Vapor Phase Reflow Technology
Vapor Phase Reflow is a method of reflow soldering that utilizes an oxygen-free environment and condensation heating to melt solder paste in a temperature-controlled chamber. It works by using an inert chemical as a heat-conducting medium. The PCBA is placed in a chamber above the inert chemical, Galden PFPE in liquid form, and then heated to form a layer of vapor that displaces the oxygen due to its higher density. As the vapor contacts the PCBA, it forms a film of condensation that acts as a layer of protection against oxidation. As this film encompasses the PCBA, it homogeneously transfers heat and maintains a constant temperature of 240° C or 260° C. This low-temperature process reduces the risk of thermal stress during reflow, especially BGA/LGA style packages.
The transfer of thermal energy to the PCBA is more efficient, which permits manufacturers to employ a lower overhead temperature during reflow.
Efficient Heat Transfer
Vapor Phase has a max peak temperature dependent on the type of chemical used. This controlled peak temperature, coupled with an improved thermal process, allows it to target the solder's specified reflow temperature to within a couple degrees.
Vapor Phase creates an ideal soldering environment compared to that of the convection reflow process. Because this ideal environment is oxygen-free, it eliminates any chance of oxidation, while also permitting homogeneous heating of the PCBA.
Vapor Phase allows unconventional placement of components, reducing distance required and increasing valuable space. With Vapor Phase, part-to-part spacing can be decreased to 8 mil without factoring in the shadow effect during the design process.
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