A Comparison of Heat Sources for Soldering

 

This is just a rough overview of three different possiblities of heat sources.
A more detailed version of this comparison can be downloaded on the right side as a pdf-file.

 

HEAT SOURCE LASER   SOLDER IRON   SPIRFLAME® / FLAME
SYSTEM COMPOSED OF Electronics, Laser & Optics.

Complex system


High cost
  Heating element & Solder tip

very simple system


Low cost
  Torch nozzle and gas generator

Relatively complex system


Medium cost
HEAT TRANSFERRED BY MECHANICAL CONTACT No   Yes   No
HEAT TRANSFERRED CONTACTLESS Yes   No   Yes
HEAT TRANSFER / DENSITY Energy rich, concentrated laser beam releases very high density energy burst.

Extreme rapid
  Basic heat energy is stored in tip copper mass


Slow heating
  Hydrogen - Oxygen (2H + 1O) Flame. Punctual heat release.

Quick heating.
DOSING OF HEAT ENERGY Yes   Yes   Yes
HEAT TRANSFER INFLUENCED BY ...          
... CONTACT PRESSURE No   Yes   No
... MECHANICAL SURFACE CONDITIONS Yes   Yes   No
... THE MATERIAL COMPOSITION Yes   Yes   No
... VARIATIONS OF OPTICAL CONDITIONS OF SURFACE AND LIGHT PATH Yes, heavy influences by surface reflection factor and flux vapours (clouding)   No   No
... MECHANICAL WEAR & TEAR OF HEAT SOURCE No   Yes, heavy influenced caused by tip oxidation (scaling) and mechanical wear   No
COST OF CONSUMABLES FOR HEAT SOURCE No significant 'consumption' of spare parts. Lasers usually have a long life   High mechanical wear of solder tip. Needs regular rework or replacement of tip and mechanical readjust of iron jig.   No significant 'consumption' of spare parts. Nozzles stay cold in operation. DI water (about 4 oz/hour) is the fuel.
TECHNICAL COMPLEXITY OF HEAT SOURCE High   Low   Medium
HANDLING /ACCESSIBILITY TO JOB WITH HEAT SOURCE Beam splitting and mirroring give some flexibility to adapt   Hot heating cartridge and thermal allowable tip length somehow restrict access to tight spaces.   Flexible. For Example the patented Flame Delivers Cylinder can easily move into cavities.