Electronics is incomplete without soldering. The soldering skill brings you an opportunity to work on a wide range of electronic equipment and components. While the soldering tools and skill are highly important for the professionals who work in technological industries, everyone should know more about this work process and the equipment attached to it.
While solder as a “verb” means joining two different metal pieces to form a solder joint, solder as a “noun” means an alloy. Traditionally the solder was made up of tin and lead and was called as lead solder. As lead has been found to be harmful to the mankind (may cause lead poisoning), the lead-free solder was later conceived and created. This solder is composed of copper and silver and has the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) mark on it.
The different parts of a soldering iron
Soldering irons are now offered in many different forms and may vary in their complexity. Below we discuss some of the parts of the soldering iron so that you can know more about the equipment related to the soldering process.
The automatic heat control soldering iron is provided with a base, which can be plugged into a wall socket. The base provides for a better control over the iron’s current. A base may also contain the sponge and holder that can be used for cleaning the tip of the iron. The base is like a control box, which can be used for temperature related adjustments. The new bases help you increase or decrease the heat that reaches the tip and helps you solder a wide range of electrical components.
The soldering iron tips are also offered today in many different forms, shapes, and sizes. While the pin-point tip provides for better precision, the wider tip is used for the larger sized wires. The tip transfers heat and does not transfer the soldering material. Many of the soldering irons today offer the tip interchangeability feature so that you can use a range of tips on a single iron, and do the soldering job on many different kinds of components. When you buy soldering iron, do check its wattage and whether it suits your workflows or not
The wand helps the user handle the tip of the iron. It may be composed of some insulating material (including rubber). Hence the tip does not allow transference of heat from the tip. The wand also has the metal components and wires that provide for heat flow to iron’s tip. Apart from increasing the efficiency of the soldering jobs, the wand also helps towards prevention of burns.
Cradle or Stand
The cradle or stand is used for housing or placing the soldering iron. When not in use, you can place the soldering iron on the stand. If a heated iron is placed on the desk, the table or desk may catch fire or may cause physical injuries including burns. The tip may also get worn sooner if it is placed on a rough and damaging surface. Hence the stand is quite useful and has a number of benefits. The stand has also had the auto-shutoff mechanism and feature through which the tape gets switched off automatically when it is placed on it.
The tip of the soldering iron may get oxidized and deteriorate the quality of the soldering jobs over a period of time. A brass sponge can be used for cleaning the impurities and other substances that may cause the oxidization. The sponge is used for cleaning and wiping the iron stand. The sponge also removes the excess soldering material and helps the tip get adequate temperature without wasting energy.
Your iron may come along with the cord that can plug into the base. The iron’s cord will not plug into the wall socket. You should check the chord before buying your iron.