Solder System Types

Many metals and their alloys can be used as solders. The following table gives a quick overview of various solder materials and their applications:

 

Solder

Applications

Characteristics

Bismuth

Low temperature soldering

Deforms easily. Needs Aggressive fluxes.

Cadmium-Silver

High temperature applications

Toxic. Good tensile strength

Indium

Low temperature soldering, wets glass

Deforms easily

Lead-Silver

High temperature applications

Good high temperature properties, good fatigue strength. Medium or low flow properties

Tin-Antimony

High temperature and food industry applications

Non-toxic. Good high temperature properties. Better electrical conductivity and strength than tin-lead solders. Good wetting.

Tin-Antimony-Lead

General purpose.

Improved mechanical properties over Tin-Lead solders. Can not be used with zinc due to brittle zinc-antimony inter-metallic compounds

Tin-Lead

General purpose, and the most widely used solders.

Good process characteristics and the best traditional range of solders.

Tin-Silver

Used for soldering medical or high precision instruments. High temperature applications

Non-toxic but expensive. Good high temperature properties.

Tin-Zinc

Soldering aluminum

Requires special flux type

Zinc-Aluminum

Soldering aluminum

Requires alumina based flux