Solder Fume Extraction Systems
Solder Fume Extraction Systems for 1 to 100 Irons
The dangers of solder fumes are one of the most researched hazards in the work place. Indeed, the dangers of solder fume is one of the main reasons fume extraction is needed in the work place. Solder fumes from rosin-cored solder is a proven cause of occupational asthma. When the solder flux is heated above 183 Celsius, a complex mix of vaporized solid particulates and gases are released. This is referred to as Colophony due to the rosin in the flux core.
Solder fume has been shown to contain around 95% vaporized solid particulates made up of the solder flux and the soldered materials and around 5% gases released from the solder flux and soldered materials. These gases can contain a cocktail of Acetones, Methyl Alcohol, Formaldehyde, Carbon Dioxide, Diterpene Acid, Carbon Monoxide and Isopropanol Alcohol (IPA). All of these are proven to cause harm to your respiratory system and wider health. Even “No-Clean” and “Synthetic” fluxes can lead to serious lung irritation and potential damage.
Solder fume extraction is usually achieved via arm extraction or via tip extraction. Tip extraction uses a small-bore steel tube, mounted on the solder iron, connected to a high-pressure pump via small bore silicone hosing. For larger systems with more than one user, small bore ducting is used to connected the tip extraction hoses to the fume extractor. Tip extractors capture the fume directly at source but can be very high maintenance and require regular cleaning.
Arm extraction systems use capture nozzles and arms (usually a “stay-put” type arm) that is mounted on the work bench and is placed just behind and slightly above the soldering point. The arm extraction (if placed correctly) draws the fume back and away from the operator before it reaches their breathing zone.
Arm systems tend to be more popular nowadays as they require less maintenance and cleaning.
See our Fume Extraction Information Page for further reading