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Are eutectic solder & lead-free solder mutually exclusive?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Got to looking at the mix labels on eutectic solder this morning & found them reading SN63/PB37.
    However, when I looked at lead-free solder it has SN100.

    So the question is, does eutectic solder require Lead?
  2. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    In general terms, no; eutectic phase behavior is observed for a number of metallic systems.

    Here is a link showing the Pb-Sn phase diagram and referencing a couple of other eutectic solders.
    Eutectic Solder - Solder Paste, Solder Flux - FCT Solder

    Eutectic phase behavior is actually quite common. The general effect is to reduce the melting point relative to the two pure components. IIRC, the Ga-Al eutectic is actually below room temperature. So, one has to be a little careful bringing those two metals in contact with each other. Though pure Ga is quite scarce and most of us will never see it.
    AudioTaper and Killed_by_Death like this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Hmm, so lead-free solder has Silver in it?


    AudioTaper likes this.
  4. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Unless if I'm working with lead based solder hours on end everyday, what is the problem with it? Lead is everywhere. We had in our gasoline for many decades. It's in the soil, water and air. The copper pipes in houses have lead sweat joints.

    A few little solder joints here and there on an electric instrument is not gonna hurt us. Lead has a low temp melting point.

    Lead makes great bullets too.

    Everyday, we are exposed to poisonous chemicals equal to or worse than lead.

    Is lead solder a problem?
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    It was also entirely too cold for Global Warming to be real last Winter. Are you seriously not aware of the dangers of Lead?
    Get informed is my advice!

    Where I've worked I've seen Lead & Mercury make people ill, & it's not pretty.
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i agree with you both! :thumbsup:
  7. Look up RoHS. The use of lead in electronic equipment is a real problem, exposing manufacturing employees AND their customers to accumulative long-term effects.
    MattZilla likes this.
  8. Blaargh


    Apr 4, 2016
    If you work in a lead solder factory, or a lead mine, then yes, lead exposure may well be an issue.
    Dominic DeCosa and MattZilla like this.
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yes, lead solder is a problem. Lead is a problem. Get real, the stuff is poison. The fact that we are indeed exposed to worse crap is no excuse for lead exposure.
    miljoneir likes this.
  10. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I've also been led to believe (pun intended) that smoking causes lung cancer.
    and we landed on Mars
    MattZilla likes this.
  11. AudioTaper

    AudioTaper Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    No, it doesnt.
    Ther may be older homes with lead pipes, but anything built since 1986 will have copper pipes and lead free solder.
  12. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    No, soldering a few wires with lead solder won't kill you, but why do it if you don't have to?
    MattZilla and mcnach like this.
  13. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles

    Just kidding; I love these discussions.
    bassdude51 likes this.
  14. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I'm reminded of a co-worker of mine that would go out for a smoke-break every hour & then complain incessantly about his cough.

    Then there was the guy who was cutting up Lead-contaminated piping who got so ill he spent a few days recovering.
    He looked like he was going to drop dead.
  15. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    The primary worry is breathing lead fumes which can only happen above 450 c.
    So unless you’re eating it or bathing in melted lead solder there really isn’t anything to be concerned about.

    Of course, why do it if you don’t have to? Tin works great.
  16. MF-Winzlow


    Mar 1, 2019
    Cntrl FL
    All the doom and gloom aside, I have spent the better part of 25 years working (manufacture and repair) with both leaded and RoHS compliant solder. Lead-free solder is a pain to work with and is much more difficult to produce a "reliable" solder joint.
  17. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    RoHS compliance is a big deal. I was working at a plant in Lamphun (Lumpoon) Thailand where they had to go through it.
    Part of that was obviously figuring out how to get the lead-free solder to work on the same components & joints.
    AudioTaper likes this.
  18. MF-Winzlow


    Mar 1, 2019
    Cntrl FL
    Yup - been there (not Thailand - ours are in China, Malaysia and Europe)... you end up with a separate production / repair lines...specifically trained staff...and cross-contamination never ever happens :thumbsup:
    AudioTaper likes this.
  19. AudioTaper

    AudioTaper Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    Same here, 20 years experience soldering electronic components - 6 of which I've held an IPC certification. The lead free variety is harder to use, and much harder to rework. I keep the liquid flux bottle handy whenever I need to rework something. (Kester 197 which is thoroughly cleaned with isopropyl)
  20. AudioTaper

    AudioTaper Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2018
    There is vaporized lead in the smoke that is produced by the flux. It's best to have an active charcoal filter or some other means of sucking the smoke away from the operator and capturing the particles. You can get a nice setup for less than $50 nowadays
    Haroldo, Skammie and nbsipics like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 12, 2021

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