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Author Topic: Lead free solder question  (Read 15752 times)
K8AXW
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 09:08:19 PM »

Quote
Do you mean antimony? I have heard of lead-antimony solder, but don't remember why it is used in solder. The lead-free stuff we use doesn't contain it, as far as I know.

I've never heard of using antimony in solder.  I used to use antimony when casting lead bullets.  Adding antimony to the lead hardened the lead; certainly not something wanted with solder joints!
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KA4POL
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 10:06:40 PM »

Concerning the use of antimony see; http://www.psinter.com/index,498,White-Paper.html
Scroll down for A Study of Antimony
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G4AON
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Posts: 545




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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2013, 01:18:49 AM »

The display on my LP100 power meter failed, there were many failures of the original display and the cause was put down to "whiskers", see http://www.telepostinc.com/GVFD.html

My guess is that ordinary home made radio gear that uses an analogue frequency display and "through board" components will be fine with lead free solder. Maybe valve radio gear will make a comeback  Grin
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KM3K
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Posts: 325




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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2013, 05:14:21 AM »

Maybe valve radio gear will make a comeback  Grin
That may not help; I've seen photos of whiskers that were 0.5" long; plenty long enough to short out sockets for tube-pins.
BTW, as recently as six years ago, I used to take part in a weekly nation-wide conference-call (started by a major USA manufacturer) solely dedicated to the whisker-problem; since retiring, I don't know if it is happening.
73 Jerry KM3K
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N3HFS
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Posts: 212




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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2013, 06:05:10 AM »

Maybe valve radio gear will make a comeback  Grin
That may not help; I've seen photos of whiskers that were 0.5" long; plenty long enough to short out sockets for tube-pins.
I should think that the high voltage passing through such a tiny filament would keep it safely melted off and at bay while affecting the circuit hardly at all.  Such is not so much the case with today's tiny low-voltage solid state circuitry.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 07:46:19 AM »

It's not high voltage that opens the whiskers, it's high current. You aren't likely to find whiskers forming across a 12VDC 20A power circuit on solid state gear. On the other hand, whiskers could form across high impedance signal lines like grid circuits of tube preamps.
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 08:01:57 AM »

lead-free plumbing solder uses antimony.  surprised they haven't gone nuclear over the acid flux.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2013, 08:16:17 AM »

POL:  Dieter - That was some good news for a change!  When I think back over the hundreds, if not thousands, of bullets I cast with antimony it's good to hear that my butt isn't going to fall off.   Grin

Thanks for the infomation.
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N3HFS
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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2013, 08:27:25 AM »

It's not high voltage that opens the whiskers, it's high current. You aren't likely to find whiskers forming across a 12VDC 20A power circuit on solid state gear. On the other hand, whiskers could form across high impedance signal lines like grid circuits of tube preamps.
Good point! Thanks.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2840




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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2013, 10:00:42 AM »

POL:  Dieter - That was some good news for a change!  When I think back over the hundreds, if not thousands, of bullets I cast with antimony it's good to hear that my butt isn't going to fall off.   Grin

Thanks for the infomation.

Didn't you once have two ears....?
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
G3RZP
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Posts: 4965




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« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2013, 10:06:14 AM »

My understanding is that they use lead free solder for plumbing because of concerns of the lead leaching into drinking water. I would have thought that antimony leaching into the water would be just as bad for you - or is it a case that where it would have been 50 or 60% lead, it's only 1 or 2% of antimony?
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W0BTU
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WWW

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« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2013, 10:38:42 AM »

The web site that POL posted above stated that antimony is not poisonous.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2013, 02:42:03 PM »

A very wise and older engineer once told me, "If its environmentally correct, that means it doesn't work!" 

We laughed at the time, but nowadays I'm beginning to take that advice rather seriously...



73
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1079




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« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2013, 02:43:23 PM »

K8AXW, Sorry about the spelling. Yes it is Antimony. In fact I have the solder in front of me. It is made by Oatey and contains 95 percent Tin and 5 percent Antimony. Its just listed as general perpose solder. I am a retired engineering technician that worked in the field for more then 50 years. If I have not been affected by now by the lead in the solder I used for all the years. I am definitely not concerned about it now. I still feel the lead free solder is next to useless.

Just my opinion.

73s

K2OWK 
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KB1LKR
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Posts: 1898




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« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2013, 08:12:14 PM »

95/5 Sn/Sb (tin/antimony, prob. solid core) is a common plumbing solder for Cu tubing; less costly than Sn/Ag (~3.5% silver). Electronic solders seem to run to tin/silver/copper three metal alloys for lower melt ~217C than either Sn/Ag or Sn/Cu alloys, and especially lower than 95/5 at 240C liquidus.
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