convection oven overview
For high-volume commercial applications, the best reflow ovens take the form of long tunnels with conveyor belts carrying circuit boards. best reflow oven The circuit board can be placed in a small oven with a door for prototyping or hobby use.
Multiple separately heated zones can independently adjust the temperature in commercial reflow continuous ovens. PCBs are processed at a controlled speed as they pass through the oven and each zone. To obtain specific time and temperature profiles, technicians change conveyor speeds and zone temperatures. The profile used can be changed according to the requirements of the circuit board currently being processed. The heat source in an infrared reflow oven is typically a ceramic infrared heater above and below the conveyor that radiates heat onto the circuit board.
A convection oven heats the air in the chamber before it is used to transfer heat to the circuit board by convection and conduction. Airflow in the oven can be controlled with the help of a fan. Indirect air heating allows for more precise temperature control than direct infrared heating due to the different infrared absorption of circuit boards and components. An oven that combines infrared radiation heating and convection heating is called an "infrared convection oven".
Some furnaces reflow PCBs in an oxygen-free environment. Nitrogen (N2) is a commonly used gas for this purpose. This reduces oxidation of the soldered surfaces. A nitrogen reflow oven takes several minutes to reduce the oxygen concentration in the chamber to acceptable levels. As a result, nitrogen furnaces often have a constant nitrogen injection, which reduces failure rates.
Measuring multiple points on a circuit board to determine the temperature changes that occur during the soldering process is called thermal profiling. Statistical Process Control (SPC) is used in electronics manufacturing to determine if the process is in control as measured by the reflow parameters set by the soldering technique and component requirements.
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