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"Soldering issue when using a Silver-bearing Soldering Alloy"

July 8, 2021

Q. Hello,
We currently use a Tin-Copper (0.7% by weight) alloy to solder the leads of electronic devices onto circuit boards.
We are evaluating a different Tin-Silver (3.0%) -Copper (0.5) alloy for use to possibly replace the Tin-Copper alloy and have seen one specific lead where this new solder alloy does not wet to. This lead is made of Stainless 304 as the base metal, with a Nickel Strike over it, followed by 50 µinches of plated Tin. All other lead types we have soldered, solder properly including other plated stainless parts. We have done XRF on the surface of the part and have found that the Nickel is no longer there. What is interesting is that this same material does not have a problem when using the Tin-Copper soldering alloy. Any ideas of why this particular part would have a problem?

Joe Cassavini
- Clarkston, Washington
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