Planetary Centrifugal Mixer Applications

The Advantages of Using a Planetary Centrifugal Mixer to Create Solder Paste

Solder paste is often an underappreciated part of the electronics assembly process. If there’s a problem with the solder paste, the quality and operation of the end product will be compromised. Taking shortcuts with mixing solder paste can be a costly mistake; for instance, defects in solder paste can cause circuit boards to fail. Solder paste is comprised of tiny lead-free metals that are held within a thick medium called solder flux. This flux acts as a temporary binder until the soldering process melts the solder, at which point the metal materials fuse together. Having the correct amount of materials in the paste as well as ensuring that all materials are blended properly is crucial to creating a quality solder paste. Planetary centrifugal mixers (also known as paste mixers) have many advantages when it comes to mixing and degassing solder pastes.

Planetary centrifugal mixers blend materials using a no-touch process that relies on simultaneous rotation and revolution. This technique provides efficient and homogenous blending, as solder paste materials undergo mixing and deaeration at the same time. In one study published by Springer in the Journal of Polymer Research, researchers investigated how using polymer binders could affect the rheological properties of silver solder paste when influenced by temperature—in other words, how the solder paste could deform or flow. They used a Mazerustar KK-V300 planetary centrifugal mixer to mix the polymer binder and silver solder powders thoroughly. The researchers discovered that using a very small amount of polymer binder made a big difference in forming an optimal and conductive paste. The amount used was so minor that it was able to burn off during the soldering process and yet still support the paste’s physical characteristics. The Mazerustar paste mixer that they used was a vacuum model, which removed bubbles at a submicron level and allowed the researchers to achieve a high level of precision during this experiment.

Planetary centrifugal mixers are often used for manufacturing solder pastes because their automation allows for the consistent creation and replication of ideal pastes. Workflow is already made more efficient due to having one machine that both disperses and deaerates quickly, but on top of that, cleanup is simplified since there are no blades or propellers. Torrey Hills Technologies is the retailer of two different lines of planetary centrifugal mixers: their own advanced SI-PM series, as well as Mazerustar paste mixer models.