Flux, a pivotal chemical agent in soldering electronic components onto printed circuit boards (PCB), serves the critical function of eliminating oxides and impurities from the board's surface, thereby enhancing the integrity and quality of soldering connections. Nevertheless, residual flux poses a significant risk, as it can provoke corrosion of sensitive components and attract additional contaminants, potentially leading to electrical malfunctions. Consequently, the thorough removal of any remaining flux is imperative.

Whilst various methods are available for removing flux from PCBs, ultrasonic cleaning is considered the most effective approach. Unlike alternatives that may involve abrasive substances, ultrasonic cleaning harnesses the power of gentle yet potent pressure waves. Ultrasonic transducers are bonded onto the base of the Microsolve tanks, powered by ultrasonic generators. An alternating electrical frequency emits from the generators to the ultrasonic transducer piezo cells making them vibrate, the transducer vibration creates a pressure wave in the cleaning solution.

This process induces cavitation, an essential mechanism wherein the fluctuating pressures prompt the formation and subsequent collapse of microscopic bubbles within the solvent. These implosions occur at a staggering rate, gently agitating the surface of the PCB or immersed components and dislodging stubborn flux residues. The dispersed flux is then easily rinsed away, the ultrasonic waves penetrating even the most intricate geometries and concealed areas of the PCB. This gentle cleaning process is particularly advantageous for delicate electrical components, preserving their integrity while effectively eliminating flux residues. Moreover, ultrasonic cleaning offers notable advantages in terms of speed, cost-effectiveness, and versatility, rendering it an indispensable asset in production environments.

Microsolve 450C Solvent Cleaning System

To further enhance efficiency and consistency, automation of the cleaning process is highly recommended. Guyson offers a range of automated handling systems, including the Autotrans Single Axis Lift and the Guyson iDrive, which provide seamless integration and superior performance. All Autotrans transporters feature compliant guarding and can be customized to suit specific operational requirements, offering a reliable solution for achieving optimal cleaning outcomes.

It is crucial to use the right solvent mixture when cleaning printed circuit boards. The industry standard is a 4-stage process using a blend of Promosolv DR1 and Topklean EL20a for ultrasonic cleaning. After this, rinse the boards by immersing them in Promosolv DR1 (ultrasonic optional) and then vapor rinsing with Promosolv DR1, before finally drying them in the Freeboard area. However, in some sensitive applications, the Ultrasonics can be turned off in the first two stages, and the chemical mixture alone is sufficient for removing contaminants. All chemical products used in this process are manufactured by Inventec Performance Chemicals and distributed by Guyson.

For more information, please visit Guyson's Automated Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems. Alternatively, feel free to contact us directly at 01756 799911 or via email at info@guyson.co.uk. We are committed to providing expert assistance and tailored solutions to meet your needs.

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