Prior to Assembly Process

Pre-baking prior to assembly for flex and rigid-flex applications is extremely critical due to the hydroscopic nature of flexible PCB materials.

We recommend the following pre-bake guidelines:

Pre-Bake Guidelines

Hand Soldering
Surfaces to be soldered need to be clean
Bake circuits at 250°F (121°C) for 1 hour
Remove enough units from the oven that can be soldered within 2 hours
Allow Cooling (if units not soldered in 2 hours, re-bake or place in desiccant)
Apply Flux (a rosin type flux like Kester 185 works well)
Use Acid Brushes to apply flux; area to be soldered should covered by the flux
A soldering iron (MetCal unit set at 700°F) with 700°F #2 solder tip ideal heat
Soldering tip held on the pad/component lead while applying the solder
A solder joint forms in 3-5 seconds
Minimize the dwell time
Longer dwell time causes solder to "run under" the covercoat or delaminate
Remove flux using an appropriate flux remover (vapor degreaser works )
The solder joint should have nice uniform fillet with no voids or dewetting
Pre-bake for 45 minutes at 250°F
Rigid-Flex with 2 layer flex
Pre-bake for 3 hours at 300°F
Rigid-Flex with Multilayer Flex
Pre-bake for 4 hours at 325°F


To Bake or Not to Bake

Article Yash published in SMT007 examing the impact of waiving PCB Pre-Baking prior to Assembly
Click here to read