Characterization of vapour phase soldering process zone with pressure measurements
Soldering & surface mount technology
Purpose: With the spreading of Vapour Phase Soldering (VPS) technology it is important to understand and optimize the process itself. The paper presents a novel approach on the process zone characterization for direct feedback on the state of vapour, for better monitoring, control and understanding of the process. Design/methodology/approach: The simple model of condensation heating shows the importance of vapour concentration during condensation soldering. Different pressure sensors were
... sensors were applied in an experimental VPS station, where the hardware setup is focused for the current experiments. Static and dynamic pressure values are analyzed and correlated with additional thermal measurements. Findings: The results reveal the dynamics of the vapour blanket generation. The correlated measurements show different stages of the process initialization, highlighting better accuracy than sole temperature measurements of saturated vapour identification. It is possible to trace the height of the available saturated vapour blanket with static pressure measurements. Originality/value: The methods provide a completely novel approach from the aspect of process zone state variables and parameter characterization, focusing on pressure measurements. Practical implications: The VPS process may benefit from the more precise saturation detection, giving better control on the heat transfer, enabling more efficient production with the reduction of idle time, and resulting in better soldering quality. Social implications: Reducing the idle time of the VPS stations may result in better efficiency and smaller power consumption, reducing the environmental impact of the method.