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Solder Types
Many metals and their alloys can be used as solders. The following table gives a quick overview of various solder materials and their applications:

SolderApplicationsCharacteristics
Bismuth Low temperature soldering Deforms easily. Needs Aggressive fluxes.
Cadmium-Silver High temperature applications Toxic. Good tensile strength
Cadmium-Zinc Soldering aluminum Toxic
Indium Low temperature soldering, wets glass Deforms easily
Lead-Silver High temperature applications Good high temperature properties, good fatigue strength. Medium or low flow properties
Tin-Antimony High temperature and food industry applications Non-toxic. Good high temperature properties. Better electrical conductivity and strength than tin-lead solders. Good wetting.
Tin-Antimony-Lead General purpose. Improved mechanical properties over Tin-Lead solders. Can not be used with zinc due to brittle zinc-antimony inter-metallic compounds
Tin-Lead General purpose, and the most widely used solders. Good process characteristics and the best understood solders.
Tin-Silver Used for soldering medical or high precision instruments. High temperature applications Non-toxic but expensive. Good high temperature properties.
Tin-Zinc Soldering aluminum  
Zinc-Aluminum Soldering aluminum  
Glossary