Solder properties? Irons? - Page 2

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Re: Solder properties? Irons?
y'know, i find myself answering my phone with nasty leaded fingers and
leaving it laying about the work table and then find that same phone in my
living room, kitchen, etc. I have just begun including the daily cleaning of
the phone in my studio to residence cleaning regimen.just a thought. m

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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Are you walking back and forth from shop to house with the same shoes on?
Wearing work clothes and flopping down on the bed for a snooze?

Re: Solder properties? Irons?
no. i take my flip flops off before going into the house (Hawaiian style).i
use a leather work apron, but i still change clothes.m

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Re: Solder properties? Irons?
You solder with flip-flops on?   That oughta be cute when a big 'ol drop of
hot solder lands on your tootsies.

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Re: Solder properties? Irons?
yeah, i'm a great dancer. Conversely( hehe) when it does land, i can get it
off quickly, not like when it melts through the shoe and attaches itself to
your skin.I actually get more burns (and cuts) in the kitchen than i do in
the studio but that's another thread.m

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Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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That must be some damned hot solder if it can burn through a shoe. :>)

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Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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  When I solder without a mask on, I can feel those lead fumes getting
sucked up into my lungs. It's not exactly an odor, but a heavy choking
quality that's hard to explain. I use wimpy fluxes, so I don't think that's
the culprit. Like I said, I had elevated lead levels, until I started
wearing a mask regularly, and have watched them slowly drop every year.  How
many of you out there actually do soldering yourselves every day without a
fume mask, and have your levels checked regularly?

JK Sinrod
Sinrod Stained Glass Studios
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Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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A few years ago I got dog bit.  When I went to the ER, the nurse asked me
when I had my last tetanus shot.  I told her it had been about 4 years
earlier.   Her response?   "Today."  "Huh?"  "Your last tetanus shot was

So,  count me in as one who wears a fume mask..  Starting yesterday.    3M
makes a mask that is rated for lead dust, and another one that is oily
aerosol and lead dust rated.  I got them at WW Grainger.  Got one of each
and I had change from a $20.

Re: Solder properties? Irons?
Don't know this as absolute fact of lead ingesting , but if you have a
change of state in the lead then you may have vapor being inhaled. When
you go from asolid to a liquid there will be some small form of gas that
is carried in the air stream. Look at water, there is a vapor that you
don't see but water is in the air. Called humidity. Guess just cause we
can't see it it's not there.  Guess this all goes to the saying  " never
hold back on a fart. It travels up your spine, enters your head, and
that is where sh---y ideas start "  

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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Matter only has three properties,  solid, liquid, or gas.  Those states for
every type of matter are attained at very specific temperatures.
Those temps are modified by adding some other matter to a pure substance.
Similar to adding salt to ice,  which lowers the melting (liquification
point) below 32*F.  That's why adding tin and (whatever) to lead makes
solder work.  Solder is an alloy that liquifies at a temperature lower than
the melting point of the relatively pure lead came.  Going from memory,
solder melts at about 425F,  and lead melts at 621F.  The boiling point (not
melting point) of lead is nearly 3200F, and my soldering iron sure doesn't
get THAT hot.

Gaseous states start only at the boiling point, by definition.
Liquification points are much lower temperatures.  I think what is actually
happening is that as the lead (or solder) liquifies,  small droplets of
molten metal are swept airborne by the vapor of the boiling flux.  Given
that the lead came itself isn't visibly melting away,  most of the actual
toxcity is likely from the lead in the solder.  I believe the spatter caused
by the boiling of the flux is carrying solder droplets airborne.

Re: Solder properties? Irons?
On 5/28/04 9:25 PM, in article tzRtc.13908$,

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Nitpick here - but there *is* a 4th state of matter not normally achievable
without fancy equipment - plasma.

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There are a bunch of solders usually with tin, lead and silver in different
proportions for different melting points.  But as you have wisps of steam
wafting from water that is heating up - and ice can sublimate into gas at
lower temperatures - so this can happen with lead - though I am not sure how
this would affect lead infused fumes!

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That is probably right!

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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A "gaseous state" for the bulk of your material may start there, but gas
itself does not.

*Boiling* starts at the boiling point, not the release of material in
gaseous form.

The temperature of any object is a statistically determined number that is
related to
the velocity (*average* kinetic energy, actually) of the molecules that are
around under the action of heat.

This number reflects the *average* kinetic energy,  and many molecules will
be moving at
greater or lesser velocities, including some that are moving at
*considerably* greater velocities,
all the way up to and including velocities that allow them to escape the
surface as a gas.

Even at room temperature, some molecules will inevitably be moving fast
enough (with enough
energy) to escape from the surface. You do not have to heat any liquid all
the way to boiling to
release its molecules into the air as a gas.

For a simple example most people will be familiar with, if you leave a
teaspoon or so of water
in a glass at room temperature for 2-3 days, you will probably not have a
teaspoon of water
in that glass anymore. Do you think the water just magically vanished, or
was somehow sucked
into the air mysteriously? No boiling flux here to sweep the water molecules
up into the air,
either. In fact, a teaspoon of *ice*, sitting on your counter-top, is
releasing molecules into
the air, admittedly not very rapidly, but nevertheless it is losing gaseous
vapor as you watch.
(And any objections to this based on the observation that if the humidity in
the room is at
100%, the water doesn't vanish, are misleading because while molecules are
escaping from the
surface of the water, other molecules of water in the air are arriving and
replacing the lost
molecules, so that the teaspoon of water will *not* be the same teaspoon of
water you started
with. In the case of ice, this is restricted to the near surface, but in the
case of water the molecules
are free to diffuse throughout the volume.)

So that it is inevitably the case, among the molecules that are jostling
around (with their random
distribution of kinetic energies) under the influence of heat, even at 0
degrees celsius, will be
plenty that have a high enough velocity to escape the surface.

The boiling point of a substance is its *boiling* point, not the point at
which molecules of
the substance suddenly start drifting off into the air. *That* happens at
temps a lot lower
than the boiling point.

At the boiling point, essentially *all* of the molecules have enough kinetic
energy to escape into
the air (against the air pressure, btw...lower the air pressure and you need
less heat, i.e. a lower
temp.) OTOH, not *all*, but plenty (for a suitable definition of "plenty")
of molecules have enough kinetic energy to escape as gas at lower temps.

Now, *if* heat distributed energy *equally* to all the molecules, you would
have been right to
have concluded that at less than the temperature of vaporization no gas at
all would be released.

Unfortunately, though, it doesnt.



Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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Thank you Gene, certainly glad you cleared that up, I'm not nearly so
confused on that issue.

Re: Solder properties? Irons?
Try this link.

In chemistry class we had to study something called - heat of vaporization - it
was one of those things that didn't sit well in my head, but the term stuck.
And I believe that you're talking about the vaporization of lead, not the
boiling, or anything.
So the addy above will take you to the place that discusses this topic.

Shirley Gutkowski, RDH, BSDH
"Everbody wants to save the earth - nobody wants to help Mom to do the dishes."
     - P. J. O'Rourke

Re: Solder properties? Irons?
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vaporization - it
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Actually it is the vapour pressure of lead which is the critical factor.
Using the data from the Rubber Handbook, it works out at 3.09748E-05 mm Hg
at the melting point, which is pretty low by anyone's standards. It is about
46mm Hg at the boiling point.
Terry Harper /

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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I suppose the vapor pressure of Lead would be important if one were working
in an absolute vaccum.

Given that the normal atmospheric pressure is 750+/-mm of Hg,  such a
minisicule vapor pressure of Lead has little to do with everyday handling.

Re: Solder properties? Irons?
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Agreed. Particulate lead is a far more likely source of problems, like from
grinding it away.
Terry Harper /

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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vaporization - it
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I'm not sure how you think Lead would get vaporized unless it was AT it's
boiling point?   The link you provided defined the "heat of vaporization" as
the AMOUNT of heat required to vaporize one mole of a substance (at standard
pressure) when the substance was at it's boiling point.   IOW,  the
additional heat required to turn Lead into vapor once it reached the
critical boiling point.  The converse of that would be the amount of heat
released into the atmosphere once the vapor cooled and the lead returned to
a liquid form.  The "dew point", as it were.

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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That is only one of the ways.  And even that has considerable variables.
An adult with good nutrition ingests some and absorbs maybe 6% into their
bloodstream.  Suppose they haven't eaten all day, though?  Maybe 70% get
into the bloodstream.  Maybe they don't get enough calcium and so the lead
tends to gets sucked up into their bloodstream.

Lead travels from the bloodstream to the organs/soft tissues, after awhile
the lead gets socked away in the bones and teeth for long term storage.  But
maybe you broke a bone, or maybe you are getting older and have some bone
degeneration....some of that stored lead leaches back into the
bloodstream....add that to your current exposure and it may be enough to
push you into a toxic blood level.
Pregnant and nursing moms can leach lead back into their bloodstreams from
their bones.  There are studies out there that suggest all of the above is

Inhalation is more quickly toxic for adults than ingestion of the same
amount of lead.  And it does get inhaled.  Put it in your gut and some of it
will "pass".  Put it in your lungs and depending on the size of the
particles and where it gets lodged, you have a direct highway to your
bloodstream.  Make a logical connection.   Lead dust/particles are somehow
getting inhaled, whether they ride around on fumes or get stirred up from
the shop floor.   The lungs' large internal surface area provides alot of
surface:bloodstream contact.  The lungs exist to provide that contact.
Breathing in the flux fumes is no picnic for them either.  If that stuff is
strong enough to clean metal surfaces....

I would agree that just handling the stuff that is in lead came or lead
solder with our hands provides little means of entry to the body if we don't
provide a means to ingest or inhale it.  At least the stuff we would come
into contact with working with leaded glass.  If someone has cuts/scrapes on
their fingers then direct passage to the bloodstream is once again more
available, but wearing gloves would provide protection.

Re: Solder properties? Irons?

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Your understanding of lead poisoning and the dangers of working with lead
and soldering are apparently on a par with your economic accumen.

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