We are concerned about large amounts of toxic fumes generated by Thermal Wire Stripping. Can this be avoided?
Yes. Temperature of PVC strippers is preset to melt the insulation. It does not burn the insulation. Temperature on other models of cable stripping tools should be set according to the job and insulation type. Even an excessively hot element will produce negligible amount of fumes that the use of these wire strippers does not require any special ventilation.
Is it safe to use Thermal Wire Strippers to strip wires attached to PC boards containing ESD hardware?
Yes. ESD tests performed by an independent company showed that PATCO thermal strippers generated typically 10 times less voltage than mechanical wire strippers. As much as 1000 volts was generated by mechanical strippers on certain types of wires. Highest reading on the same type of wire, using thermal strippers, was 26 volts. Mechanical strippers pinch the insulation. High pressure, transferred from the blades to this pinched area, creates considerable drag, thus generating high levels of static charge. Thermal stripping elements do not exert any pressure on the insulation. After the slug is thermally separated, it is merely pushed off the conductor.
Kapton insulation is applied in a very thin layer and does not provide enough gripping area to effectively pull off the slug with the stripping element. This applies to both thermal and mechanical strippers.
The following procedure should be used when stripping Kapton insulation. Use the Thermal Stripper only to melt the ring around the insulation. Bend the wire in the scored area. You will feel a crack and see the exposed shield or conductor. Bend wire in opposite direction to separate the slug completely. Pull off the insulation with your hand. Use bare fingers or high friction material such as neoprene to prevent slippage. Stubborn insulation can be removed by sliding over-sized neoprene sleeves over the wire and the separated slug for a maximum grip force.
No. Poly-amide type of insulation is applied in very thin layer and it is bonded to the conductor. It can’t be pulled off as other types of insulation.
There are only 3 practical methods to remove it:
- Mechanical abrasion.
- Using special chemical solvents.
- Dipping the wire ends into melted solder pod.