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Reflow Oven

Page history last edited by Gavin Smith 11 years, 3 months ago

The space has a reflow oven for doing surface mount boards. It was purchased by member donations and is available for everyone to use:


It's quite easy to use. The rough steps are as follows. 


Apply solder paste to your board & position components:

Typically this is done from a small syringe containing solder paste. It can also be done with a lasercut stencil which is specific to the board, and a squeegee to force solder onto the pads. 


In the example below I was very rough with the paste, and just laid a long string from one side of the row to the other. Later on surface tension pulls the molten metal back and cleans it up for us. Any bridges and small errors are usually fairly easy to fix. 


Reflow in the oven:

You must select the appropriate 'wave' for your solder. 

Different solders require different temperatures to process, and time to 'soak' and activate fluxes during the reflowing process. There are various ISO standard temperature curves programmed into the oven, and all typically all you have to do is select the right profile ('wave') for your solder. 




Here's what the final board looked like. You can see there is at least one bridge on the resistors at the top, but most look fine. I'll hit it with a fine tip iron later and separate the two. Everything else looks to have self-centered nicely. It's remarkable how the surface-tension makes our job easier!

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