Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Publication Date: 03/1/2009
Archive >  March 2009 Issue >  Product Preview: APEX > 

Austin American Intros Combo Cleaner/Tester
Integrated PCB cleaning and testing system.
Austin, TX — Austin American Technology Corp. has developed what it describes as the world's first combination cleaner and cleanliness tester for circuit assemblies. The Mega Ion is a portable, closed-loop single-board cleaner with cleanliness verification testing built in. It is designed to provide verifiable cleaning support locally to manufacturing operations such as touch-up, add-ons, Engineering Change Orders (ECOs), product development, and pre-conformal coating cleaning.

The cleaning system can use a selection of solvents ranging from water and IPA to proprietary solvent blends from Zestron and Petroferm. The solvent selection can be matched to clean the residues that need to be cleaned.

The new unit cleans flux residues with a single-solvent, spray-under immersion, cleaning process that can be followed with an automatic measurement of the ionic cleanliness of a circuit board. A built in dryer completes the cleaning/testing cycle.

The cleaning system is sealed and therefore uses a minimum amount of solvent (<100gals/year). This is accomplished in a closed cleaning operation were solvents are used and stored in closed stainless steel tanks. The solvent is automatically renewed using a built-in mixed-bed ion exchange resin tank that removes anionic and cationic soils from the cleaning solvent.

The method used to assess cleanliness is based on the IPC's recognized test referred to as the "ROSE" test, which relies on dissolving the residue in a mixture of IPA and water (75 percent IPA, 25 percent water). Many fluxes are marginally soluble in this cleaning fluid.

If the residue is not dissolved, then the remaining residue is not detected by the ROSE method. It is a well known fact that even RMA fluxes can leave white residue when cleaned in IPA/water solutions. The Mega Ion overcomes this problem by using other solvent blends with improved solubility to extract the residues. Current testers are limited due to compatibility problems with the older style ion exchange resins used. The new ion exchange resins work well with water and IPA and are uniquely compatible with many other organic solvents unlike water resins. New solvent blends are being developed and tested.

The system has a small footprint (30 x 36-in.) is built in a stainless steel floor standing mobile cabinet (with lockable casters) requiring 110VAC, air/nitrogen supply, and a vent. Noise levels are stated at less than 70dB.

The unit is UL compliant — UL 1950 (standard); CE and CSA … 3 Certifiable and is designed to NFPA 79. The body is constructed from stainless steel. Seal and gaskets come in Teflon, EDPM or buna-N. The cleaner is equipped with various cleaning tank sizes up to 10 gallons and also has a sealed stainless 20 gallon holding tank.

Contact: Austin American Technology Corp., P.O. Box 1489, Burnet TX 78611 512-756-4150 fax: 512-756-5150 E-mail: Web:

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