Conductive Glue vs. Solder Paste: what’s the difference?

Solder paste requires high heat from a soldering iron, while conductive glues can cure at room temperature or lower heats.

  1. Solder paste contains lead, while conductive glues can be lead-free.
  2. Solder paste forms very strong permanent joints, while conductive glue joints can be more reworkable.
  3. Solder paste cannot be used on heat-sensitive materials, while conductive glues can be used on plastics and other heat-sensitive components.
  4. Applying solder paste and soldering requires more specialized tools and training, while conductive glues can be applied simply with dispensers.
Conductive Glue vs. Solder Paste

Conductive Glue vs. Solder Paste: Specs & Uses

The Key difference between Conductive Glue vs. Solder Paste is:

Solder PasteConductive Glue
Datasheet📥Chip Quik SMD291AX50T3 Solder Paste📥MG Chemicals 8331D Silver Conductive Epoxy
Type of ProductSolder pasteConductive epoxy adhesive
CompositionTin/lead alloy powder in no-clean flux mediumSilver-filled two-part epoxy resin
Key BenefitsExcellent wetting, low voiding, clear residueStrong permanent electrical connections, room temp cure, excellent adhesion
ApplicationsSoldering electronic components to PCBsBonding and cold solder repairs of electronics, connections where soldering not possible
Cure ProcessReflow solderingRoom temp or heat cure
Cured PropertiesMelting point 183°CResistivity 1.8 x 10-3 Ω·cm, Tensile strength 13 N/mm2
Pot LifeNot applicable20 minutes
Service Temperature Range20-25°C (68-77°F)-50°C to 150°C
PackagingJarsSyringes, jars
Shelf Life>6 months unrefrigerated, >12 months refrigerated3 years
UsesSoldering and Circuit Assembly: ideal for soldering and circuit assembly tasks. It can be used to secure resistors, perform soldering on pads, and check their functionality before proceeding with hand soldering.

Paste Reconstitution: can be repurposed as a solder iron cleaner. It effectively removes residue and helps maintain the performance of soldering equipment.

Electronics Repair and Maintenance: Whether you are repairing electronic devices or conducting regular maintenance, solder paste offers a reliable solution for soldering tasks. It can be used in various applications, such as fixing loose connections, replacing components, or ensuring proper conductivity in circuit boards.
Electrical Component Repair: can be used to repair damaged or broken electrical traces on circuit boards. It provides a reliable electrical connection, allowing you to restore functionality to the damaged components.

Bonding Dissimilar Materials: can be used to bond different materials together, such as metal to plastic or metal to glass.

Piezo Device Integration: useful for connecting and integrating piezoelectric devices, such as piezo transducers, buzzers, or sensors.

Conductive Glue vs. Solder: The Key Difference

📝 My Hands-on Test of Chip Quik SMD291AX50T3 Solder Paste

Chip Quik SMD291AX50T3 Solder Paste
Unlike my previous low-temp paste, Chip Quik leaves my joints nice and shiny, giving them a professional look. Gone are the days of dealing with numerous mini balls of solder to clean up afterward.

✅Pros: Solder Paste

With this paste, I only had one small ball to remove, making the process much more efficient.

Solder paste melting under the microscope.
Solder paste melting under the microscope.

Soldering SMDs

Most often, I use this paste for soldering SMDs, pre-tinning, and routing spaghetti. It offers excellent precision in surface-to-surface soldering, allowing me to work quickly while minimizing the risk of circuit pad damage. A quick touch of the iron set at 400-425°F (204-218°C) does the job perfectly.

Chip Quik SMD291AX50T3 Solder Paste

Moreover, I discovered that this solder paste is also excellent for smaller copper plumbing projects. By applying the paste to both the pipe end and fittings, and adding a touch of torch, I can achieve a perfect sweat joint seal. It’s a reliable option if you’re working with copper pipes measuring less than 3/4″. Just remember to follow proper safety precautions when working with torches.

Chip Quik SMD291AX50T3 Solder Paste

❌Cons: Solder Paste

However, it’s important to note that this solder paste should not be used for plumbing involving potable water. It contains lead, which makes it unsuitable for such applications. Please keep that in mind and prioritize safety when considering its use.

One thing to keep in mind is that this solder paste has a relatively short shelf life if not refrigerated. It is date-coded, and it’s recommended to use it within 12 months to ensure optimal performance. So, if you plan on purchasing it, make sure to refrigerate it and use it within the specified timeframe.

FAQ of Chip Quik SMD291AX50T3 Solder Paste

Q: Could you please inform me about the approximate production date of the paste?

A: The paste would have been produced within the last 3-6 months. Regardless of the specific production date, we guarantee the paste for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase.

Q: What are the implications if the paste exceeds its shelf life?

A: As the paste approaches the end of its shelf life, it becomes increasingly challenging to work with. When using stencils, it can be exceptionally difficult to apply the correct amount onto the pads, although it still seems to reflow adequately. I would strongly advise against attempting to use it more than a month after its expiration date.

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2 reviews

    • In my experience, I found that the melting temperature could be achieved by heating a hot plate to approximately 200 degrees Celsius. However, in order to solidify, it required a temperature of around 180 degrees Celsius. If you don't intend to perform any hand soldering afterwards, I suggest using a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. This would allow you to…Read More

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📝 My Hands-on Test of MG Chemicals 8331D Silver Conductive Glue

MG Chemicals 8331D Silver Conductive Epoxy Adhesive
When I first decided to try out the conductive epoxy, I was in need of a solution that would effectively repair the side mirror heater terminal of my Mercedes ML W163. The terminal was completely off, and I wanted a reliable fix. I followed the instructions provided and started by cleaning the surfaces without damaging the conductive film. The epoxy was easy to work with, and the dispensers were quite comfortable to use, although I did notice that one of the dispenser pistons required a bit more force, especially since it was cold outside at the time.

✅Pros: Conductive Glue for Electronics

To my delight, the epoxy worked wonders! It provided excellent conductivity and fixed the issue exactly as I had hoped. In fact, the repaired terminal looked even better than the factory one. I followed the instructions to heat the epoxy at 80°C for 5 minutes, and it set perfectly. The conductivity was great, and my side mirror heater was back in action.

I also appreciate the versatility of this product. Not only did it work on my Mercedes, but it also proved to be a cost-effective solution for fixing the rear window defroster tab on my Jeep Wrangler. The dealership had suggested replacing the entire rear window, but with this epoxy, I saved a significant amount of money and achieved the desired results.

Silver Epoxy instead of soldering for connecting replacement battery of a Norelco shaver
The cure time for the epoxy allowed me to comfortably work with it, giving me enough time to position the parts correctly.

In the case of the rear defogger tab, I used a cheap heat gun to cure the epoxy after attaching the tab. I waited patiently for 24 hours, ensuring that the bond was strong, and I was pleased to find that it held up perfectly. The rear defroster was back in business, and I had enough epoxy compound left for any future repairs.

While the epoxy may be slightly expensive, I believe it is worth the investment. It may not look as aesthetically pleasing as the factory solution, but it gets the job done effectively. If appearance is a concern, you can always consider painting over it to blend it in. Personally, the appearance was not a major issue for me, as my car is a 2000 model.

MG Chemicals 8331D Silver Conductive Epoxy Adhesive

❌Cons: Electrically Conductive Glue

Now, it’s important to note that safety precautions should be taken when using this epoxy. The instructions explicitly state to wear gloves and safety glasses, as the epoxy can cause eye damage and poses other hazards. So please, be cautious and prioritize your safety when working with it.

One thing I did notice about the epoxy is that it needed to be pre-mixed in equal parts before use, as it is a binary liquid. This step was crucial to ensure its effectiveness. However, I did encounter a minor setback with the package I received. It seemed to be older stock, as one of the materials was quite thick. I had to cut open the tube to find some softer material in the center, which I could work into the other material. Despite this inconvenience, the epoxy still performed admirably.

FAQ of MG Chemicals 8331D Silver Conductive Glue

Q: Do you have any information on the conductivity of this Conductive Glue? What is its resistivity value?

A: According to the manufacturer, when properly cured, this Conductive Glue has a volume resistivity of approximately .0004 ohm-m.

Q: When the Conductive Glue is fully cured, is it possible to solder to it?

A: It is recommended to solder the desired components first and then apply a coat of conductive epoxy for improved electrical contact. This method has been found to work effectively. Best of luck!

Q: If I have a fresh mix of this Conductive Glue, will it bond to cured epoxy?

A: I cannot provide a definite answer as I decided not to use this Conductive Glue after carefully reading the warnings and hazards associated with it. Instead, I chose to learn soldering as an alternative. Just sharing my experience.

Q: Does this Conductive Glue remain soft or does it harden over time?

A: This Conductive Glue typically hardens within approximately 1 hour. It is dispensed from a hypodermic-type dispenser and can be mixed using a kitchen knife or small spatula. It is advisable to have some alcohol nearby for cleaning purposes during the mixing and application process. I found it to conduct current quite well. Working with this Conductive Glue reminded me of working with bondo.

Q: After drying, does this Conductive Glue have a shiny silver metal finish?

A: The dried epoxy has a silver, metal-like finish, although polishing might yield a better result. It is important to note that while this Conductive Glue contains silver, it does not produce a pure silver finish.

Q: Will this Conductive Glue adhere well to ABS plastic?

A: Based on my experience with it, I would be reasonably confident in its ability to bond to ABS plastic. The strength of the bond may vary, so it is advisable to test it in your specific application.

Q: Can this Conductive Glue be used to connect two piezo products, such as ppa-1001, together?

A: This Conductive Glue is a good conductor, so if you require the flow of electric current between the two piezo products, it should work for your purpose.

Q: Is this Conductive Glue suitable for bonding titanium?

A: It is unlikely that this Conductive Glue will bond well to titanium. Its primary use is for its conductive properties, and there are other products available that may offer better bonding characteristics specifically for metals like titanium.

Q: What is the maximum temperature this Conductive Glue can withstand? I need it to endure temperatures up to 300°C.

A: I used this Conductive Glue for a different purpose, which involved placing it in a laptop to reconnect the CMOS battery. While it did get hot, I don’t believe it reached temperatures as high as 300°C. Please refer to the product description or consult the manufacturer for the maximum temperature specification. You can also visit this link for more details: [insert link] The constant service temperature maximum listed on that page is 302 degrees Fahrenheit, which is close to your requirement. If it doesn’t meet your needs, there may be other options available.

Q: Can I use this Conductive Glue to repair a hard drive PCB with missing SATA pads by joining it to a SATA adapter with exposed pins?

A: I would advise caution if attempting this repair. Using this Conductive Glue may require experience in handling hazardous chemicals and the use of proper breathing apparatus. While it might work for your purpose, it is worth noting that the epoxy sets to a rigid state and can be difficult to spread evenly. It is recommended to explore alternative repair methods or consult a professional in such cases.

Q: I’m looking for an electrically conductive adhesive that cures at room temperature and comes in a “1 part” tube. Are there any options available?

A: To the best of my knowledge, there are no electrically conductive adhesives meeting those specific criteria.