Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.

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Actually, of course, it's totally impossible.

So I wonder what's really happening.

I've been modifying a quartz clock, and needed to solder the very thin  
enameled copper wire that its motor uses. Repeatedly, I was finding that  
the wire broke while being soldered, for all the world as if I was  
melting through it.

I can't see how it can be anything other than copper wire in this  
application. It's the right colour, and low resistance is important to  
reduce battery consumption in the clock as originally sold.

Any thoughts?

Sylvia.

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
On Sat, 11 Jan 2014 13:10:09 +1100, Sylvia Else

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Solder dissolves copper.

There is copper-bearing "savbit" solder that does this much less.


--  

John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc

jlarkin att highlandtechnology dott com
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Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.

"John Larkin"
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** The only kind I ever use is Multicore "Savbit"  -  around since the  
1960s.

As the name suggests, it was intended to save wear on plain cooper bits as  
used in most soldering irons back then.

Then iron plated bits became the norm.

Even with Savbit, soldering copper wires of 0.05mm or less needs skill and  
speed.

This pdf shows the effect of the added copper in Savbit.

http://krayden.com/tds/henk_multicore_99c_tds.pdf

Around 1000 times improvement compared to using pure tin solder.



...  Phil








Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
Try turning down the iron temp (if it's controlled).

I've tinned #37 many times (~4.5 mil dia.) and have dissolved it before.  
Guessing the stuff you're working with is even thinner.

Tim

--  
Seven Transistor Labs
Electrical Engineering Consultation
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Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.

"Tim Williams"
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** Problem is, the OP is trying to tin *enamelled* copper wire.

  So she has to burn the lacquer coating off first, so a tip temp of circa  
350C is needed.


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** The thinnest I have worked with was the wire used in the original  
Sennheiser HD414 headphones  -  rated at 2000 ohms per ear piece.

IIRC, its about 1.5 thou of an inch dia.

Electric guitar PUs use similar wire.



....   Phil  



Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
Sylvia Else brought next idea :
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Not answering your question BUT How does low resistance reduce the  
battery consuption?

--  
John G

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.

"John G"
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** Works for loudspeakers, transformers and every other use of copper wire  
in electronics.

 Hint  - it minimises I squared R losses....



....  Phil



Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
It happens that Phil Allison formulated :
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Yes it reduces the I sqared R losses but would only increase the  
BATTERY consumption by applying a larger voltage to the load.
Very small changes in this case I admit.

--  
John G

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.

"John G"
 Phil Allison
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** No.

A motor ( etc)  using copper wire has LESS  battery drain since it is MORE  
efficient.

Think it all the way through.



...  Phil





Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
On 11/01/2014 13:10, Sylvia Else wrote:
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As others said, the solder is dissolving the copper. If you can get  
Savbit, that would help, or you could saturate a small blob of solder  
with copper yourself, and then use it with some fresh flux on your wire.  
Solder that is saturated with copper can seem a bit "gritty" and is  
normally not very nice to use.

When making coils with fine wire, sometimes I fold over some of the same  
wire repeatedly, to form a bunch (maybe 4, 8 or 16 strands) and then  
twist it together with the thin wire that I am soldering, to give the  
lead-out wire from a coil some more mechanical strength. It also gives  
the solder a larger number of wires to attack, which might help to  
reduce the rate at which any individual strand in the bunch is  
disappearing. Getting the soldering done quickly will obviously help.

Chris

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
Sylvia Else wrote:
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   Try using Savbit..
   Or, in this case,try suckkie SAC; in either case the copper in the  
solder prevents wire size reduction due to alloying copper from the wire.

   This is the one rare case that SAC is useful; in Immersion Silver  
PCBs, it is a disaster.

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
On 11/01/2014 1:10 PM, Sylvia Else wrote:
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I suppose I should have realised that  
the wire was being dissolved, since I was vaguely aware that solder eats  
away soldering bits. I remain surprised that the effect could be so fast.

Sylvia.

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
Sylvia Else wrote:
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What I do Or have done in a past life winding electrical stuff with fine  
wire, is to twist the two bits tight together for about 1/2" then get  
very fine flame and touch the end (just momentarily)and it will usually  
melt into a blob thus joining it.

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
Sylvia Else wrote:
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   Einstein said it: "it is all relative"; fine wire making it stand out).


Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
On Sat, 11 Jan 2014 16:44:06 +1100, Sylvia Else

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---
http://aws.org/wj/supplement/WJ_1975_10_s370.pdf

JF

Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.
On Sat, 11 Jan 2014 13:10:09 +1100, Sylvia Else

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   Sometimes the FLUX can do that ... it's designed to "clean"
   the copper, and it does that by chemically attacking the  
   copper oxide layer on the surface. On VERY thin wire the
   chemical action may be enough to dissolve not only the
   oxide but the underlying metal too.  

   Try a different brand of solder ... maybe try something
   like silver solder.  


Re: Melting cooper wire with a soldering iron.

"Mr. B1ack"
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**  Pretty wild piece of speculation  -  seeing as ordinary solder flux is  
sometimes used to coat and protect the copper layer on PCBs.


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** Nuts.

 ....   Phil


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