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Overheating while soldering
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Overheating while soldering
I keep hearing about this, and then I eff up some solder joint around an IC and I’m like “OK, surely *this* time I’ve fried the component!” But no. Now I’m picking up SMT, and very first attempt with hot air (modding something cheap), I turn the board friggin brown. “Ok, so now surely I’ve fried something.” Nope.

What’s it actually take to do this? Like are we talking large tip 500 deg C for 10 minutes straight?? Basically I’m starting to mentally archive the heat danger under “stupid shit I don’t have to actually worry about” but I’d rather get a clearer idea of what it takes to actually destroy a component with too much heat.
if you look at datasheets you'll often see a max heating time, like 220 degrees for 10 seconds or whatever
Yup... totally component specific.

My understanding is that polystyrene caps are particularly sensitive. Also, some ICs will absorb moisture, and popcorn with too much heat.
Personally, I’ve only ever screwed stuff up (lifted a PCB trace, melted a switch body) when trying to DE-solder.

Mostly hear about transistors and ICs being heat senstive. But sockets are cheap and easy if your PCB isn’t super-cramped.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but datasheets list guarantees, so a part might be guaranteed to withstand 10s at whatever, but maybe the actual mean time to kaput is 1m. Yes? Not that it isn’t best practice to keep within the bounds they give, I’m just wondering about actual component destruction from heat alone.

And yeah, likewise I mostly hear about semis being heat sensitive. Sometimes I use sockets, sometimes not, never had a problem.
agree with others that it seems very component specific. that said i'm a horrible butcher with the iron and the only thing i've ever successfully fried is a to92 package voltage regulator (which may have simply been bad out of the box anyway).

i always use sockets on through hole ICs but it's as much for convenience and being able to swap as protection. desoldering is my nightmare.
I invested in a cheap vacuum desoldering gun early on and it's been an absolute godsend - like an undo button for all my soldering mistakes. Does easily in seconds what would otherwise involve 1/4hr of swearing and potentially lifted traces using any other method.
In my experience a desoldering gun will only work well with lead solder, not lead free, and needs to be cleaned constantly/ have its tip replaced regularly. If you want a lower maintenance solution that requires only slightly more finess check out a solder pump.
In several decades of soldering I have never had a failure due to over-heating (that I know of, still have plenty of mystery failures that never got root-cause identified). From stories I've heard, an actual overheat condition in an integrated component is most often the result of a bond-wire separation, (i.e. the internal super thin wire that connects an IC's leg to the silicon die inside). Or perhaps in the case of an R or C, it can occur from a de-lamination between a wire and the substrate. Point being, all the standard materials (at least in IC's and resistors), are intrinsically very tolerant to high heat at the materials level - the things that break are the bonds between dissimilar types of materials, (guessing it's probably due to different coefficients of expansion or whatnot).

So, yeah - I share this experience of being amazed at the degree to which parts can be thermally abused. PCB's on the other hand ...
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