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Toner Transfer Papers

Discussion in 'Circuit Simulation & PCB Design' started by mvs sarma, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I though a like scruffy is better than smooth. e.g. Scotchbrite pads. I'll attest that Acetone leaves a film. That was annoying for me for a while when trying to measure pA across a gap contaminated with Acetone. Not PCB related.

    Some have suggested to place the PCB in an Acetone vapor after transfer.
     
  2. Mosaic

    Mosaic Well-Known Member

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    I used the scotch brite initially, it's ok for new PCBs, but if u have copper clad stock a year or 2 old, 220 grit paper is the way to go, less elbow grease. Acetone dissolves toner fast, I have seen folks try to reduce toner porosity by using acetone vapor on toner transfers. Too dangerous for my liking, flame hazard etc. (my dremel brushes spark), foiling is much more reliable and requires no particular safety precautions, plus u can make nice silk screens with it.
    If I prep/sand an etched board and I can't assemble for some reason I apply a thin wipe of petroleum jelly. Keeps it oxide free for a few weeks. It's almost like a low temp flux, solder flows well on such boards. Hot air vaporizes it., alcohol wipe cleans it off.
     
  3. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    @KISS

    Acetone is quite reactive with many metals, including copper. Here is a YouTube experiment ( ) .

    I suspect some of the product may be ketene. If one were to stick his nose over the flask, he would probably smell it.

    Ethers were our preferred, volatile solvents for removing grease and fingerprints. Alternatively, if you can get good light naptha (e.g., VM&P Naptha that doesn't have a strong smell like gasoline) will probably work alone or with a little toluene. Odorless detergents are also good. If you are worried whether you cleaner leaves a film, let a small drop evaporate on the shiny side of aluminum foil. Then look at it with oblique light to see if there is a residue.

    John
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Maybe, I misread the use. I was going from memory. This http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/parts/117978-pcb-toner-transfer-using-acetone.html suggests kinda using it as a release agent from the "back side", but maybe I saw a reference to help fill holes. Maybe it wasn't toner transfer.

    We used acetone, followed by Tricloroflorethane, followed by a Freon TF ( unavailable) dip and blow off with a filtered inert gas like Argon for one of, things.

    See http://www.besttechnologyinc.com/pr...-phase-out-and-replacement-with-3m-novec-hfe/
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  6. throbscottle

    throbscottle Well-Known Member

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    John
    Ah, ok, completely out of my depth there! But I see what you mean anyway.
    So, suppose you have a board dipped in protein solution, and with nice fresh toner transfer on it, the areas without toner also have the protein fixed by heat on them, which presumably is going to resist the etchant to some extent? How do you remove the protein from those areas then?

    (Edit) Ooh ok, lots of posts between writing and pressing reply!

    Mosaic
    I see you've updated the hackaday page then! Good work :)

    I started off using steel wool, eventually I have switched to fine emery paper, give it a wash with dish soap and water afterwards. A rough surface definitely gives better results.

    Since the surface of the board is actually covered in regular hills and troughs, I think it would be better yet to use some kind of carborundum paste. Not something I've looked at yet, I only just thought of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  7. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    After the usual soak to remove backing paper, I suspect protein in the open spaces will either be washed off or softened and the etchant will take care of the rest. Etchant and water wont get under the toner as that process is diffusion controlled and the protein layer is extremely thin.

    John
     
  8. Mosaic

    Mosaic Well-Known Member

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    I did a test on surface properties, using a dremel tool to lap the copper to a high polish before toner transfer. Epic fail with the transfer. Enter the scotch brite scrubber (leaves a scoured, 'wettable', surface) , steel wool ( can leave fiber bits) and now 220 grit paper (needs an alcohol wipe down after sanding). The bonding process seems akin to applying glue or epoxy....a scrubbed surface with irregularities provides a larger surface area to bond.
    The sandpaper does one additional task: It can locate warps or dimples in the thinner boards that can occur when cutting the boards. This is a cause for improper toner transfer with the clothing 'iron on' process. Laminators usually handle such distortions properly.

    Edit: For dbl sided boards the sanding is a required operation: The drilled registration holes can cause tiny copper swarf to adhere to the hole edges which will cause difficulties when laying the toner transfer and can scrape off the toner from the transfer paper.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  9. throbscottle

    throbscottle Well-Known Member

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    Yes, my experience was the same with shiny boards.
     

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