Solder paste is used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards to connect surface mount components to pads on the board. It is also possible to solder through-hole pin in paste components by printing solder paste in and over the holes. The sticky paste temporarily holds components in place; the board is then heated, melting the paste and forming a mechanical bond as well as an electrical connection. The paste is applied to the board by jet printing, stencil printing or syringe; then the components are put in place by a pick-and-place machine or by hand.
In metallurgy, a flux (from Latin fluxus ‘flow’) is a chemical cleaning agent, flowing agent, or purifying agent. Fluxes may have more than one function at a time. They are used in both extractive metallurgy and metal joining.
Iron ore was also used as a flux in the smelting of copper. These agents served various functions, the simplest being a reducing agent, which prevented oxides from forming on the surface of the molten metal, while others absorbed impurities into the slag, which could be scraped off the molten metal. Fluxes are also used in foundries for removing impurities from molten nonferrous metals such as aluminum, or for adding desirable trace elements such as titanium. As cleaning agents, fluxes facilitate soldering, brazing, and welding by removing oxidation from the metals to be joined. In some applications molten flux also serves as a heat-transfer medium, facilitating heating of the joint by the soldering tool or molten solder.
Solder (UK: /ˈsɒldə, ˈsəʊldə; NA: /ˈsɒdər/) a fusible metal alloy used to create a permanent bond between metal workpieces. Solder is melted in order to wet the parts of the joint, where it adheres to and connects the pieces after cooling. Metals or alloys suitable for use as solder should have a lower melting point than the pieces to be joined. The solder should also be resistant to oxidative and corrosive effects that would degrade the joint over time. Solder used in making electrical connections also needs to have favorable electrical characteristics.