Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Volatile Organic Compounds & Evolving Regulations – Guest Blog

by Steve Allen, VP Marketing and Innovation, ACL Staticide

Steve Allen, our guest blogger from ACL, this time focuses on the topic of VOCs and aerosol cleaners

An important topic today with end-use customers using aerosol cleaners, is the changing regulations regarding the VOC content and compliance of solvent-based products. Many customers are perplexed as to why manufacturers and suppliers don't already have this information on their product MSDS (GHS safety data sheets) and tech data sheets. At one time, the weight percent of all non-exempt chemicals in most products was listed on each product MSDS, but this information has been removed for several reasons. And, as most everyone knows, the regs are changing all the time.

There is an evolving Federal list of exempt chemicals along with many state and municipal lists of currently exempt chemicals. In some instances, these lists do not always agree. Additionally, there exists at least three EPA-approved ways to calculate VOC content. And, each method can yield different values for the same product. The choice of a particular calculation method can depend on the customer's location and the air quality regulations for their particular region.

It's important to review what a VOC is and why it's important. VOC stands for "volatile organic compound." These are chemicals whose vapors have been found to chemically react with nitrogen oxides (NOx, which are produced by auto exhaust, the burning of fossil fuels for power generation, and other industrial processes) in the air and in the presence of sunlight to produce ground-level ozone or "smog". The ability of certain chemical vapors to produce smog when sunlight makes them react with nitrogen oxides is referred to as photochemical reactivity. The direct emission of these vapors into the air defines the scope with which the EPA is most concerned. Thus, chemicals whose vapors are not photochemically reactive to form smog are considered exempt and are not included in the process of determining the amount of VOC ingredients in a particular product.

The federal EPA publishes a list of exempt chemicals and many states also publish their own list. A chemical that is listed as exempt on the EPA list may not appear on the individual state or municipality listings. A basic Internet search for methods of calculating VOC will generate literally 1000s of information sources and reference sites. VOC test results are used for a variety of purposes. These are predominantly for emissions fees, new source review applicability, and compliance with permit limits.

Most VOC and air quality/emissions permits do not specify VOC test methodology for purposes of demonstrating compliance with VOC limits. Currently, there are inconsistencies and a lack of guidance among states and EPA regions in implementation of VOC test methodology. It is technically difficult to specify any one single method for VOC measurement. This is why it is difficult to specify a simple value for the VOC content of most cleaning products. Without specific knowledge of the area of the country in which the customer is located, the EPA region under whose regulations they operate, if they are operating under a Federal NESHAP, the existence of state and local emission regulations, and the specific application or way in which the product will be used, it is difficult-to-impossible to list accurate and specific VOC information on a product MSDS.

Many states do not recognize all of the chemicals on the EPA lists as being exempt. Formal exemption of a chemical from VOC consideration may depend on how it is being used. California is generally the most extreme case and most industry there is moving toward water-based cleaning.

So, why are VOC determinations mission-critical today? Traditionally, VOCs have been used for conformal coating and various contact cleaning and flux removal applications. The properties of a conformal coating stem from the selected base resin and the various additives, while the solvents used in most cleaners come from an aromatic or aliphatic hydrocarbon base. These are included to optimize the performance of the cured coating or the formulated cleaner. Organic solvents are used to dissolve the base resin and reduce viscosity to bring the coating within a workable range. As such, the conformal coating dries by a simple solvent evaporation. Contact cleaners and flux removers function in the same manner.

Solvent-based conformal coatings are extremely versatile and can be applied in many ways, such as dipping, spraying, and brushing. By simply adjusting the solvent level, the viscosity of the coating can be tailored to the required application method. Solvents or VOCs are used for many different cleaning applications during PCB manufacture. Until recently, there has been a reluctance to change to alternative products for a number of reasons:
  • Change required alterations to production procedures and equipment
  • Solvent-based materials were very well established
  • Alternatives did not have all the answers
  • VOC limits on solvents were changing as were test methods
Cleaning is an essential process required at different stages in PCB manufacturing. The purpose of cleaning is to ensure good surface resistance and prevent current leakages which lead to PCB failure. Future markets see electronics getting smaller and smaller, and the requirement for high performance and reliability is stronger than ever.

Many manufacturers are turning to "no-clean" processes implying that cleaning is not required after soldering. In the "no-clean" process, rosin and activator are not removed prior to the next process such as coating or encapsulating of the PCB. Such residues, along with any other unwanted elements collected due to the missing cleaning stage, could cause issues with adhesion and possibly affect the performance of the protecting media applied. It can therefore be stated that even with advances in new technologies, such as "no-clean" fluxes, cleaning is still an essential multi-stage process within the electronics industry. Finally, there are also cleaning stages required for the removal of coatings and adhesives when re-work is necessary and for the cleaning of actual components and for maintenance of the production line.

Volatile organic compounds in cleaning and coating chemistries will continue to be a point of concern at the end-user level. Low VOC alternatives are available as are water-based options. Every manufacturer must maintain awareness of changing VOC regs and formulate products which are in the best interest of the environment, the industry, and most importantly, the end-use customer. ACL Staticide is committed to this effort as we develop and commercialize industry responsible and compliant new products.

Q Source would like to, once again, thank our guest blogger, Steve Allen. We appreciate your contributions to The Q Source Resource and look forward to sharing your future articles, as well.

For information about ACL Staticide products, please visit the ACL Staticide Department at QSource.com. You may also contact us via email or phone at 800-966-6020.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about ACL Staticide products or about cleaning printed circuit boards and electronic equipment please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Steve Allen’s Previous Guest Blogs

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You Have One Day Left to Outfit Your Workbench: Weller’s FREE Accessory Promo Ends Tomorrow

Weller’s awesome “Outfit Your Workbench” promo expires tomorrow (April 30, 2014). Don’t miss your chance to get a FREE high-quality, compatible accessory when you purchase an eligible Weller Soldering, Desoldering, or Rework Station. Qualifying stations (and the compatible accessories) include:
  • Weller WD Series (WP65SET, WP80SET, WTA50SET)
  • Weller WDM Series (WP120SET, WP65SET, WP80SET, WTA50SET, WSP150SET, WMRPMSSET, WMRPSET, WMRTMSSET, WMRTSET)
  • Weller WXD Series (WXMPMSSET, WXMTMSSET, WXP120SET, WXP200SET, WXP65SET, WXDP120SET, WXDV120SET)
  • Weller WR2 Series (WP120SET, WP65SET, WP80SET, WTA50SET, WSP150SET, DXV80SET, HAP1SET)
  • Weller WX Series (WXMPMSSET, WXMTMSSET, WXP120SET, WXP200SET, WXP65SET)
  • Weller WR3M Series (WP120SET, WP65SET, WP80SET, WTA50SET, WSP150SET, DXV80SET, HAP1SET, HAP200SET, WMRPMSSET, WMRPSET, WMRTMSSET, WMRTSET)
  • Weller Fume Extraction & Zero Smog Systems (0053657199, 0053657299, 0058762770)

There are three steps to getting your FREE accessory: Purchase your Weller station at QSource.com (by tomorrow--the invoice must be dated between Feb. 3 and April 30, 2014), download the redemption form (indicate on the form one accessory for each station purchased), and email or fax your completed form to Weller-NA@Weller-Tools.com or 919.387.2639 (WITH a copy of your distributor sales invoice). Redemptions must be postmarked within 30 days of the distributor invoice date.

For questions and additional information please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email. You can also refer to our previous “Outfit Your Workbench” blog article for further details.



If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about anything on The Q Source Resource or QSource.com please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Social Rewind for April 28, 2014

Are you subscribed to multiple social media networks like we are? Do you find it difficult it to keep up with all of the updates from the people you follow? Do you feel like you’re missing a lot of good information?

“The Social Rewind,” is a weekly blog digest of what we thought were the most interesting, funny, or informational social media posts of the previous week. Q Source follows some really fascinating companies and individuals on Twitter, Facebook & Google+ and we want to share the best of what they have to say.

Leading off this week, Elkay Plastics shared a post that had us asking ourselves would being shamed on Twitter by a vending machine really stop us from enjoying some delicious, but bad for us snacks:

Transforming Technologies tweeted this post linking to their latest blog, “How to Install an ESD Workstation”:


It’s really cool when technology can combine with Mother Nature for something positive and Zebra Technologies’ post about a company using RFID to protect Hawaiian forests speaks to that idea:




Mislabeled specimens in clinical lab settings can lead to deadly consequences, Brady’s shared post suggests ways of fixing that problem:




Are we close to sci-fi-like invisibility cloaks? TE Connectivity shared this post that looks at the research that makes fiction a reality:



And we close out this week’s column with a post previewing an upcoming Guest Blog by Melinda Bohlmann of Bevco:



There you have it…another quick look at a few of last week’s most interesting social media posts. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Social Rewind. We’d love it if you shared other interesting blog posts with us. Keep on reading! We’re look forward to continuing The Social Rewind through 2014. This is an exciting year for us as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. Keep your eyes open for new features, promotions, interviews, and more. See you next week!

If there's topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share our blog posts with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about Q Source or The Q Source Resource please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source news, product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Excelta's TM-500 IntelliTweeze R-C-L Meter is Just $334.00 w/FPF042514

Save 12% off the MSRP on the Excelta TM-500 IntelliTweeze® R-C-L Meter (MFG Part Number: TM-500) when you use our FPF042514 Coupon Code. This Featured Product Friday (FPF) promo is valid from today, April 25, 2014 through Sunday, April 27, 2014.

This Excelta IntelliTweeze (Q Source SKU: E003-000985) is a lightweight tool for measuring resistance, capacitance, inductance, voltage, continuity, and polarity quickly and easily. Regularly listed at $379.00, but with our FPF code savings you’ll get it for just $334.00 (a savings of $45.00). While this is a 3-day limited-time price, the coupon is unlimited. Use the code as many times as you like while it is valid—and please feel free to share the code with your friends & colleagues, too. Please note: This promo is valid only at QSource.com.

Each week, we’ll promote our FPF selection on The Q Source Resource, via our email newsletter, and all over our social media accounts. We encourage our valued customers to read those resources and to visit QSource.com on a regular basis for the latest FPF offers (look out for our FPF logo). Please tell your friends & colleagues about Featured Product Friday.

For further questions about Featured Product Friday, please visit our Web site, call us (800-966-6020), or send us an email.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

3M Receives EPA ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award for Record 10th Year in a Row

In an Earth Day announcement, 3M revealed yesterday that they have earned a privilege that no other industrial company in the world has attained. For the 10th year in a row, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented 3M with the EPA ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award.

Recognizing the importance of energy efficiency and environmental concerns as a strategy for corporate social responsibility, 3M stated that they've worked the past 10 years (and longer) to improve their processes, raw materials, and efficient methods for resource savings. Among 3M's sustainable products are 3M Novec Engineered Fluids, 3M Window Films, and 3M LED Advanced Lighting.

The EPA recognized 3M for a number of efforts including:

  • Implementation of 252 projects, which resulted in savings of $8.79 million and 61,700 metric tons of CO2
  • Development of a strategic initiative to identify and implement projects to make step-change improvements in greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency
  • Formation of Centers of Excellence to integrate all aspects of sustainability into business strategies company-wide
  • Enacting energy-saving innovations in diverse markets, and engaging communities globally in energy and sustainability dialogues
The Sustained Excellence achievement is the EPA's highest ENERGY STAR award. The EPA created ENERGY STAR in 1992 to stimulate corporate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 3M is the only company to ever receive the Sustained Excellence award ten years in a row.

In related news, 3M received the Xcel Energy 2013 Energy Efficiency Expo Award for saving nearly 1.8 million therms of gas. And in an effort to further solidify their commitment to corporate responsibility, 3M became a member of the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative that outlines 10 doctrines in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

Q Source has been an authorized distributor of 3M products for more than a decade. We congratulate them on their recognition and continued sustainability efforts.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about anything on The Q Source Resource or QSource.com please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

RELATED ARTICLES


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brady BMP41 Label Printer on Flickr

The Brady BMP41 Label Printer is a durable, portable printer for all your industrial labeling needs. The BMP41 features built-in templates, smart-cell technology, and the ability to print both continuous and die-cut labels. Check out this Flickr photo set to get a closer look at this durable and versatile portable printer.


Be sure to visit our Web site to learn more about the Brady BMP41 Label Printer.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Social Rewind for April 21, 2014

Are you subscribed to multiple social media networks like we are? Do you find it difficult it to keep up with all of the updates from the people you follow? Do you feel like you’re missing a lot of good information?
“The Social Rewind,” is a weekly blog digest of what we thought were the most interesting, funny, or informational social media posts of the previous week. Q Source follows some really fascinating companies and individuals on Twitter, Facebook & Google+ and we want to share the best of what they have to say.

Leading off this week, Loctite posted this handy cheat sheet to help you from getting stuck making the wrong adhesives choice:

Brady has a long history of educating about safety issues, but every once in a while you need a good laugh: Check out their post of some badly done & very funny safety videos:

Are humans having a bit of revenge in their battle with robot job stealers? Bishop-Wisecarver’s post looks at an instance of humans replacing robots:



They say that adults are just children with bigger toys. Laughing Squid’s post about a giant game of “Jenga” played by Caterpillar Excavators makes us believe it:



WB Engineering’s post reminds us that the shining potential of 3D printing also has a dark side:


And we close out this week’s column with our own post presenting some important specs regarding Q Source’s line of Anti-Static/Static-Shielding Bags:


There you have it…another quick look at a few of last week’s most interesting social media posts. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Social Rewind. We’d love it if you shared other interesting blog posts with us. Keep on reading! We’re look forward to continuing The Social Rewind through 2014. This is an exciting year for us as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. Keep your eyes open for new features, promotions, interviews, and more. See you next week!

If there's topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share our blog posts with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about Q Source or The Q Source Resource please leave us a message in the comments section.
For additional Q Source news, product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

ACL Staticide’s 3000G Staticide Concentrate Gallon is Just $385.00 w/FPF041814

Save 23% off the MSRP on the gallon size of ACL Staticide’s 3000G Staticide Concentrate (MFG Part Number: 3000G) when you use our FPF041814 Coupon Code. This Featured Product Friday (FPF) promo is valid from today, April 18, 2014 through Sunday, April 20, 2014.

This ACL Staticide 3000G Concentrate (Q Source SKU: A008-000008) is an easy-to-use, topical anti-static solution for use as a long-term static control. On a hard surface, one gallon of Staticide 3000G will cover several thousand square feet and last from weeks to months depending on the application.

Regularly listed at $500.00, but with our FPF code savings you’ll get it for just $385.00 (a savings of $115.00). While this is a 3-day limited-time price, the coupon is unlimited. Use the code as many times as you like while it is valid—and please feel free to share the code with your friends & colleagues, too. Please note: This promo is valid only at QSource.com.

Each week, we’ll promote our FPF selection on The Q Source Resource, via our email newsletter, and all over our social media accounts. We encourage our valued customers to read those resources and to visit QSource.com on a regular basis for the latest FPF offers (look out for our FPF logo). Please tell your friends & colleagues about Featured Product Friday.

For further questions about Featured Product Friday, please visit our Web site, call us (800-966-6020), or send us an email.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vision Engineering CamZ on Flickr

The Vision Engineering CamZ is a state-of-the-art, handheld, portable digital video inspection magnifier. The CamZ is the perfect tool for mobile inspection and documentation and allows the user to magnify, inspect, or capture images wherever and whenever they want. Check out this Flickr photo set to get a closer look at this very cool handheld digital magnifier.


Be sure to visit our Web site to learn more about the Vision Engineering CamZ.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Social Rewind for April 14, 2014

Are you subscribed to multiple social media networks like we are? Do you find it difficult it to keep up with all of the updates from the people you follow? Do you feel like you’re missing a lot of good information?

“The Social Rewind,” is a weekly blog digest of what we thought were the most interesting social media posts of the previous week. Q Source follows some really fascinating companies and individuals on Twitter, Facebook & Google+ and we want to share the best of what they have to say.

Leading off this week, Workrite Ergonomics shared this story that made us wonder about the relationship between office workers and inmates:


TE Connectivity’s series of Engineering Cheat Sheets come in very handy. This post focuses on Strength of Material:


Implanted electrical devices are changing people’s lives in a number of ways. Laboratory Equipment magazine’s post looks at their use with spinal cord injuries and paralysis:




Neil Armstrong’s one of the coolest nerdy engineers ever. In this post, Laughing Squid shares this animated video of Neil speaking to that subject:




WB Engineering’s post begs the question: Is a 3D-printed chocolate bust the ultimate selfie?:



And we close out this week’s column with our own post promoting another interesting guest blog by ACL Staticide’s Steve Allen: Why Clean "No Cleans?" Printed Circuit Board Flux Removal:



There you have it…another quick look at a few of last week’s most interesting social media posts. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Social Rewind. We’d love it if you shared other interesting blog posts with us. Keep on reading! We’re look forward to continuing The Social Rewind through 2014. This is an exciting year for us as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. Keep your eyes open for new features, promotions, interviews, and more. See you next week!

If there's topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share our blog posts with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about Q Source or The Q Source Resource please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source news, product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ergomat DuraStripe Black/White Hazard Striping Tape is Just $155.00 w/FPF041114

Save 22% off the MSRP on 2" x 200' rolls of the Ergomat DSH2200BW DuraStripe DSH2200 Black/White Hazard Striping Tape (MFG Part Number: DSH2200BW) when you use our FPF041114 Coupon Code. This Featured Product Friday (FPF) promo is valid from today, April 11, 2014 through Sunday, April 13, 2014.

This Ergomat DuraStripe Hazard Striping Tape (Q Source SKU: T023-000108) is a 100% smear- and scuff-resistant "caution" striping perfect for alerting workers to potential workplace danger areas. Regularly listed at $199.00, but with our FPF code savings you’ll get it for just $155.00 (a savings of $44.00). While this is a 3-day limited-time price, the coupon is unlimited. Use the code as many times as you like while it is valid—and please feel free to share the code with your friends & colleagues, too. Please note: This promo is valid only at QSource.com.

Each week, we’ll promote our FPF selection on The Q Source Resource, via our email newsletter, and all over our social media accounts. We encourage our valued customers to read those resources and to visit QSource.com on a regular basis for the latest FPF offers (look out for our FPF logo). Please tell your friends & colleagues about Featured Product Friday.

For further questions about Featured Product Friday, please visit our Web site, call us (800-966-6020), or send us an email.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weller's Outfit Your Workbench Promo: Buy a Station, Get an Accessory Free

We recently told you about our exclusive 30th Anniversary Partner Promo with Weller. You can also save even more on Weller products with their "Outfit Your Workbench" FREE accessory promo.

Running until April 30th, 2014, this promo offers a FREE Weller accessory with the purchase of eligible Weller Soldering, Desoldering, and Rework Stations (see below). All you have to do is buy a qualifying station(s), choose one accessory for each station purchased (you may mix and match by choosing a different accessory for each station), fill out all fields on the redemption form (downloadable mail-in redemption forms are available on the 30th Anniversary Partner Promo landing pages of each eligible station at QSource.com or by following the link), and email or fax the completed form WITH a copy of your distributor sales invoice (the invoice must be dated between Feb. 3 and April 30, 2014). Redemptions must be postmarked within 30 days of the distributor invoice date and emailed to: Weller-NA@Weller-Tools.com or faxed to: 919.387.2639.

ELIGIBLE SERIES OF STATIONS & COMPATIBLE ACCESSORIES

Weller WD Digital Soldering Stations Series Compatible Accessories
The Weller WP65SET WP65 Soldering Iron/Stand accessory

  • WP65SET ($214 value)
  • WP80SET ($163 value)
  • WTA50SET ($234 value)

Weller WDM Micro Digital Rework Stations Series Compatible Accessories

  • WP120SET ($287 value)
  • WP65SET ($214 value)
  • WP80SET ($163 value)
  • WTA50SET ($234 value)
  • WSP150SET ($258 value)
  • WMRPMSSET ($314 value)
  • WMRPSET ($290 value)
  • WMRTMSSET ($352 value)
  • WMRTSET ($354 value)

Weller WXD Dual Port High-Powered Digital Soldering & Desoldering Stations Series Compatible Accessories

  • WXMPMSSET ($249 value)
  • WXMTMSSET ($299 value)
  • WXP120SET ($269 value)
  • WXP200SET ($279 value)
  • WXP65SET ($259 value)
  • WXDP120SET ($400 value)
  • WXDV120SET ($350 value)

Weller WR2 Digital Rework Station Series Compatible Accessories

  • WP120SET ($287 value)
  • WP65SET ($214 value)
  • WP80SET ($163 value)
  • WTA50SET ($234 value)
  • WSP150SET ($258 value)
  • DXV80SET ($284 value)
  • HAP1SET ($316 value)

Weller WX Digital Soldering & Desoldering Stations Series Compatible Accessories

  • WXMPMSSET ($249 value)
  • WXMTMSSET ($299 value)
  • WXP120SET ($269 value)
  • WXP200SET ($279 value)
  • WXP65SET ($259 value)
The Weller WR3M Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station

Weller WR3M Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station Series Compatible Accessories

  • WP120SET ($287 value)
  • WP65SET ($214 value)
  • WP80SET ($163 value)
  • WTA50SET ($234 value)
  • WSP150SET ($258 value)
  • DXV80SET ($284 value)
  • HAP1SET ($316 value)
  • HAP200SET ($348 value)
  • WMRPMSSET ($314 value)
  • WMRPSET ($290 value)
  • WMRTMSSET ($352 value)
  • WMRTSET ($354 value)

Weller Fume Extraction & Zero Smog Systems Compatible Accessories

  • 0053657199 ($202 value)
  • 0053657299 ($202 value)
  • 0058762770 ($250 value)

Don't let this chance to save on Weller's latest soldering technology and accessories pass you by. Visit QSource.com today to make your purchase and download the Outfit Your Workbench redemption form. For questions and additional information please contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email.

If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about anything on The Q Source Resource or QSource.com please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

RELATED ARTICLES








Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why Clean "No Cleans?" Printed Circuit Board Flux Removal – Guest Blog

by Steve Allen, VP Marketing and Innovation, ACL Staticide

Steve Allen, our guest blogger from ACL, returns with this article about cleaning “no-clean” fluxes.

Today, nearly half of all printed circuit boards (PCBs) are assembled with no-clean solder paste. The development of no-clean solder paste was initiated to eliminate the need for further post-solder cleaning of circuit boards. Yet, many electronics assemblers are still struggling with the process of adequately and effectively removing no-clean flux materials.

No-clean fluxes are now the most popular fluxes to clean in electronics manufacturing. Most manufacturers have designed and dialed in their assembly lines to run no-clean paste. And, they only clean the boards they want to clean, not always the boards they perhaps need to clean. Additionally, the flux residues left behind by no-clean pastes are more difficult to remove from PCBs than other fluxes. Since they are formulated not to be cleaned, the residues from no-clean products can be left on the board in unwanted areas with detrimental effects on the PCB. That creates a cleaning challenge if you need to clean off a residue that was not designed to be removed.

No-clean flux and solder residue on the board depends on the amount of solids in the material, the type of gelling agents, and various activators in the flux. The fluxes in most of today's no-clean pastes contain up to 60% solids. The lower the total solids, the fewer residues on the board. No cleans, in theory, contain lower total solids so as not to need removal/cleaning. Following the reflow process, the flux leaves a small amount of residue around the various solder joints.

There are several reasons to remove no-clean flux residues from PCBs. Historically, no-clean fluxes were developed as tacky resins, which inherently coated and stuck to all surfaces. The residue would gradually build up on the test pins. Manufacturers began cleaning no-clean fluxes when problems emerged with in-circuit testing. The latest technologies of no cleans are improved and no longer tacky, but still can interfere with signal transmission in most instances.

Also, no-clean fluxes can inhibit proper adhesion of conformal coatings. No-clean flux residues can absorb moisture in process. In any further curing processes, the release of any moisture can cause the coating to be separated from the board and incomplete conformal adhesion can occur. This can allow corrosive materials, carbon dust build-up, or moisture to penetrate under the assembly and cause corrosion, signal transmission problems, and component failure.

Today, no-clean paste manufacturers are aware that end-users are cleaning no cleans from board surfaces. The type of flux chemistry chosen can have significant impact on the cleaning process. To effectively clean and remove no-clean solder pastes and no-clean flux residues, a polar solvent or a solution of water and saponifier is necessary. Most no-clean pastes require an organic saponifier for effective flux removal, but some can be cleaned with inorganic saponifiers. No-clean fluxes that contain halides leave the most residue and are easier to clean. However, halide-free no-clean fluxes produce less residue, yet are more difficult to remove. In general, no-clean fluxes can be extremely difficult to clean, particularly following any reflow processes, as they can be baked on and tough to remove.

It can be vitally important to resolve any issues with no-clean technologies and their subsequent cleaning challenges at the forefront of the device design process especially with high-reliability products such as avionics or medical devices. In applications where cleanliness is critical, it is important to consult cleaning experts like ACL for the most effective, board-safe cleaning technology.

Q Source would like to, once again, thank our guest blogger, Steve Allen. We appreciate your contributions to The Q Source Resource and look forward to sharing your future articles, as well.

For more information about ACL Staticide products and options for flux removal, please visit the ACL Staticide Department at QSource.com. You may also contact us via email or phone at 800-966-6020.


If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about ACL Staticide products or about cleaning printed circuit boards and electronic equipment please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Steve Allen’s Previous Guest Blog


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Social Rewind for April 8, 2014

Are you subscribed to multiple social media networks like we are? Do you find it difficult it to keep up with all of the updates from the people you follow? Do you feel like you’re missing a lot of good information?

“The Social Rewind,” is a weekly blog digest of what we thought were the most interesting social media posts of the previous week. Q Source follows some really fascinating companies and individuals on Twitter, Facebook & Google+ and we want to share the best of what they have to say.

Leading off this week, what is the future of time management and productivity…Workrite Ergonomics post says ROBOTS:


Weller posted this awesome vintage ad of Yankee great Mickey Mantle showing he could skillfully handle more than his baseball bat:


In another vintage photo post, we just couldn’t resist this post of the Excelta family working together:



Did you know there’s an old cold war nuclear missile silo under downtown Seattle? Check out this post shared by Laboratory Equipment magazine for the secret details:



Last Tuesday was April Fool’s Day and MAKE Magazine post these hilarious (depending on which side you’re on) April 1st pranks:



And we close out this week’s column with our own April Fool’s Day post…at least Q-Bot assured us it was just a joke:



There you have it…another quick look at a few of last week’s most interesting social media posts. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Social Rewind. We’d love it if you shared other interesting blog posts with us. Keep on reading! We’re look forward to continuing The Social Rewind through 2014. This is an exciting year for us as we celebrate our 30th anniversary. Keep your eyes open for new features, promotions, interviews, and more. See you next week!

If there's topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share our blog posts with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about Q Source or The Q Source Resource please leave us a message in the comments section.
For additional Q Source news, product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Steinel’s HL 1810 S 3-Stage Professional Heat Gun is Just $105.98 w/FPF040414

Save 30% off the MSRP on the Steinel (34820) HL 1810 S 3-Stage Professional 120V/60Hz Heat Gun (MFG Part Number: 34820) when you use our FPF040414 Coupon Code. This Featured Product Friday (FPF) promo is valid from today, April 4, 2014 through Sunday, April 6, 2014.

These Steinel HL 1810 S 3-Stage Professional Heat Gun (Q Source SKU: S047-000041) is a multi-purpose heat gun featuring two temperature settings and a cool air stage for convenient hand-held or bench work. The 34820 Heat Gun is perfect for shrink wrapping, activating adhesives, softening compounds, window tinting, bending plastics, and other applications requiring durability and even heat.

Regularly listed at $151.40, but with our FPF code savings you’ll get it for just $105.98 (a savings of $45.42). While this is a 3-day limited-time price, the coupon is unlimited. Use the code as many times as you like while it is valid—and please feel free to share the code with your friends & colleagues, too. Please note: This promo is valid only at QSource.com.

Each week, we’ll promote our FPF selection on The Q Source Resource, via our email newsletter, and all over our social media accounts. We encourage our valued customers to read those resources and to visit QSource.com on a regular basis for the latest FPF offers (look out for our FPF logo). Please tell your friends & colleagues about Featured Product Friday.

For further questions about Featured Product Friday, please visit our Web site, call us (800-966-6020), or send us an email.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Save 30% on Select Printers w/Brady's Save Now, Label More Event

We've always been among the first to tell you about Brady's top-quality label printers. Now we're excited to get to tell you about Brady's "Save Now, Label More" Event. Running through May 30, 2014, you can get 30% off the MSRP of six of Brady's most popular label printers.

If you've used Brady products, you know that they create long-lasting, professional-quality label and sign printing solutions for a variety of industries. Featuring automatic label set-up, pre-cut materials, hassle-free drop-in cartridges, and walk-up-and-print capabilities, Brady Label Printers enable easy creation of:
  • Wire & cable identification labels
  • Lab product identification labels
  • Pipe markers
  • Circuit board labels
  • Raised-panel labels
  • Facility & safety signage

To take advantage of Brady's "Save Now, Label More" Event, purchase one or more of the following eligible printers from QSource.com:

SAVE $270 ON THE BRADY BMP71 PORTABLE THERMAL LABEL PRINTER
The BMP®71 Portable Thermal Label Printer (Promo Part # BMP71-PROMO4) regularly $895.00 is on sale for $625.00. Top features include:
  • Prints labels up to 2" wide on 8- to 10-year outdoor vinyl
  • 400+ pre-cut and continuous labels – custom available, too
  • Full-color screen
  • Portable size and design
  • 300 DPI

Brady BBP31 Sign & Label Printer
SAVE $546 ON THE BRADY BBP31 SIGN & LABEL PRINTER
The BBP®31 Sign & Label Printer (Promo Part # BBP31-PROMO4) regularly $1795.00 is on sale for $1249.00. Top features include:
  • Prints labels up to 4" wide on 8- to 10-year outdoor vinyl and 12 other materials
  • Extremely simple to use – just walk up and print, anyone can do it
  • Material changeovers in just 20 seconds!
  • Operate as stand-alone printer or with PC connectivity

SAVE $405 ON THE BRADY BBP33 LABEL PRINTER
The BBP®33 Label Printer w/Auto-Cutter (Promo Part # BBP33-C-PROMO4) regularly $1350.00 is on sale for $945.00. Top features include:
  • Prints labels up to 4" wide on 8- to 10-year outdoor vinyl and 34 other materials
  • Material changeovers in just 20 seconds!
  • Automatic label setup with no calibration – prints on the first label!
  • Wire ID, Facility & Safety ID, and Product ID – all in one printer!
  • Operates as PC-connect printer only

SAVE $1055 ON THE BRADY GLOBALMARK2 INDUSTRIAL LABEL MAKER & $980 ON THE BRADY GLOBALMARK2 MULTICOLOR PRINTER
The GlobalMark®2 Industrial Label Maker (Promo Part # GMKCUT-PROMO4) regularly $3450.00 is on sale for $2395.00 and the Brady GlobalMark®2 MultiColor Printer (GMKCOL-PROMO4) regularly $2975.00 is on sale for $1995.00. Top features include:
  • Prints labels up to 4" wide on 8- to 10-year outdoor vinyl and 13 other materials
  • Prints multiple colors and cuts out shapes
  • Large touchscreen with LCD display
  • Large library of templates, graphics, and applications
  • Operates as stand-alone printer or with PC connectivity
  • 300 DPI
  • Brady BBP85 Label Printer

SAVE $1200 ON THE BRADY BBP85 SIGN & LABEL PRINTER
The BBP®85 Sign & Label Printer (Promo Part # BBP85-PROMO4) regularly $3995.00 is on sale for $2795.00. Top features include:
  • Prints labels up to 10" wide on 8- to 10-year outdoor vinyl and 4 other materials
  • Prints multiple colors on a single label
  • Quick and simple – no calibration setup and 20-second supply changeovers
  • Large, intuitive touchscreen
  • Operate as stand-alone printer or with PC connectivity
  • 300 DPI

To place an order for a "Save Now, Label More" eligible printer, please visit QSource.com. For questions, or additional information, contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email. Offer valid from March 1, 2014 to May 30, 2014.


If there's a product or topic you'd like to see The Q Source Resource write about please let us know. We'd also appreciate if you share this blog post with your friends and colleagues via the social media links below. If you have questions or comments about anything on The Q Source Resource or QSource.com please leave us a message in the comments section.

For additional Q Source product information, reviews, how-to articles, and special offers please subscribe to our email newsletter.

RELATED ARTICLES

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Get a FREE Erem or Xcelite Tool When You Buy an Eligible Weller Station


Our year-long 30th Anniversary celebration continues with our exclusive 2nd Quarter Partner Promo. Beginning today, April 1, 2014, get a FREE Erem or Xcelite tool with the purchase of select Weller Soldering, Desoldering, or Rework Stations.


This exclusive promo (a savings of up to $66) encompasses two different special offers:
  1. Purchase a Weller WES Series Soldering Station (WESD51 or WES51) and get a FREE Xcelite L4 Needle-Nose Pliers or MS54 Oval Head Semi-Flush Cutters
  2. Purchase any Weller WD/WR/WX Station and get one of four Erem Cutters (512N Medium Oval Head Semi-Flush, 522N Medium Oval Head Full-Flush, 612N Small Oval Head Semi-Flush, or 622N Small Oval Head Flush) for FREE
Before we take a look at each of the eligible promo stations, let's get a quick look at the FREE tools:

  • Xcelite L4 Needle-Nose Pliers - The Xcelite L4 4" Sub-Miniature Needle Nose Pliers w/Green Cushion Grips are a general-purpose tool perfect for use with sub-miniature components
  • Xcelite MS54 Oval Head Semi-Flush Cutters - The Xcelite MS54 4" Semi-Flush Oval Head Cutters w/Green Cushion Grips are a general-purpose tool with an oval head and a long life
  • Erem 512N Medium Oval Head Semi-Flush Cutters - The Erem 512N Diagonal Cutters w/Semi-Flush Cut and Medium Oval Head feature Erem's Internal Magic Springs and Maximum Opening Stop technology
  • Erem 522N Medium Oval Head Full-Flush Cutters - The Erem 522N Diagonal Medium Oval Head Full Flush Cut Cutters feature Erem's Internal Magic Springs and Maximum Opening Stop technology
  • Erem 612N Small Oval Head Semi-Flush Cutters - The Erem 612N Diagonal Cutters have a small oval head and provide a semi-flush cut. For use in micro-electronics
  • Erem 622N Small Oval Head Flush Cutters - The Erem 622N Diagonal Cutters have a small oval head, and provide a full flush cut. For use in micro-electronic applications

NOW, ON TO THE STATIONS…

Here’s a look at the promo-eligible stations. For more info about any of these please visit QSource.com, our Q Source Resource Blog, or our YouTube Channel.

WESD51 Digital ESD-Safe Soldering Station

The powerful Weller WESD51 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station is designed for continuous production soldering. It features ET Series tips, an innovative heater and sensor, a wireless temperature lockout, and a 90-minute automatic shutoff.

WES51 Analog ESD-Safe Soldering Station

The Weller WES51 ESD-Safe Analog Soldering Station is similar in features to the WESD51 model. Designed for a number of applications including production, rework and repair of through hole and SMT boards; and most ground planes and multi-layer boards.

WXD2010 High-Powered Digital Soldering Station

The Weller WXD2010 ESD-Safe High-Powered Digital Power Unit w/WXDP120 Desoldering Pencil and WDH70 Stand is compatible with the WXDP120 desoldering pencil. Allows use of one 200-watt WX tool or simultaneous use of two WX 120-watt tools.

Weller's WXD2 Dual-Port Digital Power Unit

WXD2 High-Powered Dual-Port Digital Power Unit

The Weller WXD2 High-Powered Dual-Port Digital Power Unit allows the user to both solder and desolder using one system. Compatible with the WXMT desoldering tweezers and WXDP 120, WXP 120, WXP 65 & WXMP soldering pencils.

WX2021 WX2 Digital Soldering Station w/WXMP-MS Soldering Iron/WXMT-MS Desoldering Iron & Stands

The Weller WX2021 WX2 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station w/WXMP-MS Soldering Iron and WXMT-MS Desoldering Iron & Stands is a two-channel station that is easily controlled by a touch-enabled large-graphic LCD display with a turn-and-click selection wheel.

WX2020 WX2 Digital Soldering Station w/2 WXP120 Soldering Irons & WDH10 Stands

The Weller WX2020 WX2 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station w/2 WXP120 Soldering Irons & WDH10 Stands is a two-channel station that featuring the same specs as the WX2021, but ships with two WXP120 Soldering Irons and a WDH10 Stand. This station can operate the two 120-watt soldering pencils simultaneously.

WX1012 WX1 Digital Soldering Station w/WXP65 Soldering Iron & WDH10 Stand

The WX1012 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station w/WXP65 Soldering Iron and WDH10 Stand is a single-channel soldering station that uses up to a 200-watt soldering pencil. This station features an LCD glass touch screen, turn-and-click style wheel, multi-language navigation menu, and a multi-purpose USB port.

WX1011 WX1 Digital Soldering Station w/WXMP-MS Soldering Iron & WDH51 Stand

The Weller WX1011 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station w/WXMP-MS Soldering Iron and WDH51 Stand is a single-channel soldering station featuring the same specs as the WX1012 model. The WX1011 differs in the soldering iron and stand included.

WX1010 WX1 Digital Soldering Station w/WXP120 Soldering Iron & WDH51 Stand

The Weller WX1010 ESD-Safe WX1 Digital Soldering Station w/WXP120 Soldering Iron and WDH Stand is a single-channel soldering station is similar to the WX1012 and WX1011 in product features. The WX1010 includes a different soldering iron than the other models.

WX2 WX Series Two-Channel Soldering Station

The Weller WX2 WX Series Two-Channel Soldering Station has intelligent power management to help conserve energy and features a large graphic LCD glass touch screen, turn-and-click style wheel, multi-language navigation menu, multi-purpose USB port, and is compatible with the WXP200, WXP120, WXMP soldering pencils, and WXMT desoldering tweezers.

Weller's WX1 Single-Channel Soldering Station

WX1 WX Series Single-Channel Soldering Station

The Weller WX1 WX Series Single-Channel Soldering Station is the single-channel model of the WX2. The WX1 includes all of the parameter configuration, data logging, and connectivity options of the WX2.

WD1002 Digital Soldering Station w/WP80 Pencil

The Weller WD1002 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station w/WP80 Pencil features three buttons for pre-setting frequently used temperature settings, a special functions menu for accessing setback, lockout, temperature window, F/C switching, standby, and auto-off time; and a unique silver heater.

Weller WD1001 Digital Soldering Station

The Weller WD1001 ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station is similar to the WD1002 model without the WP80 Pencil.

WD1 Digital 85W Soldering Station Power Unit

The Weller WD1 ESD-Safe Digital 85W Soldering Station Power Unit features a large, high-contrast LCD display, three pre-set buttons, a special functions menu, and is compatible with the WSP80 and WMP Soldering Pencils.

WR2000ER Digital Self-Contained 2-Channel Rework Station Set w/DSX120 & WP 65 Pencils

The Weller WR2000ER Digital Self-Contained 2-Channel Rework Station Set w/DSX120 & WP 65 Pencils is a perfect repair kit for soldering and desoldering applications. The WR2000ER kit features a 2-channel power unit with two stands and two tools.

WR3000MER Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station w/Tools

The Weller WR3000MER Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station w/Tools is a large, versatile set for a variety of repair jobs. This power unit includes three stands and three Weller tools.

WR2000VX Digital Rework Station w/WSP80 Soldering Pencil & DXV80 Desoldering Pencil

The Weller WR2000VX ESD-Safe Digital Rework Station w/WSP80 Soldering Pencil & DXV80 Desoldering Pencil can operate two tools simultaneously and has a built-in a self-contained vacuum and air turbine. The two independent tool channels feature automatic tool recognition.

WR2000 WR2000 Series Self-Contained Digital 2-Channel Rework Station Kit

The Weller WR2000 ESD-Safe Self-Contained Digital 2-Channel Rework Station w/HAP1 Pencil allows for simultaneously use of two tools via two independent tool channels with automatic tool recognition. The unit also features a self-contained vacuum and air turbine with a programmable temperature memory key.

WD2M/612N WD Series Dual-Channel Micro Digital Rework Station

The Weller WD2M ESD-Safe Micro Digital Rework Power Unit w/Dual Channels is designed for fine-pitch, high-density SMT soldering and rework. The WD2M also allows the user to use the WMRS Solder Pencil and WMRT Desoldering Tweezers simultaneously.

WR3M Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station

The Weller WR3M Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station features 400-Watts of power over three independently controlled channels and air and vacuum ports to allow the use of up to three tools simultaneously. The WR3M system is highly customizable with a large selection of rework accessories available.

Weller's WR3000M Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station

WR3000M WR3000 Series Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station Kit

The Weller WR3000M Digital Self-Contained 3-Function Rework Station w/Tools is compatible with the WMRP and WMRT high-speed micro tools. Its 400 watts of power over three independently controlled channels and the air and vacuum ports allow the use of up to three tools simultaneously. The WR3000M includes the new HAP200 200-Watt Hot Air Pencil for efficient lead-free rework and the WRK Desoldering Set allows component removal up to 30 x 30 mm.

WD1M WD Series Micro Digital Rework Station

The Weller WD1M ESD-Safe Micro Digital Rework Power Unit features three buttons for pre-setting frequently used temperature settings and an extensive special functions menu for accessing setback, lockout, temperature window, F/C switching, standby, and auto-off time.

With our extensive choice of station/tool matchups you’re sure to find the right combination to meet your needs. For questions or further details please see our contact information below.

We're very excited to work with our friends at Apex Tool Group to offer you these money-saving combos on this selection of their quality tool brands. Weller, Erem, and Xcelite have decades of expertise in developing professional quality tools such as soldering and rework stations; tweezers and pliers; and cutters and nutdrivers.

Please Note: Our Partner Promo (Version 2) is valid from April 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014. No coupon code is required to receive FREE tool offer. Check out our 30th Anniversary Partner Promo page to make your purchase or contact us via phone (800-966-6020) or email.

We'd appreciate it if you would click here to tweet this post and help us spread the word about this exciting promo.