A soldering iron is an instrument used for putting on heat to two connecting metal parts, so that solder melts and flows between those parts and binds them firmly and conductively. There are soldering stations where one can bring his materials.
Soldering iron tips are made of a copper core enclosed by iron, because solder does not stick to nickel or chrome but sticks to iron. After use, the tip of the soldering iron should be coated with tin so it will not rust. To improve the functioning of the soldering iron, proper maintenance is necessary.
- Use only good quality solder. If there are impurities in the solder, the tip of the soldering iron cannot transfer heat, which makes soldering ineffective.
- Maintain the tip of the iron dirt free even when you work. Occasionally clean your soldering tip with a damp sponge or metal mesh pads. Maximum heat is emitted when the tip is clean.
- Avoid excessive wiping on the tip of the soldering iron. The wet sponge will cause the hotness of the tip to rise and fall. This will give an ineffective soldering performance.
- When cleaning the soldering tip, avoid flux because it is corrosive.
- Do not use sandpaper or any rough material to clean a tip. To minimize cleaning, use pure metal and high tin content so the soldering iron tip does not get dirty.
- After each job, clean the tip by wiping it dirt free and re-tinning it without oxidation and corrosion.
- You should have a stable iron stand to hold your soldering iron when it is not used.
- Use the correct outlet type to plug in your soldering iron.
- Avoid using an extension cable. If it is necessary to use one, use a heavy duty cord.
- The cord of the soldering iron must be free from cracks and cuts. If you notice a crack or burn, a professional electrician may replace it before reusing.
- Do not allow the soldering iron to fall, because its heater could break; the iron should not be left plugged in when not in use, because the heating element could burn. Better to keep the soldering iron inside a ziploc bag to protect it from corrosion and humidity.
Maintenance of a soldering iron is easy to remember. Most soldering irons carry with them a maintenance kit so that they assure the owner of their long life of performance. Different brands provide different styles and features. However, they all have the same function. There is no other way to solder. Whether the tool is heavy duty or light weight, they perform the same task and give satisfaction to the owner.
These repair kits include all the things necessary to keep the tool running in good condition. Important components are those required to take out flux deposit, pollution, and rust. These things may build up inside the iron’s heating element if not cleaned. Calling for very little time, standard maintenance encourages best heat transfer and extends the life of any soldering iron.