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Heating an Inconel Susceptor for a Jet Engine Fan Blade

Research Objective
To develop a turnkey system for quickly pre-tinning solder in a copper electrical connector.

Parts & Materials Description
Silver plated copper electrical connector, 0 gage size, solder paste

Temperature Required
390°F

Induction Heating Equipment
3 kW RF power supply, two-turn helical inductor (coil)

Operating Frequency
250 kHz

Heating Procedure
The testing was done in an open air atmosphere. A specially-designed, two turn helical inductor was used to provide optimal heating to the cup end of the electrical connector. Initial tests were conducted with bare parts and temperature sensing paints to establish time-to-temperature and heating profiles. Next the solder paste was inserted into the cup area and RF heat was applied with the RF power supply. The optimum soldering temperature of 390°F was reached in 10 seconds, causing the solder in the cup to melt.

Conclusion
Consistent, repeatable results were achieved at 390°F within 10 seconds. A turnkey system for pre-tinning solder in this type of connector will deliver immediate improvements in speed, consistency and product quality.

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