American Beauty Product Support

Quality Soldering Irons: What you’ll need to know

Industrial Quality Soldering Irons are manufactured to handle the tough jobs that your average “economical” soldering iron simply cannot begin to handle.

Industrial Quality Soldering Irons are available in Heavy-Duty and Pencil-Style varieties.
The Heavy-Duty Soldering Irons are generally manufactured with outputs of 60 to 550 watts, while the Pencil-Style are usually produced in 20 to 60 watt outputs.
Both varieties are available in several different sizes each of which will usually accommodate a variety of soldering iron tip configurations. This gives you the increased ability to match certain tips and irons together so that you are able to more accurately meet the specific requirements of several different soldering applications.

The Heavy-Duty type of (constant heat) electric soldering irons was first developed in the early 1890’s and has gained steady recognition over the years as a more efficient tool for heavy-duty and industrial soldering applications.

The Pencil Style of (constant heat) electric soldering irons was developed around the middle of the 1930’s. During that time an increasing need arose for the development of soldering tools that could be used for smaller and more specific applications. They are commonly referred to as “Pencil Style” because of their size and the manner in which they are normally held during use.

Both types of soldering iron share the same basic design characteristics.
They use a heating element that is manufactured using special nickel-chromium wire material that is wound around an insulated metal spool. This heating element is used to generate the required heat that gets transferred directly through the tip and into the joints that are being soldered. This special nickel-chromium material is a highly resistive alloy and it is the amount of this resistance that will determine the elements actual out-put, which is generally expressed in wattage. These soldering irons should not be classified specifically by their wattage, because this information when taken alone can be very misleading. Additional information such as the size, mass, style, thermal efficiency, caloric heat content and maximum tip temperature can all be included in the evaluation process, when this information is determined or known. The specific wattage of the soldering irons is not usually considered to be a major factor when determining their maximum operating temperature so much as it tells how well they will be able to maintain their operating temperature during the actual soldering applications. Soldering irons that have a higher wattage will generally have a faster thermal recovery and the ability to more efficiently support soldering applications that require a heavier thermal load.

Process Verification over Equipment Calibration for American Beauty Soldering Tools

It is important to understand that process verification and equipment calibration are not the same and that some types of equipment do not require calibration but may still require the development of procedures for accurate process verification.
We are often asked questions relating to calibration procedures for the various tools and equipment that we manufacture. These questions are usually asked as a result of the calibration requirements that are specified in many quality assurance program directives. The equipment that we manufacture can be accurately identified as NCR (No Calibration Required) as there are no features within this equipment which allow for calibration.
Many quality assurance programs will alsorequire the development of written procedures to outline accurate methods of verification that can be utilized to monitor the various processes that may be used for an application. Process verification can be accomplished with our equipment by knowing what measurable, variable attributes exist for the specific soldering application being reviewed.
When you are developing the process for any application it is important to identify attributes which are variable in nature that can have a direct effect on the results achieved. Once identified each of these attributes should be measured prior to and monitored during the process development in order to determine and establish an acceptable tolerance level for each of them. The information collected should be well documented in order to help establish the appropriate verification steps that can be followed to monitor the actual process once the development steps have been completed.
Time and temperature will be the two primary variable attributes for you to be concerned with when developing a process for applications using the type of tools and equipment that we manufacture. For the purpose of this document, time will be referred to in two ways; dwell time will refer to the time that is required to heat and flow solder to complete the solder joint, while idle time will refer to the time allowed between solder joints (from the completion of one joint to the beginning of the next) to recover thethermal loss from soldering irons and solder pots and to dissipate the heat accumulated in resistance soldering handpieces.

Purging your Solder Pot – A step-by-step guide

 

Solder Pot 600

Purging Your Solder Pot
There may be times when it will become necessary to remove the existing solder alloy from your solder pot crucible. When this situation arises it is very important for you to remember that you will be handling a very hot molten solder material and you should exercise extreme caution throughout the entire purging process.

Caution: Never attempt this process without using protective shielding devices and heat resistant attire.

Receptacle:
You will need to have a discard receptacle for collecting the solder that is being removed from your solder pot. This can be a reservoir made from aluminum foil that is nested inside a larger container on a blanket of noncombustible material such as sand, vermiculite or clay based kitty litter. Make sure that the receptacle is of a sufficient size to accept all of the solder that is being removed from the solder pot.

Safe Work Area:
The work area, solder pot and discard receptacle that are being used for this process should all have highly visible signs and posted markings warning personnel of the intense heat and the potential for severe burns that may exist. The work surface that you intend to use for this procedure should be smooth, level, and heat resistant. It is also a good idea to have the work surface covered with a protective sheet of noncombustible material in case there are any accidental spills or splashing of the hot molten solder.

In order to help prevent the possibility of any unnecessary accidents you should always limit the number of personnel that are allowed to be within the work area especially during this type of process. To help prevent tripping or restricted movements of your operators you should make sure that the work area is always kept clean, organized and uncluttered.

Trouble shooting a 100 Watt American Beauty Power unit (Model 105A3)

Andrew G shared the following:

I have a 100 watt resistance soldering power unit (Model 105A3) that just quit working. I would like to know if there is a fuse that is internal that could be the problem, or is there any component that usually goes on these? I have had my system for about 5 years without issue. I have a pretty good grasp on electronic theory and would prefer to fix the unit myself. Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

Clarification of Wattage Difference (1,000 or 1,800 Watts)

AB Customer in WI, USA – “I have an older American Beauty Resistance soldering power unit (Model 105C1) marked as a 1,000 watt power unit.  I was checking out your website for information regarding this product and found that the Model 105C1 is now an 1,800 Watt power unit.”  Can you help clarify the difference?