reflow oven

Reflow ovens are used to make printed circuit boards for electronics.

SMT Reflow Process

A reflow process or reflow soldering is the process of melting the solder on a PCB as part of the final step in electronics manufacturing.

Reflow Oven Temperature Profile

A reflow oven heats up gradually to different temperatures throughout the heating process. This is called a profile. Unlike a normal oven, which you set to a temperature and wait for it to get to that temperature, a solder reflow oven starts heating slowly and reaches a certain peak temperature, then will start to cool down.

This oven heating profile is necessary for electronic components for 2 main reasons:

  1. Certain SMT components can only be exposed to a certain maximum temperature over a given time period; these limits are provided in the datasheet for that part/component.
  2. The solder paste needs a particular heating process for the flux and solder to properly “reflow” and the solder to do its job. This solder reflow process is also called paste release, or solder paste release.

When the proper solder paste (solder and flux mix) is used and the right amount applied via the stencil, the flux will mostly evaporate and all that is left is a clean, shiny solder joint on all the parts on your PCB or circuit board.


Types of Reflow Ovens

Convection Reflow Oven

A convection oven uses a standard electric coil to create the heat in the oven. This type is most often used in professional, commercial grade, high volume ovens.

They typically use a conveyor belt type system to move the PCB along into different heating zones.

Infrared Reflow Oven

Infrared uses IR light to create the heat in the oven and this is the method typically used in the smaller, less expensive ovens.

The following are low cost reflow ovens that will do the job for smaller boards and PCB panels.

Happybuy T962 – Great Oven for Beginners

happybuy T962 reflow ovenFor those who need a infrared oven for smaller projects or hobbyist, there’s the T962 800-Watt Infrared reflow oven. This is one of the most popular brands when it comes to these necessary and valuable tools, and you can see why.


this is regular good product for smaller circuit boards.

Pros

  • Great temperature range;
  • 7-year warranty;
  • Reliable;
  • Good performance;

Cons

  • Pricey;
  • The handle and body heat up easily;

Happybuy T962A – More Powerful Oven

happybuy t962a infrared reflow ovenFor those who love a good reflow oven, there’s the T962A 1500-Watt oven. This is one of the most popular brands when it comes to these necessary and valuable tools, and you can see why.

this is regular good product, but with more power.

Pros

  • Great temperature range;
  • 7-year warranty;
  • Reliable;
  • Good performance;

Cons

  • Pricey;
  • The handle and body heat up easily;

Happybuy T962C – Great Product for Advanced PCB Assembly

happybuy T962c professional reflow ovenFor those who love a good reflow oven, there’s the T962C Watt reflow oven. This is one of the most popular brands when it comes to these necessary and valuable tools, and you can see why.


this is regular oven, but for larger circuit boards and panels.

Pros

  • Great temperature range;
  • 7-year warranty;
  • Reliable;
  • Good performance;

Cons

  • Pricey;
  • The handle and body heat up easily;

T961 – Great Product for Larger Assembly Jobs

T961 reflow ovenFor those who love a good reflow oven, there’s the T961 50-Watt reflow oven. This is one of the most popular brands when it comes to these necessary and valuable tools, and you can see why.


this is regular good product

Pros

  • Great temperature range;
  • 7-year warranty;
  • Reliable;
  • Good performance;

Cons

  • Pricey;
  • The handle and body heat up easily;

Reflow Oven DIY

If you want to spend the time making a modification of a regular convection oven to put in a digital controller, there are certainly many projects that can show you how to do this.

I considered doing this myself but the extra time it would take me to get the parts and build the oven, then do the testing was more than I was willing to do. So I bought the T962A as my starter oven, and am glad I did.


These reflow ovens are for the hobbyist or beginner. There are more professional ovens that will be much more expensive depending on the capabilities.


Also Check Out:

PCB Depaneling

Using Flux

Using a Hot Air Station

How does a reflow oven work?

It creates heat like a standard cooking oven, but with a special heating profile to carefully heat the circuit board.

Can I build a DIY reflow oven?

Yes, however, it may take much more time than is worth it versus buying a beginner oven.

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