solder 60/40 vs 50/50

solder 60/40 vs 50/50 

solder 60/40

What are solder 60/40 and solder 50/50?

Both these two types are tin & lead alloy, the difference is the percentage of tin and lead. The solder 60/40 contains 60% tin and 40% lead, while the solder 50/50 contains 50% tin and 50% of lead by weight. The solder 60/40 has higher content of tin comparing to solder 50/50 and this lead to difference in properties and cost. 

Comparing solder 60/40 vs 50/50 

Tin:Lead Alloy Tin% Lead% Solidus Temp Liquidus Temp Pasty Range Liquid Range
40/60 40 60 183ºC 247ºC 54°C 123°C
50/50 50 50 183ºC 216ºC 33°C 154°C
60/40 60 40 183ºC 191ºC 8°C 179°C
63:37 63 37 183ºC 183ºC 0°C 187°C

Solder 60/40 contains more tin, thus it has lower melting point (solidus temperature at 183℃ and liquidus temperature at 191℃). That means it has smaller plastic range or so called pasty range (a status that the solder remains between solid & liquid, called pasty status). Solder 50/50 has solidus temperature 183℃ and liquidus temperature 216℃, it has bigger plastic range. So that means two things: firstly it requires more heat to work on solder 50/50; second solder 60/40 gives you a bit more than to work on the solder before it becomes pasty after solder tip is removed because cooling from 370℃ (temperature of solder iron tip) to 191℃ takes more than comparing to solder 50/50.

What to choose? Solder 60/40 gives you more than to flow the solder over the soldering area and helps you to get a nicer and smoother beads or solder lines; but if you prefer the solder to become solid in shorter time to prevent it to drop or penetrate through to create a mess, the solder 50/50 is a better choice as it comes pasty in shorter time. This might be more crucial problems when you work with solders for the stained glass or metal sheets joining.

If for electrical or electronic soldering, solder 60/40 has better electrical conductivity, tensile strength and shear strength over the solder 50/50; 

And if you prefer a more bright look of solder joint, choose solder 60/40.


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