About nitrogen  

Pure nitrogen is used in many areas of industry. In addition to the chemical industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the food industry and various laboratory applications, the electronics industry also has a significant need for nitrogen, mainly due to the spread of lead-free technologies (selective and wave soldering equipment, reflow ovens, climate chambers, storage cabinets, etc.). Nitrogen is found everywhere. in the air, it accounts for about 78%. Colorless, odorless, tasteless, practically inert gas, i.e. it does not react with other substances under normal environmental conditions. By displacing oxygen in a closed space, oxidation is prevented. When soldering in a nitrogen atmosphere, the surface tension of the melted solder decreases and its wetting ability improves. The technological characteristics of lead-free solders are less favorable than lead-containing ones, and the narrow process window of lead-free soldering technologies makes the use of nitrogen necessary, in many cases unavoidable.

In large plants, there are installed nitrogen tanks filled from tankers, in which liquid nitrogen is kept. The installation of large, thermally insulated outdoor tanks and the evaporation equipment necessary to convert the gas into a solid state is only economical if there is a significant and continuous demand for nitrogen (development of an area suitable for receiving the tank, licensing, etc.).

Small and medium-sized plants mostly deliver nitrogen to users in high-pressure cylinders or tanks. Thus, the continuous supply of nitrogen is a significant logistical task, not to mention the safety regulations and expectations related to the storage and replacement of bottles. The difficulty and expensiveness of the method kept small factories away from modern soldering technologies in many cases, obviously worsening their market position.

Nitrogen generators

In case of lower nitrogen demand, e.g. for a selective soldering machine, the most economical and optimal solution can often be realized by using nitrogen generators. The nitrogen generators distributed by Microsolder Kft. produce up to 99.999% pure nitrogen directly from the ambient air at the point of use, which brings the following benefits to the user:

  • safe and reliable technology for the production of high-purity nitrogen,
  • automatic standby – nitrogen is continuously available
  • no need to use bottles or containers,
  • no unexpected stops due to faulty or empty bottles,
  • simple installation and operation (Plug & Play) – only requires 230V mains power and oil and water-free compressed air,
  • small space requirement, compact design,
  • reliable, unattended operation,
  • low operating and maintenance costs – quick return on investment,·
  • modular structure and flexible technology – allows individual needs to be taken into account
  • need-based nitrogen delivery,
  • PLC controlled equipment, digital display,
  • environmentally friendly plant,
  • affordable investment cost.

Of the available nitrogen generators, we always recommend the equipment best suited to the task. Ask our experienced professionals for help in your selection.

Technology used to produce high-purity nitrogen:

PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption)
The pressure swing adsorption process (PSA) is based on the fact that gases under pressure tend to bind (adsorb) on suitable solid surfaces. The higher the pressure, the more gas is adsorbed, but when the pressure decreases, the gas is released (desorption). The PSA process is well suited for the separation of mixtures of different gases, as different gases tend to bind differently (more or less strongly) to different solid surfaces. With this method – with the right choice of adsorbents – oxygen or nitrogen can also be extracted from the air. If a gas mixture, such as air, is passed under pressure through a container containing an adsorbent material (adsorbent bed) that attracts oxygen much more strongly than nitrogen, then the oxygen partially or even completely remains in the adsorbent bed, and thus the The gas flowing out of the vessel is high-purity nitrogen. When the adsorbent bed reaches the maximum of its oxygen binding capacity, the adsorbed oxygen can be released by reducing the pressure, i.e. the adsorbent bed can be regenerated. After that, the device is again ready for another nitrogen production cycle.

CMS (Carbon Molecular Sieve)
A molecular sieve is a material containing small pores of precise and uniform size that filters the gases flowing to the adsorbent. Molecules that are small enough to pass through the pores are adsorbed, while larger molecules are not.
In the molecular-sized pores of the molecular sieves used in adsorbers, gases are selectively bound, so that in the adsorption, higher-pressure stage, oxygen molecules remain on the adsorbent charge, while nitrogen molecules continue to flow in a ready-to-use state. In the next phase, reducing the pressure to atmospheric, the adsorbed molecules are desorbed, released from the surface of the adsorbent, and the excess gas can be released into the open air.
PSA equipment suitable for continuous gas supply therefore consists of two adsorber units, which are alternately in the adsorption, i.e. production phase, and in the desorption, regenerating phase.

Talk to our expert 

Pető Csaba
Executive, Director of Sales and Technical Support, Certified IPC-A-610 Master Trainer
+36 20 464 1303

Sárvár Zsolt
quality control and service manager
+36 20 414 2458