How can you identify an unmarked roll of solder ?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Ohighway, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    Sitting here looking at half a spool of Kester solder. Listed as solid wire, measures 0.032" diameter, but the markings that indicate what type of solder it is have faded away.

    Question.... is there any way to determine what solder this is? Based on it's somewhat shiny appearance and the small diameter I'm thinking 60/40 or maybe even 63/37, (as opposed to 50/50) but ..... who knows?

    Suggestions, thoughts, ideas ? BTW, I marked the 032 on the spool after I measured the solder.

    kester.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  2. arts

    arts Super Member

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    0.032 is rather small for solid wire solder,so it's probably not for electronic applications. Maybe Jewelry,so based on the shine,possibly silver?
     
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  3. audiodummy

    audiodummy Active Member

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    Without qualitative analysis it'd be hard to tell.

    A rough guess, if you have an accurate temperature controlled solder iron, find its melting point and look it up on a table; you probably can't tell between 60/40 and 63/37 (but maybe you can) however you should be able to rule out 50/50 if it is...

    Also I think higher tin solders end up somewhat more shiny than more lead solders, but this is not a good way to tell solder composition...
     
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  4. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Super Member

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    Why don't you just experiment soldering some and see how it works? If it solder good, then use it!!! There are so many different kind, but it's for doing one thing......solder!!!
     
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  5. audiodummy

    audiodummy Active Member

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    As it has no rosin it can be tough to solder electronics with it, plus if you need to set your iron very high to melt the stuff, it can damage what you're trying to solder.

    Definitely see how much of a hot slushy region the alloy has while it melts/solidifies, that can be a good indication of composition (63/37 will solidify very fast, 60/40 will have a slight slush, and 50/50 will stay slushy for quite a while.)
     
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  6. redk9258

    redk9258 Super Member

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    Throw it away. It's not worth guessing if it is suitable to use.
     
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  7. blhagstrom

    blhagstrom Mad Scientist, fixer. Subscriber

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    Bingo
     
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  8. ghazzer

    ghazzer Sansui addict Subscriber

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    Do you have any 1/32" (0.03125") solder that is still labeled? Use your regular iron to make some solder joints with each. Compare the melt and hardening times to determine composition. Give it a whiff test to see if it contains resin.
     
  9. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    I might have some marked rolls in that size in 60/40 and/or 63/37. Pretty sure this one doesn't have rosin as it's marked 'solid wire' on the spool.
     
  10. Binkman

    Binkman Addicted Member

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    don't load up the dumps with solder of any kind. Silver has many apps including mil grade to radiator repair and surface mount apps. and joining unsolderable non copper or aluminum.

    shoot a pic to kester to identify.
    bink.
     
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  11. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    Not to worry. Not my style to throw away perfectly good solder.
     
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  12. hugo454

    hugo454 Gold Member Subscriber

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    only by tasting.
     
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  13. ghazzer

    ghazzer Sansui addict Subscriber

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    I need to pay more attention - - -

    You could always use that handy mass spectrometer in your basement to determine composition.
     
  14. dyche01

    dyche01 "Buy high. Sell low" Subscriber

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    Yep, that's solder all right.

    Next question.
     
  15. Ohighway

    Ohighway Wannabe Minimalist Subscriber

    Nah. It's not working..... bad fuse or something..... Or maybe a bad solder joint.:rolleyes:
     
  16. redk9258

    redk9258 Super Member

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    It's not perfectly good though. You don't know what it is. You surely wouldn't want to use it on electronics without knowing it's composition. You surely cannot use it for soldering plumbing because it could contain lead. You surely wouldn't use it on jewelry because it could contain lead and end up in some child's mouth. The spool looks almost empty. Throw it away or recycle it.
     
  17. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Super Member

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    I still say make a few soldering experiment, if it does not solder good, dump it. If it works, keep it. Why even talk about it. If it really doesn't have rasin, you are not going to make a good solder joint, it looks funny and you know. If it has rasin and good for soldering, it will flow and make a shinny joint and you are good to go.

    Do you have experience soldering? If you do enough soldering before, you know with two solder joints whether it works or not. Wasting time talking here for a one minute experiment.
     
  18. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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  19. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Super Member

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    I thought about liquid flux but I did not suggest it. You really don't know what kind of solder wire is that, what if even with flux, it's still not that good? Then you waste more money. In my book, it either works as is or chuck it. Solder is very important.
     
  20. arts

    arts Super Member

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    Where did I make any reference to ''dumping'' this solder?? And I am also well aware of all of the possible uses of silver solder. Do you have a pathological need to post that dispenses with common sense?
     

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