Author Topic: Treating the copper?  (Read 165 times)

pgodfrin

  • Transistor Tickler
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Treating the copper?
« on: September 12, 2020, 04:59:34 PM »
Probably a silly question, but after the etched PCB is completed, soldered up, tested and declared a finished project, does anyone treat the copper to prevent oxidizing?
I've thought of spraying it with clear coat, but I have no idea what's the right thing to do...

davent

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2410
  • Hamilton ON
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 06:47:57 PM »
Probably a silly question, but after the etched PCB is completed, soldered up, tested and declared a finished project, does anyone treat the copper to prevent oxidizing?
I've thought of spraying it with clear coat, but I have no idea what's the right thing to do...

I mist it with a waterborne lacquer soon after i remove the etch mask before i even solder. The heat of the iron vaporizes the lacquer when you touch the iron to the pad, no problem to solder with it covering the copper. Even if you don't get to populating and soldering the pcb for months down the road, easy as can be, no oxidization.
dave
"If you always do what you always did- you always get what you always got." - Unknown

If my photos are missing again... they're hosted by photobucket... and as of 06/2017 being held hostage... to be continued?

jimilee

  • Global Moderator
  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 8468
  • Jimi Lee
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2020, 07:29:00 AM »
Nope. Iíve got dozens(no, literally) of etched and strip board pedals with no post treatment. Work just fine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.

pgodfrin

  • Transistor Tickler
  • **
  • Posts: 61
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 08:47:39 AM »
OK. What's "waterborne" lacquer?

WormBoy

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 361
  • TJ
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 09:46:12 AM »
There's dedicated flux/protector that you can spray on after etching, before soldering. Especially handy if you want to store the boards for a while before soldering. When you've already soldered them, I don't think there's a pressing need to do anything (perhaps cleaning the flux, but I always use no-clean solder).

davent

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2410
  • Hamilton ON
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 10:20:49 AM »
OK. What's "waterborne" lacquer?

Waterborne just means the solvent used to make the lacquer is water rather than one of the nasty alternatives. Easy cleanup with water and soap, lack of nasty fumes, works great in my airbrushes so very little goes a long ways and goes where you want it not all over the room, same product i use for clearcoating the pedals so always on hand. Can use it inside in the basement in the winter which is when i build, works great with the acrylic paints i use in the airbrushes.

Before getting airbrushes used the spray can lacquer i had on hand for clearcoating, works just as well, no issues soldering through, no need to buy an expensive 'proprietary ' product when chances are you already have something on hand that will do what you want.

dave
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 11:02:20 AM by davent »
"If you always do what you always did- you always get what you always got." - Unknown

If my photos are missing again... they're hosted by photobucket... and as of 06/2017 being held hostage... to be continued?

WormBoy

  • Solder Ninja
  • ****
  • Posts: 361
  • TJ
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 10:39:14 AM »
The heat of the iron vaporizes the lacquer when you touch the iron to the pad, ...

With lacquer, I would worry when applied before soldering. You won't have solvent fumes with the water-based stuff, but you'll get fumes from the lacquer. Probably depends on what kind of lacquer it is, but acrylic fumes are not harmless.

Govmnt_Lacky

  • Electron Doctor
  • *****
  • Posts: 2103
  • Dinner at Dorsia? No problem...
    • View Profile
Re: Treating the copper?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 11:47:03 AM »
Unless you plan to solder the board immediately or very soon after removing the masking, treating the copper is almost a must.

Trying to solder on to oxidized copper is what will cause loose, cold, or non-existent solder joints. Unless you enjoy scrubbing the oxidation off prior to soldering  ::)