When cleaning assemblies (PCB cleaning, PCBA cleaning), the primary goal is to remove resin and flux residues from populated boards and hybrids as well as production related residues created by handling.
Even though in many low-end production processes the use of "no-clean" works well, high-end assemblies that will be employed in industries such as automotive, telecommunications, military, and aerospace, require the use of a specific PCB cleaning agent.
The targeted use of a PCB cleaning agent substantially affects all subsequent process steps such as wire bonding and conformal coating since it primarily removes the resin and activator residues. If left on the assemblies, residues can cause the improper adhesion of bonds which can lead to failures such as heel cracks or lift-offs. During the coating process, remaining residues can result in poor wettability and the delamination of the conformal coating which is known to cause assembly failures, i.e. in-field failures.
There is an increased risk when using lead-free solder pastes as they contain more resins as well as aggressive activator systems.
When employing modern PCB cleaning agents, these problems can be avoided as they are able to remove most current flux residues. ZESTRON’s cleaning agents can be used in aqueous as well as semi-aqueous and water-free cleaning processes.
For cleaning lead-free as well as leaded assemblies, various cleaning machines and process types are available.