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June, 2019 Drying: A Critical Step in PCB Cleaning... Continued from previous page These specialty ESD wipes not only limit dust

attraction but also reduce the threat of static dam- age to the electronic components. For some manu- facturers, maximum cleanliness is required, especially for those using the wipes in a clean- room environment. These unique wipes are typically cut and packaged in a specialized facility to ensure their purity.

Duster. For some benchtop post reflow (rework) assembly, an effective drying method is to use a dust remover. This can be a quick and effective way to blow out trapped mois- ture from underneath larger components that a wipe alone may not reach. The dust remover can be targeted to a

very precise area on the PCB and works well to eliminate moisture in hard-to-reach areas of the circuit board. Combining a duster with a wipe will double the drying power and pre- vent the fluid from being pushed back onto the board and spreading contaminant around. Safety is the key feature to look for when

selecting a duster to use for a drying applica- tion. Although inexpensive canned air is read- ily available, many of these formulations are highly-flammable. A safer alternative is to select a dust remover that is formulated with nonflammable gas. Also, think about how it will be used. A 360°

type of dust remover which can operate at any angle — even upside down — will allow operators the flexibility to quickly dry very complex or intri- cate PCBs. Using the duster may take a little bit of practice, but once the operator understands the velocity of the high-purity gas, the moisture can be blown away quickly and efficiently with no residue left behind.

Drying through Vapor Degreasing For bulk or batch drying PCBs, convection

ovens with air knives might be used. But, a word of warning: it may not dry low-mounted components.


Whether you're an R&D engineer designing cables for a new product or a production worker checking hundreds of cables an hour, CableEye's unique graphic wiring display tells you what you need to know clearly and immediately. Graphically see missing or shorted conductors, miswired cables, reversed diodes, twisted-pair errors, and backward connectors. Print crystal-clear test results including the wiring schematic. Graphically compare two cables by alternating the display between your test result and the ideal cable. Run a high-speed resistance test loop while you flex the cable

When using drying ovens, temperature and

air flow are major concerns and care should be taken. For example, if the circulating air flow is not strong enough or if the temperature is not high enough, moisture may still be present on the PCB.

degreaser. Vapor degreasers range in size from small benchtop models to large systems. No matter the size vapor degreaser being used, the cleaning and drying processes are the same. The vapor degreaser boils a cleaning fluid at a low temperature, usually between 105°F (40°C) and 165°F (65°C), to produce a pure, clear and dense vapor blanket. PCBs are low- ered into the boiling cleaning fluid in the boil sump to heat, loosen and remove much of the contamination. They then move to the rinse sump where any final trace of contamination is rinsed away. Finally, the PCBs are raised up and held inside the vapor blanket, allow- ing the parts to dry and cool. The entire process takes approximately 8 to 15 minutes per batch. Because modern cleaning fluid has a low

surface tension, it can permeate the entire board, including under and in between tight- ly spaced components to wash away oils, flux- es and residue. Through using a low-temper- ature fluid, the risk of damaging the PCBs is minimized. Since the cleaning fluid is ultra pure, it also leaves no residue behind, there- fore guaranteeing a perfectly clean board. The vapor blanket dries the PCBs

Circuit boards inside a vapor degreaser.

Alternatively, if the temperature is too high, it may cause surface damage to the board itself or the components by baking on any residual contam- inants left behind. An alternative cleaning and drying process

that removes these concerns is vapor degreasing. This method is an affordable, quick and convenient alternative to using drying ovens. The process uses cleaning fluid immersion, combined with vapor rinsing and vapor drying, to remove all types of contaminants, including fluxes, pastes, particu- lates, and residue. Cleaning and drying of PCBs is also achieved

through the use of nonflammable cleaning fluids in a special, engineered cleaning machine called a vapor


Highly Versatile Test and Cable Management System for Cables and Wire Harnesses Fault

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Socket L HD44 Male

SH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 16 17 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 M A T C H D A T A Z-AXIS CONTROLLER CABLE Print your company information here. Set up in Preferences / Print Options.

Socket R HD44 Female

SH 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 2 3 1-6-18 10:57 AM

extremely quickly. The vapor passes under the low-mounted components so that the PCBs come out of the vapor degreaser com-

pletely dry, cool enough to handle and immediate- ly ready for packaging or the next phase of manu- facturing.

Eliminate Moisture at all Stages It is not just the cleaning and drying phase

where moisture is a potential threat to a PCB. PCBs can pull moisture out of the air at any stage in the manufacturing process, so it is important to keep them dry. Using climate control in a facility or designating an area for “dry” PCB storage away from other manufacturing operations, may help prevent this problem. Properly handling PCBs during pre- and

Continued on next page


L-SH L-1 L-2

-L-3 L-4 L-6 L-7 L-8 L-9

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