Repair and Prototype Tools
Fast & Convenient PCB Repair and Prototyping at Your Benchtop
CircuitWorks® brand’s comprehensive line of conveniently packaged and precision dispensing rework and repair products makes circuit board repair and prototyping faster, easier and more accurate. Advanced-formula materials packaged in unique delivery systems ensure superior performance and pinpoint accuracy. The full range of products meets all of the
CircuitWorks® Products are compliant with IPC-7711 Rework of Electronic Assemblies, and ANSI/J-STD-001.
- Conductive Inks & Epoxies - A common method of repairing a broken trace is to solder on a jumper, which is basically a wire bypass around the broken trace. This can be time-consuming and visually unappealing. Chemtronics offers CircuitWorks® Conductive Pens, which contain a highly conductive material like silver or nickel suspended in a liquid polymer. These pens allow you to literally redraw the trace. 2-part conductive epoxy is a great solution for making solderless electronic connections. CircuitWorks Conductive Paint is a single component, silver-filled polymer that dries in minutes at room temperature, making it an ideal solution for patching EMI/RFI shielding.
- Cleaning Pens - Cleaning pens remove unsightly and corrosive flux residues from solder joints. The Mighty Pen is a universal cleaner that is ideal for removing QC fault labels and markings, including from Sharpie-type markers. Conformal Coating Remover Pan provides a precise method of stripping conformal coating around PCB repair areas.
- Flux Pens - Flux pens are valved, prefilled pens of flux. Flux pen avoids the mess and hassle involved in filling your own flux bottles. A flux dispensing pen contains the flux in the airtight barrel of the pen. Flux pens are an excellent way to dispense flux for benchtop soldering. Tacky flux is a viscous, pasty form of flux that is easy to place without it spreading into surrounding areas the way a liquid flux can. It can be used to hold small parts in place before soldering and is common in the manufacture and repair of SMT components. Tacky fluxes in syringe dispensers provide for dispensing convenience similar to a pen in situations where a tacky flux better fits the application.
- Thermal Paste - Thermal paste maximize heat transfer between circuit components and heat sinks without electrical conductivity.
- Overcoat Repair Products - Repair scratches and chips in PCB solder resist with Overcoat Pens. They are available in multiple colors, to match the current overcoat as much as possible. Overcoat Epoxy provides a rugged repairs that can actually reinforce PCB areas with more structural cracks.
- Specialty Lubricants - Gold Guard Pen cleans and lubricates gold finger connectors to eliminate intermittent connectivity failures and prevent oxidation. Silver Conductive Grease fills connector gaps to maximize electrical and thermal conductivity.
What flux should I use when replacing PCB components?
CircuitWorks® flux pens are available with a variety of fluxes to fit your specific shop requirements, including: no-clean, high temperature no-clean for lead-free soldering, rosin, and water soluble. Flux pens are an excellent way to dispense flux for benchtop soldering. You just hold the pen vertically and briefly depress the tip to start the liquid flow. This will saturate the tip of the pen with flux. Draw flux on the area to be soldered. Gently press the tip again when more flux is needed to keep the tip damp with flux.
How do you repair a broken trace on a PCB?
A common method of repairing a broken trace is to solder on a jumper, which is basically a wire bypass around the broken trace. This can be time-consuming and visually unappealing. Chemtronics offers CircuitWorks® Conductive Pens, which contain a highly conductive material like silver or nickel suspended in a liquid polymer. These pens allow you to literally redraw the trace.
How do I patch the conformal coating after a PCB repair?
Chemtronics offers CircuitWorks Overcoat Pens in a variety of colors to match the PCB resist. Overcoat pens are basically acrylic conformal coating in convenient packaging, and the clear version can be used to coat small areas. Simply press down the pen tip and squeeze the barrel to dispense the coating material.
How do you remove conformal coating when repairing or reworking a PCB?
Chemtronics offers the CircuitWorks® Conformal Coating Remover Pen that allows you to remove a tight area of coating around a repair area without affecting the rest of the PCB. You first saturate the tip by tapping it lightly on a surface, which opens the valve and releases solvent. Holding the tip down may oversaturate it, which could lead to solvent flowing into unintended areas.
How do you connect a temperature sensitive component without high temperature soldering?
2-part conductive epoxy is a great solution for making solderless electronic connections. This type of epoxy contains conductive material, so when cured, it forms a very strong and highly conductive bond, similar to a solder joint. Chemtronics offers two options: CircuitWorks® Conductive Epoxy, which cures in 10 minutes, and CircuitWorks® 60 Minute Conductive Epoxy, which provides more time to work. Both Epoxies have A and B components that need to be thoroughly mixed before the curing process will begin. Once mixed, you use the included plastic pick to apply to epoxy to the connection. If movement is possible during the curing process, you will need to tape down or otherwise secure the wires or components.
Can I add my own flux to solder wick?
In a production or repair environment where the flux is specified and can’t be changed, or when an aqueous flux is needed, you can add your own flux to this type of braid. Unfluxed wick will not remove solder unless flux is added. Different types of fluxes are available in pen packaging, which is ideal for fluxing braid.
Why is solder mask / resist / overcoat green?
Printed circuit boards (PCB) come in a variety of colors, including green, blue, red, brown, and even purple. The most common is green, but that can vary by application, industry, and the age of the PCB. Fashions change over time, and so do common PCB colors. Today, green is the most common. The reason? Not for any significant performance difference. Arguable, some colors may be easier on the eyes when assembling, soldering and reworking electronics, or work better with inspection optics. In reality, the main reason is probably price. Whatever is most common color will generally have lower cost, because bareboard suppliers are running that color continuously. Any odd color will require a change-over, extra clean-up, and thus additional cost.