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If you need to turn off your processes for a prolonged period, the following points should be considered: 

Soldering equipment with an open flux application (foaming)

Where your equipment has an open fluxing unit it will need to be completely drained and the tank/pipework flushed through with IPA or flux thinners. If left in the tank the alcohol will evaporate off leaving an ever-thickening flux and potentially blocking pipework and pumps (if fitted).

Flux drained out can be returned to the original container (usually attached to the tank for top-up) but the general rule is to dispose of this as waste.

Soldering equipment with a sealed flux application (spraying)

Spray fluxing is the more common application method and used for wave and selective soldering processes. The flux supply container should be removed and resealed and the system will need a thorough flushing through with IPA or flux thinners. Many selective soldering fluxes are water based but IPA remains the most effective method to clean out the pipework and nozzle etc.

Already opened flux containers

Most flux containers once opened have a 3-month shelf-life (please check with your manufacturer). The container should be sealed and stored in a cool environment where it is not subject to extremes of temperature or light (direct sunlight). It is very helpful to ensure you identify when the container was opened, simply indicate a date when first introduced to the shop floor.

Unopened flux containers

New sealed containers typically have a 1-year shelf-life if stored according to the manufacturer’s instruction, cool room, no temperature extremes and out of direct sunlight

Expired shelf-life on your return

If when you return to production, if you find that the container has exceeded the shelf-life recommendations (typically 1 year for unopened or 3 months for opened) then ideally the flux should be disposed of as waste.

There can be some obvious indications that the flux is too old such as discolouration, particles floating at the bottom of the container or indeed that the soldering results are not as good as they should be.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to help during these unprecedented times.

Thank You

Fraser Technologies are proud to have supported the cleaning industry for last 50 years, working closely with their customers to understand their challenges and their expertise to offer best-in-class cleaning solutions. From component cleaning, electronics soldering, and heat transfer & carrier fluids they have built their expertise over the last 50 years and still continue to offer technological advances, adapt to legislative changes and embrace environmental challenges.

Fraser Technologies are well known for being considered one of the leaders within the Precision Cleaning industry and offer a wide range of new generation chemistries coupled with both solvent and aqueous cleaning systems. They can help extend the life of existing processes and equipment, recommend and install new equipment, or look at how best to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact. This is all achieved through their superior trial and demonstration facilities and first class after sales service.

Companies from the aerospace & defence, electronics, medical, optics and automotive industries have chosen to work with them because of their expert knowledge in their industries, their independent range of products, and their can-do tried and tested approach to ensuring they provide access to the latest technologies – improving performance, productivity, environmental performance and operator safety.

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