What are cold soldering connections and why should you care?
You should care because a cold solder connection is bad soldering! And bad soldering often results in a bad connection. Bad or loose connections will often cause your industrial electronic equipment to fail – a hot mess! Who needs that?!
So, what exactly is a cold solder joint? Just what you might think – making a soldered connection without adequate heat. This means that the solder will not flow to fill in all the spaces which may make a mechanical bond but does not make a proper connection to the necessary wire.
A good solder connection will look concave and shiny. A bad (cold) connection may be convex, bubbly, and/or pitted. The bond will be poor and cracks may develop in the joint over time. Most of the time when we see cold solder connections, they are typically the result of a previous bad repair and not from the OEM.
Although they shouldn’t happen at all, cold solder joints can be repaired! Repaired cold solder connections can be done with a pre-heated soldering iron with sufficient power so that the when the joint is reheated the solder flows. Cold joints or connections often have too much solder. During reheating, the excess solder can be drawn off with the tip of the hot iron.
Next up in the Knowledge is Power Series is the other extreme: The Overheated Solder Joint.
About the Author: ACS is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repair services for drives of all types and most all manufacturers including servo drive repairs, AC/DC drives, VFD drives, servo motors, encoders, printed circuit board repairs, monitors and touchscreens, PLCs, test equipment, and much more. Our customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair concerns. Legacy equipment can be repaired! RUSH Service is available. You can reach ACS by calling 800-605-6419.