Yes, it is. Overheating is the most common cause of damage to components during desoldering. Although, if performed carefully and correctly, the risk of overheating a component is limited. Further, the risk of overheating components nearby is minimal. However, hurrying to remove a component can lead to problems in any case.
What are the main reasons for it?
The main reason for overheating parts during desoldering is removing parts with a sufficient heat or with too much solder.
Another cause is using a low-wattage soldering iron which can’t heat the solder enough to keep it molten as you remove parts from aboard. It means as you desolder more and more, the molten solder will cool down faster than your iron is heating it, resulting in cold-solder joints being formed.
Even though components have a limited current or power rating, it’s usually not possible to overheat them if your soldering iron is powerful enough and you take care not to hold the tip on a particular part for too long.
How to prevent overheating of a component when desoldering?
When desoldering, the component or soldered part is heated up by the heat (energy) of the soldering iron. The ability to quickly transfer this heat into the solder joints means that you can desolder in a shorter time. A big problem when desoldering is overheating components that can damage or destroy them.
Overheating of components is caused by the heat transferring too slowly. It can be minimized if you follow these steps:
- Make sure that the solder joints are not completely solid and shiny but appear matte. If they are shiny, then you need to increase your heat slightly. If they are matt, then you need to reduce your heat slightly.
- Make sure that the soldering iron is clean of old solder and has a sharp tip. A widespread mistake when desoldering is not having a sharp enough tip that will slowly transfer the heat into the solder joints, causing overheating of components or damage to them due to too much heat. Conversely, a dirty tip will also cause overheating.
- Use a pump or desoldering bulb to suck the solder away from the joint that you are desoldering. You can often see these at work by watching how fast the solder is sucked away from underneath where your soldering iron tip is touching. If it is not moving, you may need to increase your heat slightly. If it moves away too quickly, you may need to decrease heat.
- Once the solder has been removed, allow the component or part to cool down slowly. Besides, it’s best not to concentrate excessively on any one joint but instead work from one end of the board to the other, removing components from several places at once.
If you follow these steps, overheating components is less likely to happen.
What to do in the case of overheating a component when desoldering?
First of all, remove the heat from the overheated component as quickly as possible by removing the tip of your soldering iron or pulling away with a desoldering pump.
If components are very hot, do not blow on them with compressed air. It will increase the temperature and make the component unusable.
Use only a cooled desoldering pump or wet sponge to cool down the component. After that, it is essential to consider what overheating might have caused the damage to the component. For example, it can be caused by excessive heat being applied during soldering or desoldering or if too much solder was used.
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