Soldering iron cleaning

Post all your model railway electronic problems, solutions and discoverys here.
dgp1957
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:25 pm

Soldering iron cleaning

Postby dgp1957 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:27 pm

hi took the tip off my annex to put a new tip on it, and the rod is filthy. See pic.

What can I use to clean it?

David
Attachments
DSC_0017-960x540.JPG

User avatar
Flashbang
Posts: 3371
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: SE United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Soldering iron cleaning

Postby Flashbang » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:48 pm

The 'rod' is the element. It will be discoloured. Personally all I've ever done is slide off the old soldering tip and push on a new one.
[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

User avatar
Roger (RJ)
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK.

Re: Soldering iron cleaning

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:56 pm

I agree with Flashbang, it's normal for the element to be discoloured when the soldering iron has been used for a while.

User avatar
TimberSurf
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:47 pm
Location: N.Wales
Contact:

Re: Soldering iron cleaning

Postby TimberSurf » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:30 pm

The dirtiness is oxidisation, it will do no harm as said above, but it would not hurt to get most of it off with some emery cloth, thus reducing the thermal resistance between element and tip. You probably will not notice the difference, but it would make it a little quicker to heat up. (nearer to its brand new performance)
Image
Lumsdonia <--- Hit link to go to my website for full story and wiring advice!

Tricky Dicky
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 10:01 pm

Re: Soldering iron cleaning

Postby Tricky Dicky » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:15 pm

I got to agree with Flashbang and Rog, leave the discolouration alone, just replace the tip. The element will simply discolour again as soon as the iron is switched on again, those oxides will have very little impact on heat transference from element to tip. The working tip is the bit you need to keep clean and tinned for maximum heat transfer if allowed the oxides that build up there are mainly oxides of tin and lead if you are still using leaded solder and in that small area will severely affect heat transfer.

If you have a badly oxidised tip then you need to take extreme care cleaning it and that means not using abrasives. Most soldering iron consist of a copper core with an iron carbide coating and that coating must not be damaged. If it is damaged by using an abrasive initially you will find the exposed copper will solder very well, over time however a cavity will appear in the copper tip and it will become impossible to solder. You need to use something that is less hard than the iron carbide namely a wire brush with brass wires. My technician during my working days did a fine job restoring our soldering irons with a brass wire cup brush in a Dremel type machine.

Richard

dgp1957
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:25 pm

Re: Soldering iron cleaning

Postby dgp1957 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:20 pm

Thanks guys.


Return to “Electronics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests