Stencils are thin pieces of Aluminum usually ranging from 0.003” to 0.010” that have machined openings for all the components that are going to be soldered to the PCB. A stencils sole purpose is to allow an operator to deposit solder paste only in the areas in which a component will be soldered. The thickness of the Aluminum, along with the size of each opening, will dictate how much solder paste will be deposited in the process. Too much solder paste can cause solder issues like bridging, as well as too little paste can create issues with joint reliability and lack of wetting. Picking the dimensions of these openings are important and dependent upon the component that is being soldered.

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