Lead-Free Flux Remover - PowerClean™ is the strongest flux remover in the MicroCare line. It is the ideal cleaning fluid for tough lead-free flux residues, pastes, oils, inks and acrylic conformal coatings commonly found during electronic rework and repair. Engineered for time and cost savings, PowerClean is fast drying, nonflammable and leaves no white residue. It is also an effetive cleaning fluid for degreasing, cleaning connectors, and removing light oxides all while preventing white residues.
Safe on most electronics grade components, including nylon, epoxies, polyethylene, polyproplene and PVC. May effect polystrene and polycarbonates. Testing before use on plastics is recommended. Not suitable for use in heated cleaning systems.
Key Products Features & Benefits:
Prod. No. MCC-PW3107
Microcare PowerClean Aerosol - 300G
Q - Which cleaner is best at cleaning ceramic and hybrid circuits?
A - For the general precision defluxing of hybrids, nothing can beat the Lead-Free Flux Remover – PowerClean™ (#MCC-PW2). This is a powerful cleaner, functionally equivalent to the old Freon® TMC or Genesolv® 2004. PowerClean™ dries fast, offers powerful cleaning on most fluxes, it’s nonflammable, it has a very low aroma, and is easy to use and to store. It’s a great choice.
A newer choice, but slightly milder, is the VOC- Free Flux Remover – UltraClean™. This is a medium-strength cleaner that is engineered for communities with the tightest restrictions on using VOCs.
An older answer is the General Purpose Degreaser – Axarel® (#MCC-AXL). Originally developed by DuPont for cleaning hybrids, this is a hydrocarbon solvent that it is derived from petroleum products. Plastic-safe and slow drying, it has a modest aroma and delivers moderately powerful cleaning. It represents a very good combination of characteristics that make it one of the best selling choices from MicroCare.
Q - I,m getting white residues when l clean my boards, why? and what can l do?
A - White residues are the bane of the electronics industry. The white residues themselves usually (but not always) are salts, which are the “activators” in the fluxes. When these salts meet heat or other chemicals, white residues can result. These residues can corrode delicate circuits. There are dozens of different possible sources — the boards, the solvent and fluxes, the people, the processes, the way the fluxes and solder paste are stored, and even the weather. It is very hard to determine precisely what might be causing the problem.
Since the industry switched primarily to lead-free soldering materials, problems with white residues have skyrocketed. These materials use different ingredients, operate at higher temperatures and respond to solvents differently than the older products. MicroCare has introduced new cleaners specifically to help deal with these high-temperature issues.
But lead-free isn’t the only source of residues. For example, if somebody uses the wrong flux, white residues can result. If cleaning is not performed properly, white residues can result. Even improperly cured substrates can manifest white residues after reflow. So determining the true root cause can be tricky.
All too often, people blame the solvent because it’s the last chemical to touch the board even when the true cause is some other process or change. The good news is that you can be absolutely sure that the source of the problem is NOT contamination in the MicroCare solvent itself. All MicroCare cleaners are filtered to 0.2 microns. This means they are factory-pure. And — unlike some cleaning companies — we never use reclaimed (recycled) materials in our cleaners.
So, what is causing the residues? There are three likely places to look: the contamination, the solvent, and then the process.
1. First, look for a change in what you’re trying to clean. For example, have you just switched to lead-free? Or, did a spool of RMA solder get slipped into a “no clean” process? These material changes can cause unexpected residues and cleaning problems.
2. Next, look for a mismatch between the solvent and the contamination. If the residues are an even, smooth layer of white film across a large area this usually indicates you have the wrong solvent for that flux. For example, the Heavy-Duty Flux Remover – SuprClean™ generally will leave white residues on “no-clean” fluxes. As another example, once in a great while the ingredients in the Alcohol- Enhanced Flux Remover – ProClean™ also will react with “no clean ” fluxes and produce white residues. Change the solvent and the problem goes away.
To select a solvent, use this standard progression from the mildest cleaner to the strongest:
Alcohol-Enhanced Flux Remover – ProClean™ -> No-Clean Flux Remover – VeriClean™ -> Lead-Free Flux Remover – PowerClean™
Lastly, check the cleaning process. When people report white residue problems, it often is a process problem. Look for streaks or spots of white residues. These are the indicators of improper cleaning technique. If your people are using the TriggerGrip™ circuit board cleaning system, check and see if they are using it correctly. Remember the four-step cleaning process: Wet, Scrub, Rinse and Dry. For a free training video about TriggerGrip procedures download it from this web site, or call or email Micro Care.