Vapor Phase Soldering For SMD Components and Base Materials

Vapor Phase Soldering, also known as VP soldering, or vapor phase reflow, is currently the most flexible, simplest, and most reliable method of soldering. It is ideally suited for all types of SMD components and base materials. It allows processing of all components without the need of any complicated calculations or having to maintain temperature profiles. See Vapor Phase Process Chart Here.

Environmental concerns and RoHS initiatives currently exist over residues of lead, a constituent of solder. Attention is now focusing on the use of lead free soldering in electronics manufacturing. IBL Vapor Phase technology enables the use of lead free solders. IBL Vapor Phase is the only process that allows users to change to lead free without the risk of overheating the board or damaging components.

Soldering of lead-free pastes in Vapor Phase

Environmental concerns are being raised over residues of lead, a constituent of solder. Attention is now focusing on the potential use of lead-free soldering in electronics manufacturing. There is much discussion about the use of lead-free solder pastes; in particular soldering alloys with a melting point of about 220°C (Sn-Ag-0.7Cu, or Sn-3.5Ag).

Which types of soldering machines can these lead-free alloys be used in?

Theoretically, soldering with lead-free solder pastes can be undertaken in every soldering machine that is able to produce sufficient heat, but it is important to ensure that the temperature does not overheat the components or the printed circuit board.

It should be noted that many of the current ovens are not suitable for lead-free technology, due to the inferior wetting ability of lead free alloys compared with SnPb solder pastes. A saturated vapor atmosphere is of critical importance.

IBL Vapor Phase Soldering Machines already possess all the essential properties required for lead-free soldering today!

The 100% saturated vapor phase atmosphere ensures good wetting even with lead-free solder pastes. The maximum soldering temperature for lead-free solder pastes are reliably limited to 230°C. Repeatable, reliable soldering can be performed at this temperature.

Today’s typical components and FR4 printed circuit boards can be used without the need to make any modifications. IBL already has machines in use today, which can be installed now and used with confidence for lead-free solders.

IBL Vapor Phase Technology

Not only does this process enable you to work with lead-free solders, it is the only process that allows users to change to lead-free without the risk of overheating the board or damaging the components.


A chemically inert liquid is used for the thermal transfer. A non-corrosive and extremely stable liquid which can be combined with other materials, and which has a boiling point typically reached at 200*C or 215*C.

How it Works

• As the liquid boils, a layer of saturated vapor containing no oxygen or other gasses forms above it. The vapor’s weight is high therefore it displaces other gasses

• A pure protective gas atmosphere (0 ppm oxygen) forms without any additional gasses such as e.g. nitrogen having to be used

• The solder material is immersed into the vapor zone; the vapor condenses on the solder material and transfers its heat. Irrespective of the time the solder material remains in the vapor its temperature can never exceed the vapor’s temperature.

The Key Factor in Vapor Phase Soldering

The temperature of the vapor can never exceed the temperature of the boiling liquid, and it is fixed. The solder process can be reliably reproduced and offers ideal conditions for controlling the process. This enables soldering to be carried out on a wide range of assemblies, from flexprint to multi-layer, reliably and without overheating.


The CSI Company, LLC
10 Derry St.
Nashua, NH 03063
Office Number: 603-594-9909
Fax Number: 603-594-9913