Technical Articles Archives

Latex Gloves – Are You Allergic?

Many industrial manufacturing environments require workers to wear protective gloves, including during electronics and medical device production and assembly. Latex gloves not only protect workers from harmful chemicals but also protect products from worker contact and contamination during manufacturing Read more

ST 925 SMT Rework System–Three favorites combined into one nice savings

Save a few steps--and some money--with the Pace 925 SMT Rework System Pace has introduced a new low-cost “combination” system ideal for surface mount technology (SMT) rework. It’s worth adding up the savings by comparing the a la carte prices Read more

Metcal’s CV-5200 Connection Validation Soldering Station Changes Everything

You may or may not have heard about Metcal’s new soldering station, the CV-5200. The evolutionary tool removes much of the reliance on visual inspection of hand-soldered joints and adds a second, more technology-driven method for validating a successful Read more

Types of Pliers – Jaw Type

Posted on by Andy in Technical Articles Leave a comment

S331 Serrated Jaw PlierWhen looking at pliers you may see a number of different types of tips. Each of these tips has varying benefits, making them suited for different situations. The three main types of tips are smooth, serrated, and knurled.

Smooth jawed pliers have the lowest amount of grip, but work well when working with sensitive products. Because the jaws are smooth they will leave less of a mark when grabbing products that may be easily marred.

If you need better grip then you should get serrated jaw pliers. Serrations help to keep a grip on your products, letting you safely handle small parts. If you need even more grip you can use knurled pliers, which feature a diamond shaped pattern of grooves.

Do you have any more questions on plier jaw types? Leave a comment below or call Customer Service at (800) 537-0351 today!

Types of Cleaners: Aerosol Sprays

Posted on by Andy in Cleaners and Aerosols, Technical Articles Leave a comment

Techspray 1671-10S Aerosol DusterToday and next Monday we will be highlighting some of our cleaning chemicals at, as well as their common uses. This week we are focusing on aerosol sprays, and next we will go into general liquid cleaning chemicals.

Aerosol Dusters

Widely used in both production facilities and homes, aerosol dusters are used for removing large particles from products. The main difference between various dusters is the strength of the spray and the purity of the air.

Typically the strength of the spray is determined by the size of the nozzle opening. If you want more pressure then go for a smaller opening, but if you need to cover a large area then you will want a larger opening.

For some sensitive parts the purity of the air may be a concern. For instance, the Techspray 1671-10 Ultra Pure duster uses a moisture free inert gas to remove particles without any harmful solvents. As always, contact the manufacturer of the aerosol if you have specific questions as to which type of duster is correct for your application.

Contact Cleaners

Contact cleaners are very similar to aerosol dusters, but they include a cleaning agent that typically evaporates after use. When comparing contact cleaners you should look at compatible materials and whether or not they leave a residue.

In general, contact cleaners are used to remove oxidation, corrosion, dirt, and grease on metal surfaces. If you are working with other materials like plastics then you should check your cleaner’s specifications to ensure that it will not harm your product. If your components are especially sensitive, or if you need to have a clear surface after cleaning, then be sure to use a contact cleaner that does not leave a residue behind.

Flux Removers

Flux removers are used exactly how you would think, to remove fluxes from products after soldering. The main thing to look for in flux removers is what flux it can actually remove. Because there are many types of fluxes, each with different residues that are left behind, you need to check the flux remover’s compatibility with your project.

Have any questions on aerosol cleaners? Leave a comment below or call Customer Service at (800) 537-0351 today!

How Do Ionizers Work?

Posted on by Andy in Technical Articles Leave a comment

Benchtop IonizerWhen looking for equipment to keep your workplace ESD-safe you may come across air ionizers. Typically ionizers are used to ground insulated materials, as they cannot be grounded by attaching a cord like conductive or static-dissipative objects. In order to use ionizers correctly it helps to understand exactly how they work; so today we will be going over some basics of ionization.

What Do Ionizers Do?

The function of an air ionizer is to provide a way to neutralize a charge on an insulated object. This is achieved by using a device to create positive and negative ions, and then distributing these ions across the insulated object.

Air ionizers include a way to create ions (both positive and negative molecules) and a way to distribute those ions (usually through the use of a fan). When the ions blow over your workspace the negative ones will attract to any positive charges and the positive ones will attract to any negative charges. Once they bind to the charges your insulated object will be neutralized.

How Do Ionizers Make Ions?

There are three main ways that ionizers make ions. The two that are used the least in normal production are nuclear and photon ionizations. Typical work areas will not use these types, as nuclear ionizers use radioactive materials and are subject to government regulations, and photon ionizers use x-rays and are regulated by the FDA. The most common type of ionizer for normal production facilities are corona ionizers.

Corona ionizers create ions by applying a high voltage to the very tip of a sharp point. This creates a high electrostatic field, which interacts with electrons in the gasses around it. The electrostatic field then attracts and repels various electrons, creating ions in the gas molecules around it. The electrostatic field can then move the ions over the work area, but often corona ionizers also have a fan to make them spread further and more evenly.

How Do I Use an Ionizer?

The best bet to make sure you use your ionizer correctly is to consult the user manual or manufacturer. However, there are a few things to keep in mind for most ionizers to make them work to their full potential.

  • Make sure that your ionizer is able to cover your work area. Check that the coverage area is large enough, as any area outside of that coverage will not be reliably neutralized.
  • Ensure there is no interference from other fans or vents. If you have a cross breeze then that may affect the coverage area, or make your ionizer less effective.
  • If the ionizer has a fan, make sure the environment is right for your worker. If your workplace tends to be cold then you can get ionizers with built in heaters to help operator comfort and increase productivity.
  • Check the decay time of the ionizer for extra sensitive parts. If you need charges to be neutralized in a certain amount of time then you can find ionizers with low decay times.

Do you have any more questions on ionizers? Leave a comment below, or visit our site for information and specifications on different types of ionizers!

Types of Epoxy: Fast Setting, Dispensers, and Mix Nozzles

Posted on by Andy in Technical Articles Leave a comment

14280 Epoxy DispenserFast Setting Epoxy

Many epoxies can take a long time to cure, giving you plenty of opportunity to work with your products and make sure they are perfectly situated. However, sometimes you just need to get your epoxy applied and dried as fast as possible. In this case you want to use fast setting epoxies, which have a cure time of as low as one minute. These allow you to quickly join your parts, speeding up your production process.

Epoxy Dispensers

If you need your epoxy mixture to be exact, then epoxy dispensers can help provide consistency. Dispensers are typically made with two plungers attached to a single trigger so you can push the epoxy out of each epoxy tube.

Epoxy Mix Nozzles

Another common accessory to go along with a dispenser is the mix nozzle. This is used to automatically mix the two parts of the epoxy by forcing them to both go through the same tube to the application point. Mix tubes also allow for application right out of the tube, streamlining your adhesion process.

Have any more questions on epoxies? Leave a comment below, or call Customer Service at (800) 537-0351!

Types of Threadlockers

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Liquid Threadlocker

This is your normal threadlocker, used for general purposes. There are a wide variety of liquid threadlockers in low, medium, and high strengths. This allows for a great versatility, whether you need to just prevent movement from vibration or a permanently affix a bolt to a hole.

Gel Threadlocker

Gels are used when you need to close a larger gap between the screw and the threads. This is especially helpful for larger screws, as it provides an even stronger bond than normal liquid threadlockers. It also helps prevent the dripping and mess associated with liquid threadlockers.

Stick Threadlocker

If you have a bolt that cannot have any liquid dripping off of it then a stick threadlocker may be best suited for your need. The stick threadlocker has the consistency of a wax-like semi-solid that is packaged like a traditional glue stick.

Tape Threadlocker

Tape threadlockers are another non-liquid alternative, and they provide a great bond in an easy to use substance. One extra benefit to tape threadlockers is that they only cure when confined between close fitting metal surfaces in the absence of air. This means you can apply them to your screws days before they are assembled, to streamline your assembly process.

Have any more questions on threadlockers? Leave a comment below or visit our website at!

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