# Removing debris from PCB

I have a PCB with no solder mask with a very dense layout and a very fine trace spacing.

I didn't get a solder mask because it's still in the prototyping phase, and it's way cheaper.

I keep having to stop, find the new shorts that keep popping up, and remove metal fibers that are barely visible.

From what I can tell the fibers are aluminum from the pcb so a magnet is no help.

Is there a trick to remove them faster or a way to stop this from happening?

• Aluminum? That would be rare as aluminum is pretty much only used for the heat sink layer of a metal core pcb. More likely you're learning about Tin whiskers and would benefit from reading more about them. I don't know the answer to this question the way you've phrased it other than "better tools, use solder mask" – K H Mar 3 '19 at 23:35
• compressed air? – Wesley Lee Mar 3 '19 at 23:43
• Compressed air didn't help. Your right it is Tin... I looked at "whiskering" on wikipedia, that seems to be whats happening. Tomorrow I'll get some solder on the problem traces and see if that fixes it. – Tony Mar 4 '19 at 0:03
• Who did the soldering? – Ale..chenski Mar 4 '19 at 0:13
• Yes, there is one proven way: USE MORE FLUX. – Ale..chenski Mar 4 '19 at 0:14

• I got this board w/ 1 day turn around time with overnight shipping for $250 vs paying over$2000 and 5 day turn around when including a solder mask for a design that hasn't been proven. – Tony Mar 4 '19 at 0:11