The Advantages of Using Dry Tip Cleaners

by Andy on July 29, 2008

Oxidized TipsCleaning soldering tips is just one easy way to extend the life of your tips. For sometime now, the preferred cleaning method has been to rub the soldering tip on a damp sponge after each use. Many people still use this method, but because of the introduction of lead-free solders, more and more people are switching to dry tip cleaning systems.

First off, lead-free solders contain fluxes that are more active than the fluxes in leaded solders. The active fluxes can significantly shorten the life of a soldering tip by causing oxidation and corrosion. Using a wet sponge can shorten the life span of a soldering tip even more by thermally shocking the tip, barrel and heater (This can be seen in the photo above).

Of course Weller has developed two dry tip cleaners.  Yes, they aren’t a new release for Weller but they are worth pointing out.

wdc.jpg

WDC: stand alone dry tip cleaning system.

wdc2.jpg

WDC2: dry cleaner that fits into WDH10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 stands

*The new WD1002T soldering station even comes with the WDC2

 

Advantages of using both the WDC and the WDC2:

  • Gently cleans soldering tips with special metal wool ball
  • The cleaners will remove oxidation but leave a thin layer of tinning on the tip to prevent fast oxidation of the iron layer
  • Because this is a dry tip cleaner, the tip will remain the same temperature during the cleaning process, avoiding thermal shock
  • Using either cleaner will prolong the wettability of the tip when using water soluble flux
  • The WDC is ESD-safe

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