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Cardas Solder- Tri vs. Quad Eutectic Roll Solder

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello, is there any significant difference between Cardas Tri Eutectic Roll Solder and Quad Eutectic Roll Solder. I've read all the information i can on their website (bottom) but it doesn't really give much information comparing  the two.

 

The main difference as far as I can tell is that Tri Eutectic is RoHS (restrictions of hazard substances) and lead free while Quad Eutectic contains lead and is not RoHS. My question is does it make a difference in terms of sound quality which Cardas solder i use, which is better, and what role does lead play in the quality of solder points. Thanks.

 

 

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=oem&pagestring=Solder+and+Flux&content_id=19

post #2 of 5

They have similar silver content (3% for Quad Eutectic, 4% for Tri Eutectic), but the lead-free Tri Eutectic solder has more tin, which has a slightly lower resistance than lead. Even so, it would probably be very difficult to distinguish between the two solders. The main difference is workability. The Quad Eutectic has a lower melting point so it is much easier to work with and less likely to create a cold joint. However, if you have a good temperature controlled soldering iron, you can set the temperature just high enough that you can easily work with lead-free solders. One other thing to keep in mind is that with the higher temperature needed for lead-free soldering, it will be easier to damage components and pads on PCBs.


Edited by compuryan - 11/3/10 at 9:59pm
post #3 of 5

Yes, a difference of a whole eutectic!

 

(sorry, couldn't resist)

 

In an eutectic mixture, all the components in the system transition simultaneously from one phase (liquid) to another (solid).  So for solder, the hot liquid solid will cool to form a solid joint that is strong because the alloyed components haven't separated while solidifying.  Cardas Quad Eutectic has 4 components, one of which is lead.  Lead alloys melt at lower temperatures than most other metals. RoHS prohibits leaded solder.  You know, so babies don't lick it.  So Cardas reformulated the solder to a different eutectic point, this time without the lead.  Quad Eutectic solder has a lower melting temperature, which means it is easier to work because it requires less heat (and therefore less thermal stress on delicate electronics components).

 

Both are eutectic solders, so if you use good soldering technique, there is no difference between one and the other.  Except the aforementioned melting temperature.  Does it make a difference in sound quality?    No more than the phase of the moon.

post #4 of 5

I like the Quad better and it's all I use anymore.

The only real advantage I see is the melting point is lower, as mentioned above, but it is a significant advantage.

In particular, it is noticibly easier to de-solder screw ups, which I have to do regularly.

Philosophically, the whole RoHS thing is just another nanny state meddling with extremely poor cost/benefit.

Pb in gasoline and paint is one thing, in electronic solder joints it hurts nothing.

I think stuff built with non-RoHS compliant parts sounds just a touch better by virtue of being (EU) forbidden.


Edited by bada bing - 11/3/10 at 11:33pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses and information. I bought 20ft of Cardas Quad solder on Ebay and didn't even realize that there was a difference between Tri and Quad solder until after I bought it. I was kicking myself because I thought I bought the wrong type but it seems like I lucked out when I bought the Quad solder which everyone seems to prefer. Whew!

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