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previous: jp Okay, I don't want to start a new h... -- 3/3/2000 9:18 PM View Thread

Re: Can of Worms . . .

3/5/2000 12:32 AM
R.G.
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Re: Can of Worms . . .
There are two kinds of solder that are promoted as "silver solder". First is a tin-lead solder with 2% silver in it. This only exists because it has the property that with some silver in it, it does not leach silver from silver coated surface mount component leads, which is a problem primarily with surface mount logic boards.  
 
The 2% of silver does not noticeably change the resistivity of a given solder joint. Solder joints in general have some places where the conductors contact metal to metal, and the solder fills up the spaces around the contact with a (relatively) low resistance path. Solder itself has a resistivity considerably higher than copper or silver, but the thickness of solder being traversed is very, very short compared to the feet of copper wire, and the solder joint is usually much bigger in cross section, so it's unlikely any audible difference exists between silver bearing (the correct term)tin-lead solder and ordinary 60-40 or eutectic 63-37. You really can't get a whole lot of silver into tin-lead solder without running the melting temperature up FAST, so I don't think you'll find solders with "a fair amount of silver" in them.  
 
Real "silver solder" is a form of brazing, and is done using a silver-bearing alloy that requires a much higher temperature than tin-lead solders. The temperature is so high that wire insulation would be a thing of the past, so this isn't practical at all for electronic soldering.  
 
My opinion is that any difference between electronic grade solders and silver bearing solders would be inaudible, and would be swamped by copper and wire resistances. But this part is just my opinion.