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There are ever increasing demands from the consumer to make things smaller and more convenient. As a result, electronic devices are becoming smaller with more densely populated printed circuit board (PCBs) assemblies. While this is largely positive in terms of technological advancement and usability, it does create some practical complications, especially when considering the PCB cleaning process.

Particular issues include lower component stand-off making access to the flux residues more difficult, rinsing of the remaining residues and chemistry, and the typical use of ‘no-clean’ soldering materials which are not designed to be removed in the first place. Trapped cleaning chemicals and partially dissolved flux residues can lead to assembly defects. High reflow temperatures and overheating can also cause hard-to-remove oxidised residue, and the overall variety of contaminants can make cleaning more complex.

In many cases, traditional cleaning methods are not sufficient to achieve the expected standard of cleanliness, so it is critical that considerations are made to accommodate new PCB structures and designs and most importantly consideration is given to the compatibility of the contaminant and what you use to remove it.

Next generation cleaning products 

The latest generation PCB cleaners that break down tough soils without leaving residue are the most efficient choice to target tighter spaces. Superior cleaning also ensures stronger, more active fluxes can be used, resulting in better solder joints and a wider process window for manufacturing. The latest range of cleaning products are rising to the challenge and changing the game – delivering processes that offer better cleaning, consistency, speed and value.

KlensTek® cleaning products, developed by Fraser Technologies, deliver superior, environmentally friendly electronics cleaning solutions for a wide range of requirements and applications. These chemistries offer outstanding cleaning power that is gentle on components; non-flammable in ambient air temperatures and pressure conditions; and are environmentally friendly.

The KlensTek® Cleaner and Flux Remover aerosol features an attachable brush and ergonomic can design for effective, economic use and is compatible with a broad range of metals, plastics and elastomers. It is versatile enough to work with almost any defluxing application, including lead-free fluxes. It has a safe exposure limit of 201 ppm, which is comparable to everyday rubbing alcohol, and is a safe alternative to flammable materials such as IPA and flammable aerosols, some of which are being phased out for health and environmental reasons.

The KlensTek® SMT cleaner/defluxer is a highly effective, multi-use aqueous cleaning detergent formulated to meet today’s exacting standards for both PCB and stencil cleaning. Dilutable to concentrations as low as 10%, SMT can help significantly reduce electronics cleaning process costs. Rigorously tested on the most widely used solder paste and flux chemistries, SMT is proven to achieve excellent, residue-free cleaning results with PCB assemblies, including those with densely placed, low-standoff components.

One-stop shop 

Fraser Technologies also offer and recommend the Koki soldering range of products, which complement the KlensTek® cleaning chemistry range to offer a one-stop shop for all electronics component needs.

Koki is globally well known for manufacturing exceptionally high quality, reliable products and has over 50 years of experience behind them. Koki lead the field with innovative products to keep up with the rapid changes in technology.

Koki offer the full range of PCB assembly materials, leaded and unleaded solder pastes, solder wires, liquid fluxes for both wave and selective soldering, tack fluxes for repair and rework and SMT adhesives.

Once the PCB is assembled, the KlensTek® cleaning range can then be used to remove the flux residues and contamination before going on to the next step in the assembly process, coating, potting and box-build.

Fraser Technologies has been supplying electronics cleaning solutions for over 50 years and is a trusted partner. The company has achieved such expertise in the field, it developed its own chemistries in order to provide the best possible outcomes for customers.

With an extensive range of products, Fraser Technologies work with their customers to identify the best solution for nearly every cleaning application imaginable.

For more information, visit frasertech.co.uk/soldering-and-cleaning/.

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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