Soldering Iron: Design and Function

In many cases, there are uncertainties about the required wattage of the soldering iron for certain tasks. This is related to the fact that too little is known about the structure and operation of soldering iron. Both are explained in detail in our contribution.

Types of Soldering Irons

First of all, you have to differentiate between different types of soldering iron:

  • the soldering gun
  • the simple, unregulated soldering iron
  • soldering pins
  • temperature controlled soldering stations

All soldering irons described here are only suitable for soldering, but not for soldering brazing. Externally heated gas soldering irons are also not taken into account here.

Soldering Gun

The soldering gun is a classic home improvement tool. It works differently than an electric soldering iron. Here current flows through the tip, which is a kind of heating coil.

Within a few seconds, the tip heats up due to electrical resistance and serves as a soldering tip. In order to accelerate the heating even further, high currents are used here at low voltages, in the device therefore a suitable transformer is installed to generate such a current.

Electric soldering iron and soldering pins

The soldering tip (usually made of copper) is heated either internally or externally by the electric soldering iron. The heating element is the classic soldering iron usually in the region of the head. Otherwise, only the top (usually replaceable) and a handle are required.

In the case of a temperature-controlled soldering station, there is another temperature sensor in the immediate vicinity of the tip. It measures the existing temperature at the top and returns it to the soldering station, which then adjusts accordingly. Temperatur The temperature stabilization of the unregulated soldering iron ("Magnastat") can be done either by a simple heating coil or by an electromechanical temperature control. The heating coil as a temperature sensor is also used by the temperature-controlled pistons of soldering stations.

Soldering Needles vom Soldering needles are basically the same as the classic electric soldering iron, but they are much smaller and thinner. Soldering needles are used mainly for soldering very small components, very fine wires and for repair work.

Soldering Tips

A very important part of the soldering iron is the tip. Usually, soldering tips are made of copper, because this metal guarantees a particularly good thermal conductivity.

Copper tips very soon build up scale and therefore always have to be cleaned and reworked with a file. This can be saved with so-called "Dauerlötspitzen". They are provided with a coating that does not need to be reworked (and may not).

Tips & Tricks Always use a soldering tip of a suitable size for soldering work - and of course the correct wattage with a soldering iron, or a soldering station.

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