The higher flux percentage and finer solder powder of jet printing versus screen printing proves challenging but not impossible to clean effectively — choose the right combination of cleaning agent and process to ensure reliability of jet printed designs.
Solder paste jetting offers the flexibility of precision solder paste deposition on boards with adjacent miniature and large-size components. Employing the mechanism of single dot solder paste jet printing, flexible design deposition patterns are possible without requiring step stencils for more complicated 3D cavity printing. However, jetting requires a much finer solder powder and paste with a higher flux percentage than that of screen printing, presenting several challenges and potential reliability risks to manufacturers.
With this is mind, ZESTRON engineers studied various cleaning agents and methods that are used in printing applications. The testing included:
- 5 commonly used jettable, No Clean solder pastes
- 7 aqueous-based engineered cleaning agents
- Spray-in-air cleaning process including batch and inline
When it comes to cleaning – what worked for screen printing may not be what works for jet printing. Vetting cleaning agents prior to production implementation is absolutely critical in understanding the behavior between jet printed solder paste and cleaning agent.
Additionally, we studied both the challenges and successes of jet print cleaning
in two real-world case studies. See what worked for: