"Mechanic" SnBi solder wire - fake

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Agro
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"Mechanic" SnBi solder wire - fake

I got a roll of low-temperature solder wire today.

It clearly has a higher melting temp than my Sn60Pb40.
Avoid.

KawiBoy1428
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I always avoid Lead Free no worries.. Big Smile Thumbs Up

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Lightbringer
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Agro wrote:
I got a roll of low-temperature solder wire today.

Umm, from where?

Plan to p&m to the vendor? I definitely would.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Lightbringer
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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
I always avoid Lead Free no worries.. Big Smile Thumbs Up

Yeah, when I got a coupon from MicroStore for 10bux/20bux/whatever off (use like cash), I went’n‘got two 1lb spools of regular good ol’ fashioned SnPb solder.

I’m set for a long time. Big Smile

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kiriba-ru
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I use one that have sticker same design as on mehanics solder paste. Works great. Many years ago I got one from dx.com, nowadays you can find it on ebay.

Agro
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Lightbringer wrote:
Agro wrote:
I got a roll of low-temperature solder wire today.

Umm, from where?

Plan to p&m to the vendor? I definitely would.


From here:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2pcs-set-0-3mm-HK-Mechanic-green-low-tem...
I intend to start a dispute as soon as I have a video of this being solid at 200 degrees-hot iron tip (even if tip temp is lower than I set it to, at the same time I got a blob of Sn60Pb40 being fluid at the other side of the tip).

I also have Mechanic paste. I haven’t compared it with anything, but it works.

KawiBoy1428
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Yep the Mechanics Sn63/Pb37 solder paste works, I prefer Kester EP256 paste, and use Kester SN63PB37 (.031) wire, but my favorite wire is Stannol Love Thumbs Up

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Agro
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BTW, no surprise, there are others noting that it’s fake:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/low-temperature-solder-wire/msg8...

And now I’ll add a couple of keywords to make this thread easier to find:
Sn42Bi58 Bi58Sn42 China Chinese Aliexpress review test quality good bismuth bi leadfree lead free 138

atbglenn
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KawiBoy1428 wrote:
I always avoid Lead Free no worries.. Big Smile Thumbs Up

Same here.

Boycott Nike

Agro
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The seller has sent me a test report of a compliance check with EU regulations. This tests show that the solder is lead free and not very contaminated. For this reason my suspicion that the solder is just recycled is much weakened.
Anyway it doesn’t show anything about actual contents.
If anyone is interested in seeing the report, PM me.

BTW, I won the dispute even though the video that I created was of very poor quality and I wouldn’t grant myself a refund after seeing it. Big Smile

led4power
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If 100% fake, it melts at ~230C, even higher than regular SnCuAg solders.

M1k4c
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Not fake.
Just a gigantic blunder of their marketing. This can happen only in China, where they have Sn63Pb38 alloys or Sn37Pb63 advertised as electronics solder.

Anyway, I am using Mechanic wires for a very long time and they always deliver. Hxt100, sx862, sd360, I mean, I have all of those product codes in my head, that’s how long I used Mechanic soldering products.

Which is a reason why I contacted them after buying one of those spools marked sbd366 and advertised as Sn42Bi58. I use this composition (more often paste) just to melt it to something that is already soldered to drop the required temperature for desoldering. When mixed with lead alloys, it should be able to drop the melting point of the newly created alloy to bellow 100C.

If it was any other manufacturer, I’d just think to myself “China” and give it up. But I did contact Mechanic Pro AliExpress store – after all, I used several kilos of their stuff and I was never disappointed like with this wire. As already noted – melting point is higher than of 60/40 type alloys.
Also, one weird thing – they advertised the wire as “melting point 210C”, which simply screams one of those Sn99 alloys.

Anyway, after checking, turns out that this wire is not bismuth based at all.

It’s Sn96.5Ag3Cu0.5 or something like that. Which explains a lot. A bit higher price, formation of crystalline structure when solidifying, temperature, looks, everything.

There’s a video on YouTube on Androkavo channel (which has some awesome soldering videos), video title is something like “Mechanic Sn42 Bi58 wire test”, ofc it shows the disappointing behaviour of this wire. In reality, there’s nothing wrong with it, it behaves just like the most expensive copper based solders and silver content is also apparent. Actually, you can compare it with the Electroloy wire of same composition (on the same channel).

The incredible thing is that this video was made in 2018. It took them years to notice this, and they still wouldn’t notice if I hadn’t contacted them.

Just a few days ago.

Solder guys didn’t do anything wrong, they are just making a high quality wire. And obviously, speak no English.

This is on those other guys, the ones who design labels and commercials. Who knows how many refunds they paid because of inadequate expectations they created with this bismuth half a decade blunder.

Edit: btw, the correct information about the alloy is available on AliExpress Mechanic Pro store, and probably only there, all the other sites, places and people are still living in bismuth fantasy

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i would be concerned about tin whiskers growing and causing shorts with such high tin content—why would anyone want to use such?

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
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M1k4c
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Yeah, there are really no good ways to prevent whiskers with those Rohs compliant alloys.
Just a few percent of lead would be great solution, but the idiots in US and EU are more concerned about the health of people eating motherboards than about shorts and contamination…
Bismuth does solve this problem, but I had problems with LEDs sliding down the mcpcb – not because I soldered them using 42/58, but because I used it for previous desoldering and didn’t wick it well enough before soldering new LED using normal lead alloy. Ofc, lead-free bismuth alloys are also totally inappropriate.
Copper kind of helps. Silver makes it worse.
No reason to worry about whiskers, they don’t grow out of every joint, but it’s a very long time known problem, it’s just unbelievable that someone would simply ban lead.

Meanwhile, it’s still used as body solder, for plumbing and radiators and cars, for stuff you are more likely to be in contact with and where you use 30/70 solder for joints as heavy as half a spool of “our” solders.

I think the official reason is smtn about electronic waste management. Don’t really know the exact reasoning. I doubt it outweighs all the problems with lead free.

MtnDon
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M1k4c wrote:
….

Meanwhile, it’s still used as body solder, for plumbing and radiators and cars, for stuff you are more likely to be in contact with and where you use 30/70 solder for joints as heavy as half a spool of “our” solders.
……

But you can’t really deny that lead is a hazardous material. Where you live makes a big difference what can be used too. Lead solder is not used for plumbing in the US anymore; ot since 1986 (at least legally). Nor is lead solder used in the average auto body shop anymore. I have a friend who does custom body work, mostly on classic old cars. He charge $25 more per hour when a customer insists on lead solder body work. The reason being the extra personal protection equipment that must be used to prevent ingestion or breathing in lead fumes or fine dust from filing or sanding. He tells me that he actually likes the lead free body solder as it is stronger and the slightly higher melting point allows parts to be powder coated.

M1k4c
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MtnDon wrote:
M1k4c wrote:
….

Meanwhile, it’s still used as body solder, for plumbing and radiators and cars, for stuff you are more likely to be in contact with and where you use 30/70 solder for joints as heavy as half a spool of “our” solders.
……

But you can’t really deny that lead is a hazardous material. Where you live makes a big difference what can be used too. Lead solder is not used for plumbing in the US anymore; ot since 1986 (at least legally). Nor is lead solder used in the average auto body shop anymore. I have a friend who does custom body work, mostly on classic old cars. He charge $25 more per hour when a customer insists on lead solder body work. The reason being the extra personal protection equipment that must be used to prevent ingestion or breathing in lead fumes or fine dust from filing or sanding…

Tell you what – I live in Serbia where we have an increase of cancer diseases of around 400% after the bombing. And the same “developed world” claims that uranium is actually healthy for us.

Well, not really, not like that, but their claim is that depleted uranium is dangerous only if inhaled – and the only opportunity to inhale uranium molecules is immediately after, and in a vicinity of explosion.

The thing is, they used uranium to destroy TV retransmission antennas, hospitals, graveyard in Pristina – where there was absolutely no need for armour piercing ammo. Only later, years later, the science actually found out that uranium when exploding creates an aerosol – binding with air elements and staying airborne for decades, despite how heavy the molecule is.

Btw, those molecules will become lead one day, after many millenniums. So, you can imagine how concerned we are about some lead on waste yards.

To answer your comment (finally), yes, it’s nasty job – when you work with lead-based body solder and need to sand something. It’s always preferred to melt, but sometimes you have to sand.

But – there’s no such thing as “lead fumes”. Soldering is a job in which metals are melted, no one is working with temperature high enough to vaporise lead. Or tin, copper, silver, any metal ingredient. Missiles exploding might vaporise lead, but not irons or butane torches.

Lead is, ofc, hazardous. There are many instances where using lead-free alloys is justified. For example, you might want to solder some low power LEDs as backlight and you don’t want something your kids can touch to be lead based.

Same logic as lead based paint, right? It’s not that it’s hazardous just for being lead based, it’s hazardous because a 3 yo kid might want to try how pieces of paint falling of in some old house taste. And – it’s not like we can’t do without lead when it comes to paint.

Interesting fact about lead – no amount is tolerable/acceptable.

But, do we absolutely need lead when it comes to soft soldering, for example – in our smartphones?

I don’t know, maybe we don’t. But, the fact is – many countries banned it, created problem in industry, and after few decades, we still don’t have any good solutions.

SAC305 alloy (the one we talked about here – Sn96.5 Ag3 Cu0.5) is about 3x more expensive (which is irrelevant, really), is probably the most favoured lead-free alloy. Most companies that can afford it use it for wave soldering and most repair shops that use lead-free for whatever reason praise it as the best lead-free solution.

However, it’s melting point is higher than 60/40, 63/37, and it doesn’t solve the abovementioned problem with tin whiskers.

I am not disputing that “lead’s bad for you”, that would be just stupid, the only thing I’m saying is that we should take a look at cost/benefit ratio when making some decisions, such as – national legislation, for example.

Lead is “bad for you”, but it prevents whiskers that will cause shorts in 1 out of 100 smartphones. If it’s something you use for more than few years, number will be ofc higher.

On the other side – what exactly is the way you could introduce all this lead from inside your phone into your body? 3 year old kids can’t really open a phone. You need a bunch of pretty special, small screwdriver bits. Around 40-50 very very small screws need to be removed. And then, what? Even when this kid, or any other kind of irresponsible or insane person gets to these solder joints made out of 1/3 lead – what then? How do they ingest it, how do they atomise it to breathe it in?

There are many easier ways to cause harm to your body without so many obstacles and tech knowledge necessary.

To my mind, that whole thing with lead ban for solder don’t make sense. When the whole thing started, when they were still searching for alternatives, two possibilities proposed were Sn42Bi58 and Sn99.5Cu0.5 or something like that. The first had a very low melting point (138), not really high quality joints and was problematic for rework because, when mixed with lead based solders, it would drop the melting point to below 100C. The other option had all the problems that were known for century – whisker growth and, again, not very high quality joints. Also, wetting was very poor, new fluxes were invented to fix the issue to some degree. But, whoever knows soldering, also knows how annoying these Sn99 alloys are. Some jobs are simply impossible to do with Sn99.3Cu0.7, that much I can say with 20 years of experience behind it.

Nevertheless, this second option won. This “305” solder is a side effect of Sn95+ option winning. And it won just because something had to.

Pure Sn solutions were used after the WW2. We already had one anti-lead revolution. That’s how and why we started using Sn/Pb alloys and made them perfect.

Now, we’re just 70 years back. For no good reason. Lead is hazardous. So what? We’re not talking about food packaging or drinking water pipes, we’re talking about electrical connections inside devices – and this legislation is simply against the common interest.

I’m actually really interested – what is your opinion on this:

What exactly is the mechanism on how can one introduce lead from electronic devices into their system unintentionally, do you see any pathway from some TV or pc or smartphone, anything, to human body, that could be understandable and justify these kinds of bills?

(Btw, I think only those “apple certified” repair shops, which are not really repair shops, use lead-free. As long as the real repair shops are permitted to use lead, they will use it. Probably a bit longer, if we’re being honest. There are several good reasons for it. I’m not living in a no-lead state, but I am subscribed to many yt channels of this type. Lead ban didn’t make US and EU electronics guys less competent, it just made their lives more complicated)
Sorry for the long reply, I type fast and tend to forget myself.

Cheers!

MtnDon
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Using depleted uranium for projectiles was a real dumbshit idea. As long as it is still uranium, depleted or not, there can be problems. But I guess the military figures it’s not in their backyard so they don’t care much.

You lived through that war? I was particularly saddened during that time. I had traveled around what was then Yugoslavia in the fall of ’73. Had a great time. Two people I had met and kept in touch with were killed.

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@M1k4c, you have obviously much experience with Pb-free solder issues and bring up some interesting thoughts and concerns, thanks for sharing those.

The use of DU ammo seems to fall in the “weapons of mass destruction” category to me—what a tragic situation that has created.

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

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I thought the move away from lead in electronics had more to do with the health of factory/assembly workers and the environmental risks with improper disposal (not everything ends up in a sealed landfill), and then also to some extent the reclamation/recycling industry. Notsomuch for consumer and end user safety as with paint and pottery and mini-blinds and such. (Fishing weights…that was a good one to change, really.) Honestly I never paid too much attention to the regulations and reasons other than the big shift in potable plumbing lines and then news-issues as they arose.

One of the big problems with consumer electronics is the high rate of disposal and replacement. Nobody anticipated that electronics would become the juggernaut that they have in the market…now 40-50 years later we create and dispose of so many things that generally aren’t in use for very long, whether that is from obsolescence or poor design/assembly that results in early failure. When there are toxic elements in a stream of waste like this, it’s wise to address it, if we just can’t reduce the waste in the first place.