Hello! In this post we will go over how to prepare for and perform SMD soldering work. Okay, what does SMD mean? It's an acronym that means surface mount device. What does this have to do with soldering? Most pocketed devices use SMD work for their circuit boards so that the device can fit in small areas. Phones, handheld game stations, music devices, etc. So, why is this important to learn? Well believe it or not there is more than one way to go about SMD work.
Let's take a look shall we?
Most solder users know the common way of soldering SMD work. It includes paste, a heat gun, maybe a set of tweezers, and components. That's it. Just the three (possibly four) things. So, why do we need to tell you how to do this? Breaking down the steps comes in handy when you haven't seen them before. Also, do you know what you need to do this? I know I gave you a short list before but what are those things?
First, paste. There are many different types of paste available and we go over it here. For this example I am going to use Type 3 paste. Secondly, there is the heat (or hot air) gun. Now this is different than a soldering iron. Although it is self explanatory, it is an apparatus that uses heat. Most of the time it is shaped like a gun and is attached to a vacuum pump or fan. The reason for this is to keep it from over heating the components. There are units out there that are just a gun and there are ones that are a combination. The choice is up to you dependent on the work you will be doing. Also be aware there are some guns out there that have attachments for different work. They can focus the heat from the gun but be careful. This can cause damage to more frail components.
Speaking of, let's move on to the all too tricky components. These will depend on what you are trying to make in the long run. If you know what thru-hole components are then you know these as well. The main difference is that SMD components do not have "legs" on them. If not, take a look into what you need.
Let's get to it:
A newer way of SMD soldering includes the same things as above but with one added object. A stencil. Do you remember when you were younger and wanted to draw? If it was something you never did before you would look for a stencil. Tracing the stencil you found a hidden drawing talent to be able to draw the same thing. Over and over again. Well this is kind of the same situation. For SMD work that requires making the same board numerous times, a stencil comes in handy. There are somethings to keep in mind for this way of SMD soldering.
First, the paste for this type of work will vary. Although it depends on what kind of work you're doing. Most solder users find it easier to use Type 5 paste for stencil based work. This is because Type 5 paste has a larger surface area coverage and smaller sized balls. This allows for quick melting points over larger work areas. Meaning using it in stencil work will allow for smooth application and smoother joining. Shall we get going on the steps then?
See, now wasn't that easy? Hope this helped!