ALPHA Exactalloy Tape and Reel Preforms Create Value
Posted 7/24/2012 by Jerry Sidone
Preforms are used in all electronic packaging industries including mobile devices, medical, telecommunications, and most recently have taken hold in automotive electronics.Preforms provide that extra solder “charge” when overprinting or step stencils just can’t get the job done. Tape and reel preforms are plug-and-play into any automated SMT assembly process. ALPHA® Tape and Reel preforms are sized to the most common chip capacitor components, so no special pick and place equipment is required. Sizes ranging from 0.25 mm (0.010”) to 3.6mm (0.14”), and they get placed directly in solder paste. Since they are 100% alloy and contain no flux, they rely on the excess flux in the solder paste for wetting. Preforms can provide 4/5ths of the total solder in a given solder joint which means that there is ample flux from paste to support reflow in nearly every application. In cases where excess flux residue is problematic, a solder joint constructed using a preform and a reduced amount of paste produces far less flux residue than solder paste alone. Tape and Reel preforms are appealing because they can be oriented in a multitude of configurations (video ALPHA® Preforms in SMT Application) and take up much less space than an overprint or step stencil. If one preform does not provide adequate solder volume, then place 2, 3, 4 or more at the same joint to get the volume you desire. ALPHA® Tape and Reel Preforms can deliver maximum holefill to through-hole components (video “ALPHA® Preforms Reflow Pin in Hole Application) on an SMT board. That can make them essential to the conversion of a mixed-technology process and to a more cost effective, more highly reliable SMT-only process.