When I decided to revamp my old hobby called electronics, I decided to be RoHS compliant and bought lead-free solder.
- make: Edsyn
- type: SAC8250
- alloy: Sn95.5Ag3.8Cu0.7
- flux: F-SW34 (no-clean)
- melting point: 217°C
As my good old soldering iron works at 350°C this seemed to be OK. Unfortunately there were some negative side effects: I just can’t tin copper wire/pads as I used to and solder points look strangely grayish, just like the bad ones with SnPb solder, or frosted like frozen windows. The bad thing about it is that I payed 20€ for the stuff, and I’m really not sure if I would touch expensive chips with it :-(
There’s also some lead-free solder (FLOWTIN) made by STANNOL that’s supposed to deliver lead-solder-like results, but I haven’t bought that yet. It is about 2x as expensive as the Edsyn stuff.
Working with the SAC8250 feels like I can’t solder anymore… hmpf!
Some images of how SAC8250 compares to my usual Sn60Pb38Cu2 solder:
All the bad looking spots were made with the lead-free solder. The unhealthy stuff looks best, as usual.
→ Update 20.09.2008:
Even with additional flux (EDSYN FL88 no-clean), the SAC alloy doesn’t really work nicely with my 350°C iron.
→ Update 06.02.2009:
Here’s a video on the RoHS subject I found on