Soldering Applications 200

This class describes essential skills for proper hand soldering and also explains how to inspect a finished joint and rework or repair a bad joint. Includes an Interactive Lab.

  • Difficulty Intermediate

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 19

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Objectives
  • Hand Soldering
  • The Role of the Soldering Technician
  • The Basic Steps of Hand Soldering
  • Joint Types
  • Choosing a Solder
  • Choosing a Flux
  • Choosing a Soldering Iron
  • Choosing a Tip for Your Iron
  • Preparing Your Work Area
  • Cleaning Your Materials
  • The Importance of Tinning
  • Tinning the Tip of Your Iron
  • Applying Solder to the Joint
  • Creating a Western Union Joint
  • Inspecting the Joint
  • How to Desolder and Resolder a Joint
  • Cleaning Up
  • Summary
  • Describe hand soldering.
  • Describe the role of the soldering technician.
  • List the basic steps of hand soldering.
  • List different joint types.
  • Explain how to choose a solder.
  • Explain how to choose a flux.
  • Explain how to choose a soldering iron.
  • Explain how to choose a soldering iron tip.
  • Explain how to prepare your soldering work area.
  • Explain how to clean soldering materials.
  • Explain the importance of tinning a soldering iron tip.
  • Explain how to tin a soldering iron.
  • Explain how to solder a joint.
  • Explain how to solder a Western Union joint.
  • Differentiate between a good joint and a bad joint.
  • Explain how to desolder and resolder a joint.
  • Explain how to clean up after soldering.
Vocabulary Term

60/40 SnPb

Solder that consists of 60% tin (Sn) and 40% lead (Pb). Usually referred to as "60/40 solder."

63/37 SnPb

Solder that consists of 63% tin (Sn) and 37% lead (Pb). Also called "eutectic solder."

acid flux

Any inorganic flux with an acid base. Acid fluxes react aggressively with most metals and can be corrosive.


A uniform mixture of two or more materials. One of the materials must be a metal. 60/40 solder is an alloy of tin and lead.

bad joint

A poorly soldered joint with little or no conductivity.


Excess solder that joins two or more adjacent pads on a PCB, creating a faulty electronic connection.


A basic electronic element with two or more connecting leads or metallic pads. Components are intended to be connected together, usually by soldering to a printed circuit board, to create a powerful electronic circuit.

conductive flux

Flux that is formulated to allow a high level of electrical conductivity. Acid fluxes are often conductive.


The process of weakening, wearing away, or destroying a substance, usually by a chemical.

corrosive flux

Flux composed of highly reactive chemicals that can damage or destroy the surface to which they are applied.


To remove solder from a joint for troubleshooting and repair purposes.

desoldering braid

A copper braid that absorbs melted solder like a sponge.

desoldering iron

A hollow soldering iron that is equipped with a pump for sucking up melted solder.

desoldering pump

A device designed to suck up liquid solder by using a plunger vacuum pump.


The distance from one edge of a circle to the opposite edge that passes through the center. The diameter of solder wire indicates its size and thickness.

distilled water

Water that has had virtually all of its impurities as well as electrolytes removed through distillation. Distillation is the process of boiling the water and re-condensing the steam into a clean container, thus leaving contaminants behind.

electrical tape

A type of tape used to insulate electrical wires and other materials that conduct electricity. Electrical tape can be made of plastic or vinyl.

electrical work

Work pertaining to objects and appliances operated by electricity, such as a VCR.

electronics fabrication

The manufacture, assembly, and maintenance of electronic components for computerized machines.

emery cloth

An abrasive cloth used for cleaning or polishing.

ethyl alcohol

A flammable, colorless, mildly toxic chemical compound found in alcoholic beverages. In common usage, it is often referred to simply as alcohol.

fixture splice

A method used to join a solid wire and bundled wire.


A substance which facilitates soldering, brazing, and welding by chemically cleaning the metals to be joined.

flux cleaner

A chemical substance used to clean flux residue from soldered parts.

flux pen

A flux application tool, usually shaped like a marker pen, that channels controlled amounts of water-soluble flux onto metal surfaces.

flux-cored solder

Solder wire with a channel of flux inside.

good joint

A properly soldered joint that provides good conductivity or meets its specifications.

hand soldering

Soldering performed manually by a person with a soldering iron.

heat shrink

A tube of material that shrinks in diameter when heated. Heat shrinks are used to insulate wires, connections, joints, and terminals in electrical engineering.

integrated circuit

A miniaturized electrical network used to transmit electric power. A microchip is an example of an integrated circuit.

isopropyl alcohol

A colorless, flammable chemical compound with a strong odor used to sterilize surfaces. Also known as rubbing alcohol.


The point at which two pieces of metal make contact and are bonded together with solder.


The points at which two pieces of metal make contact and are bonded together with solder.


Conductors that provide an easy path for electricity to flow. The shape and number of leads varies for different electronic components. Some leads are thin wires that extend from the sides or bottom of a component, while other leads are short, thick pads on the sides or bottom of a component.


A natural compound like quartz or flouride formed through geological processes. Many minerals contain oxygen or salt that would contaminate or oxidize a soldering iron tip.


The process of a material chemically reacting with oxygen.


Printed circuit board. PCBs are used in electronics to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, or traces, etched from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive surface.

pigtail wrap

A method used to join two wires in locations where there is no pull or strain on the wires, such as inside a metal enclosure.

plastic phase

The stage at which melted solder is neither liquid nor solid, but has a pasty consistency. During the plastic phase, a joint must be held completely still to avoid defects.


Rosin-only flux. Rosin-only fluxes are the least active and leave almost no residue. However, this type should be used only on surfaces that are very clean.


A substance deposited or left behind by a reaction or event.


Rosin mildly activated. RMA fluxes are more active than R fluxes and leave some residue on the joint.

single core

Solder wire with only one channel of flux inside.


Surface mount device. SMDs are electronic components that are attached to a PCB by soldering them to the surface of the PCB.

solder cleaning paste

A chemical substance formulated specifically for removing solder from tools and materials.

solder spool

A small cylindrical object with a rim or ridge at each end, on which solder wire is wound.

solder wire

Solder that is stored as a thin, malleable string for use on small or delicate joints.

soldering station

An all-in-one combination of soldering accessories typically including a soldering iron, iron stand, cleaning pad, and energy source. Some stations include fume extractors as well.

soldering technician

A person who professionally operates a soldering iron.

soldering wand

A type of soldering iron shaped like a large pen or curling iron.


To join wires by twisting their ends alternately over and under each other.

surface mount

A method of attaching integrated circuits and electronic components to PCBs by soldering them to the surface of the PCB.

tap splice

A method used to join a second wire to a conductor.

three core

Solder wire with three separate channels of flux inside.


A method of attaching electronic components to PCBs by soldering lead wires inserted through holes drilled into the PCB.


The action of applying a trace of solder to the tip of the soldering iron in order to facilitate the heat transfer process.


The heated end of a soldering iron used to create a joint. Tips are detachable and are available in many different shapes and sizes.


A measurement of the amount of electrical power required by a device to work properly.

Western Union splice

A method used to securely fasten two wires of the same size and type together.


The behavior of a liquid when the liquid contacts a solid surface. Liquids with poor wetting ability tend to form droplets, while liquids with good wetting ability tend to spread out evenly over the solid surface area.