I recently stumbled across water soluble IC sockets after being given a bag of them. While they do dissolve successfully from the board, I can't seem to come up for a valid explanation for why anyone would ever want to specifically spec out water soluble IC sockets for their project. What are their intended purpose(s)?

For reference, it does appear Digi-Key sells one model of these however the page and reference sheet provide no clues as to its intended use.

  • \$\begingroup\$ the transparent part is just a carrier for the individual pin sockets .... my guess is that air circulation improves if you only have pins .... it may also be that the weight reduction is desirable .... board cleanliness may be a factor (no place to trap contaminants) .... improved access to traces under the socket .... maybe the no-socket look is considered cool \$\endgroup\$ – jsotola Jun 22 '18 at 19:34

Improved air flow and unobstructed solder joint visibility.



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