I take great pleasure in announcing that Georgia Tech is offering an open-registration Science of Soldering© course for individuals as part of its Professional Education Program. The three-day course will be held at Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus September 24-26. I will be conducting the class in association with Jack Zentner, Ph.D., of Georgia Tech. Participants receive Georgia Tech certificate of completion and Science of Soldering© certification. Registration information can be found here.

This is the first time in more than 25 years that Science of Soldering© has been available to individuals rather than corporate groups. The class includes extensive videos, demonstrations, experiments, hands-on troubleshooting/problem-solving and discussion to show the foundations for my controversial Assembly column “The Curse of IPC-A-610 and IPC-J-STD-001.”

Some of the content includes:

  • A “recipe” that guarantees perfect soldering. (Yes, perfect soldering is possible.)
  • A simple technique that ensures component temperature remains close to the melting temperature of solder during hand soldering. (Proof that constant iron temperature is of little importance; it’s how the iron and solder are used together.)
  • Understanding J-STD-004 and identification of real “no-clean” flux. (Don’t trust the manufacturers’ labels; “neutral pH flux kills reliability.)
  • Cosmetically perfect hand soldered connections may be defective. (At soldering iron temperatures, solder will adhere to oxides and contaminants to make a visually acceptable connection. There is no intermetallic bond and the high temperature damages component internal bonds.)
  • The essential details to look for in choosing a contract manufacturer. (Remember that touchup can change visually unacceptable defects into visually acceptable defects that can’t be detected by inspection.)
  • The real issues with the lead-free world. (Picking an alloy is only the start. The tougher challenge is managing solderability. Which leads to the next point…)
  • J-STD-002 is wrong. (Unsolderable parts can pass the “dip-and-look” test. Those parts will then result in wetting problems for both surface mount and through-hole components.)
  • The many ways in which IPC-A-610 and J-STD-001 fail to address the challenges of our new lead-free and miniaturized world.

I will also be answering questions about everything from materials and tools to machine operations. If you come, please bring your questions.

The course has been praised by all manner of electronics and medical instrument personnel. However, it is most relevant for production, quality, supplier management and purchasing personnel along with technicians. Graduates of military soldering programs will find the class especially enlightening.