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Solder has a shelf life?
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Author:  booangler [ 01 Oct 2013, 13:54 ]
Post subject:  Solder has a shelf life?

From the Kester Data Sheet for SN63PB37 58/285

"Storage, Handling, and Shelf Life:
Storage must be in a dry, non-corrosive environment. The surface may lose its shine and appear a dull
shade of grey. This is a surface phenomena and is not detrimental to product functionality. Flux cored solder
wire has a limited shelf life determined by the alloy used in the wire. For alloys containing > 70% lead, the
shelf life is two years from date of manufacture. Other alloys have a shelf life of three years from date of

The DOM on the roll I am using is 5/26/04. What would you'll do?

Author:  gofar99 [ 01 Oct 2013, 14:53 ]
Post subject:  Re: Solder has a shelf life?

Hi, First I have heard of this, but does make some sense. Solder never lasts that long here. I use up a pound or two every year. As for using the stuff you have....if it seems to work I would go ahead. If you seem to have trouble making it flow properly then pitch it.

Good listening

Author:  lexx21 [ 17 Feb 2014, 01:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Solder has a shelf life?

I had a roll of chemtronics solder from back in 1985 that I found and used recently. Worked with no issues at all.

Author:  Geek [ 17 Feb 2014, 04:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: Solder has a shelf life?

"44" I've had go bad and become useless.

Got 8Kg's of "88" core on fleabay (GREAT for chassis and oxidized sockets and terminal strips) made in 2002 and still using it.

I go through 2Kg's a year (4 if doing a lot of builds) and looking for an equivalent when it runs out. Unsuccessful so far :|

Author:  M. Gregg [ 22 May 2016, 07:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Solder has a shelf life?

I believe solder has a shelf life,

However its a lot longer than a couple of years. Sometimes the flux seems to loose its properties.
It also depends how its stored if its in a sealed bag or container or left out as a roll where normally the top layers corrode and oxidise.

I remember watching a contractor making off some comms cables and he was mumbling to himself so I wandered over he said these joints are rubbish. I asked what solder he was using and he produced a roll of what looked like lead wire with green oxidisation on it. I said are you really using that? (I thought he was joking) yes had it for years. I said you need to replace that if it goes dull.

As far as I'm concerned if its dull its scrap! YMMV (are you really going to put that oxide into the joint?) If its in a sealed bag or container it lasts longer (Years). I have used solder on new reels that have been in storage for 5 years or more and its still good. However it was in a polly sealed roll. If its dull I will wind off the layers until its bright before considering using it and throw the rest away.

M. Gregg

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