Circuit Board Repair Guide > Component Removal > 8.2.1 Forked Tip Method for Chip Component Removal

Forked Tip Method for Chip Component Removal

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This procedure covers the forked tip method for chip component removal.

The goal when removing any component is to remove the component as quickly as possible.

Caution - Glued Components
A small dot of epoxy is often used to hold chip components in position during wave soldering processing. Typically these components will be located on the bottom side of a circuit board that has through hole components located on the other side. Whenever you see a board like this, you can generally assume that the chip components will be glued onto the board. You'll need to leave the tip on the component for one or two additional seconds in order to transfer enough heat to overcure or soften the adhesive. If required take a wooden stick or curved tweezers and push the component sideways until the glue joint finally gives way.

Surface mount chip component soldered on circuit board
Surface Mount Chip Component
IPC Acceptability References
IPC-A-610 12.0 Surface Mount Assemblies
Related Procedure References
CTC 2.1 Handling Electronic Assemblies
CTC 2.2.1 How to Clean a Circuit Board
CTC 2.2.2 Cleaning Circuit Boards, Aqueous Batch Process
CTC 2.5 Baking and Preheating of Printed Circuit Boards
CTC 7.1.1 Quality Soldering Basics
CTC 7.1.2 Preparing Circuit Boards and Soldering Tools for
Soldering and Component Removal
IPC7711 3.3.1 Bifurcated tip

Tools and Materials
Flux, Liquid
Soldering Removal Tool with Tips

Printed Board Type: R/F/C  |  Skill Level: Intermediate  |  Conformance Level: High  |  Rev.: D  |  Rev. Date: Jul 7, 2000

Forked tip with solder added

Figure 1: Forked tip shown with
solder added to cavity to enhance removal operation.

Tip Preparation
Forked tips are designed to fit over the top of chip components, and to reflow both solder joints at once. The ends of the forked tip fit over the component with just a slight amount of extra space for solder. Measure the overall length and width of the component with a caliper to select the proper size tip. Check the tip for proper fit prior to processing the part.
The tip should not fit the component so tightly that it will get lodged in the tip, but the tip should not be so loose that it will not conduct heat to the leads simultaneously. The size and shape of the forked tip will have an effect on the rate of heat transfer. Larger tips with more surface area will transfer heat faster than smaller tips.
Forked tips can be used to remove a number of different styles of chip components but the component must fit properly in the tool cavity. Since forked tips have a cavity, they require special cleaning and tinning procedures.
1.  Remove any  solder from inside the tip cavity with a fiber tool.
Do not use a wire brush for any tip cleaning procedure. A wire brush can severely scratch a metal tip. Scratches allow oxidation to form on the base metal of the tip and this will severely decrease the useful life.
2.  Remove any oxidized solder by shocking the tip on a wet sponge.
3.  Add solder to the properly prepared tip. Fill the cavity until there is a fillet on each side of the tip. (See Figure 1). Add enough solder to help transfer the heat quickly but not so much that it will fall out when the tip is turned upside down.
The solder provides surface tension to lift the component off the pads after reflow. Since the tip has more metal surface area than the pads on the circuit board, the solder will be drawn toward the metal tip and so will the component.
Determine the direction the part is to be swept off the circuit board surface. Densely packed circuit board assemblies often leave only one direction for the rework tool to follow when sweeping the part off the surface.
Removing SMT chip component with forked tip

Figure 2: Removing SMT chip component with forked tip. After
solder has melted lift tip out and up.

Chip Capacitors generally have solid color bodies

Chip capacitors generally have solid color bodies.

Striped or beveled end is positive (+) or anode end

A - Stripe
B - Beveled Surface
The striped or beveled end is
the "positive" (+) or "anode end".

1.  Apply a small amount of liquid flux to both ends of the component.
Place the forked tip directly over the top of the component. The extra solder on the tip will melt both solder joints. When the solder has melted slide the component out and up. (See Figure 2).

Once the component is removed from the circuit board it can be removed from the tip by the shocking sponge or with a dull blunt instrument applying downward pressure on the component.
3.  Clean the area.

Links to Related Products

Prototyping Boards for Through Hole and SMT Components  
Prototyping Boards for Through Hole and SMT Components
These Schmartboard prototyping boards support through hole and surface mount components. This is the fastest and easiest electronic circuit prototyping system ever conceived.

The SchmartBoard|ez products are for people who may not have advanced soldering skills, first-timers, or just anyone who wants to have a fast, easy, and hassle-free experience.

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