?

The solderability test is a testing procedure that analyzes the solderability of a material before it can be used in production. The tests are conducted to determine if a material is capable of wetting and bonding to solder, as well as if it can withstand various scenarios in production, such as temperature fluctuations, mechanical stress, and flux application. The standard test determines the surface preparation process by examining the contact angle with water or other specific liquids.

After this, soldering parameters such as applied voltage and strength may be tested and evaluated via automatic flow soldering machines or using manual soldering equipment such as hot plates. Finally, a visual inspection should be done to detect any defects that may have occurred during the soldering process.How is solderability test done

Flux and Solderability Testing

Flux and solderability testing is designed to determine how well a joint or material will accept soldering materials, or the ability of a joint to be wetted. In this process, the flux residues present on joints must also be analyzed; residues can cause detrimental defects to electromechanical assemblies. This test is an important quality assurance measure to ensure that components are suitable for reliable soldering.

PCB Edge Soldering Test

Edge soldering is an important part of most PCB assemblies, as it provides additional mechanical strength and temperature resistance beyond what can be achieved by other forms of soldering. A PCB edge soldering test samples a few parts of the edge solder joint to test for moisture, deep weld integrity, gap width, and other parameters that must meet or exceed performance standards. The purpose of these tests is to ensure that the mechanical properties of the soldered areas remain consistent over time.

Wave Soldering Test

Wave soldering tests are typically carried out to check whether printed circuit boards (PCBs) will perform as expected when subjected to a wave soldering process. A wave soldering test involves dunking the PCB into a tank of molten solder. The result is judged based on how much solder has been absorbed by the PCB, and whether it has formed correctly around the components and tracks. Wave soldering tests can also be used to identify potential faults in the board before it goes through the actual production line.

Wobble dip test

The wobble dip test is a technique used to assess the quality of a solder joint. It involves applying a mechanical force to the joint in order to test its strength and stability.

The wobble dip test is typically used to test the strength and stability of soldered joints in electronic components, such as connectors and switches. It is also used to assess the quality of other types of joints, such as welded joints in metal structures.

Float test

Float soldering is a technique used to solder electronic components onto printed circuit boards (PCBs). It involves placing the PCB in a tank filled with a liquid solder alloy and then heating the tank to melt the alloy. The electronic components are then placed onto the PCB, and as they are heated, the solder alloy will flow around the components and create a secure, permanent connection.

Surface mount process simulation test

Surface mount process simulation (SMPS) is a method used to test the feasibility and reliability of a surface mount technology (SMT) process before it is implemented in production. It involves creating a virtual model of the SMT process and simulating it using specialized software.

When should solderability be tested?

The right time for a solderability test is when a product or component is ready for manufacture. The solderability testing process helps to ensure that the solder joints are strong, reliable, and can handle the demands of their application. The test involves immersing components in molten solder and assessing their ability to form solid bonds with the targeted materials, including other metals and PCBs.When-should-solderability-be-tested

What are the reference standards for solderability testing?

J-STD-002B 2003-2
GB/T 4677
IEC60068-2-58/ IEC60068-2-20
MIL-STD-202G Mehtod 210F
MIL-STD-883G 2003.7

What is J STD 002?

J-STD-002 is a standard created by the Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council (JEDEC). It is designed to ensure consistent quality of soldered electrical and electronic parts. The standard covers soldering processes, packaging, rework/repair requirements, and environmental conditions used in the manufacture of products. J-STD-002 also outlines material specifications for the solder to be used in manufacturing processes.

Is the solderability test destructive?

Not necessarily. The solderability test is generally not a destructive test, as it is intended to simulate how well components attach to each other. Depending on the specific method used for testing though, the equipment and/or components may be damaged during the process if proper precautions are not taken.Is-the-solderability-test-destructive


Thanks for reading! We hope that this article was helpful. Besides, IBE is a one-stop PCBA manufacturer with more than 17 years experience and provides all the service including PCB design, PCB fabrication, PCB assembly, and all the PCBA testing. IBE takes product quality and customer satisfaction very seriously, so contact IBE if you need.

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