Lead Vs. Lead-Free Soldering for PCB Assembly

Whether lead-free solder vs. lead solder, the functions are nearly identical. But different products and applications may require other solders.
PCB Soldering

Nearly all electronics use solder as the adhesive that attaches pieces/parts to a Printed Circuit Board. Whether lead-free solder vs. lead solder, the functions are nearly identical. But different products and applications may require other solders. Through the years, PCB manufacturers have maintained industry challenges and have responded with an influx of recent technologies and practices. These include the miniaturization of PCBs, flexible printed circuits, and also the growing demand for green electronics.

The choice of the solder may have a bearing on the soldering process. If the choice is wrong, then the soldering process is challenging. All that’s needed is to induce more theoretical knowledge on the selection and kind of solder. With such, you’ll be in an exceedingly position to hold out a straightforward soldering process. betting on what you would like, you’ll be able to choose from lead solder and lead-free options. There are advantages and drawbacks that include both methods. Therefore, if you would like to make sure of the standard of solder joints, you’ll need to find the simplest option for you.

What is the Solder?

So, what’s a solder? Why use lead-free solder as hostile leaded solder? And are there any demerits related to both of the two? This text highlights plenty to try and do with lead-free vs lead solder. In the end, you’ll understand a lot about what you would like to understand about leaded-free and lead solder. But first, what’s solder? Solder is utilized to attach components of printed circuit boards and permit them to pass a current freely to permit them to function correctly. Solder could be a metal alloy consisting of lead and tin melted by the use of a hot iron. The heating of the iron is under peak temperatures of six hundred Fahrenheit. The instant the iron cools, it creates a sturdy electrical bond.


Traditional solder used for soldering across the industry is a mixture of lead and tin. Of importance to notice is that different kinds of solder find use in various purposes. In electronics, the sort of solder that assemblers use is 40% lead and 60% tin. It goes by the name “Eutectic Mixture.” While this is often a chemical term, mostly, this kind of mixture does melt at temperatures well below that which you would possibly expect.

There are two sorts of solder utilized in today’s PCBs, which are lead and lead-free. Each type has benefits and issues, so we’ll discuss the difference and dive into more detail about each and what makes it either ideal or inappropriate to be used in specific applications.

What is Lead Solder?

Generally, leaded solder consists of tin and lead. The benefit of using leaded solder is its sufficient flowing ability. It’s a lower temperature than lead-free solder; hence, presenting fewer thermal effects to components. More, when the solder cools down, it adopts a brighter formation than lead-free solder, making it easy for you to notice issues like oxidation. Also, lead solder is more affordable and more comfortable to use than lead-free solder.

What is Lead Free Solder?

The main reason why manufacturers are shifting to the utilization of lead-free solder is to eradicate lead from electronic production and waste recycling processes. Within the past 20 years, the electronic manufacturing world has experienced a dynamic development of different soldering materials centered on tin metal. This other method uses materials with properties that are different from the lead and tin eutectic pieces.

Lead-free solder wire

Comparison Between Lead and Lead-Free Solder

The use of high quantities of lead in consumer products over an extended period causes harmful effects to the environment and folks. Nowadays, corporations have turned to lead-free soldering to support their social responsibility efforts of saving the circumstances. Thus, it’s crucial to find out how lead-free solder compares with leaded solder and examine the higher option to be used.

With the drive towards reducing the quantity of lead employed in electronics, lead-free solder is now in use almost everywhere. supported health and environmental reasons, some directives are banning the commercial use of data. It implies that traditional solders containing lead won’t be available for any soldering exercise.

  1. Melting Point

Lead solder features a temperature of 1830C, while lead-free solder incorporates a temperature of 2170C. Now, these are the results of the upper freezing point of lead-free solder:

  • The higher temperature of lead-free soldering erodes the solder fastly as compared to the lower temperature of lead soldering.
  • Like those containing plastic packages and electronic capacitors, some components are negatively stricken by the high soldering temperature of lead-free solder.
  • The warmth of lead-free solder comes with major factor stress; therefore, low dielectric components are more at risk of failure.
  • Lead-free solder components have several soldering surfaces. Companies often use tin on such surfaces because it’s cost-effective. However, the tin generates a tiny low oxidation coat on the skin which will cause electroplating.
  1. Eutectic or Not

Manufacturers valued the utilization of tin and lead because they formed a eutectic mixture. In other words, the lead and tin arrangement have a lower temperature than the particular metals’ temperatures. Although the electronic manufacturing world has not managed to get another eutectic metal combination, it’s invented a lead-free soldering technique that works well.

  1. Health Concerns

Lead can indeed accumulate within the chassis even from small prolonged exposures. In an industry experiencing high lead emission, workers are more liable to the risks of lead as they will quickly inhale it or savvy by touching contaminated surfaces. Remember, lead is more dangerous to children. Therefore, take these health concerns seriously wherever you’re using lead solder.

  1. Cost

Leaded solder is more cost-effective than lead-free solders. This can be because lead is barely a tenth of the tin price, making leaded solder easily affordable. Furthermore, some manufacturers replace tin with silver in lead-free solders, making them even dearer.

Lead-free solder bar


Leaded solder comes with a lot of advantages for all electronic manufacturing, but the waves of change are raging. All sectors that use solder in large quantities are likely to shift to lead-free soldering soon if they need not done so yet. Besides, there could also be insufficient solder within the marketplace for hobbyists as various governments founded eco-friendly measures. Similar to with any change, some individuals resist the employment of lead-free solder. However, the shift to a safer method is important and undoubtedly inevitable regarding human health and safety.

JHYPCB is a leading PCB manufacturing and assembly expert in China. In addition to providing lead-free PCB assembly service, we also provide the following PCB assembly services:

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