CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Iowa State Researchers Develop No-Heat Liquid Solder

AMES, Iowa -- At-home electronic repair could soon become easier if a new liquid solder developed at Iowa State University hits the market.

ISU Researchers Martin Thuo, Ian Tevis, and Jiaho Chen have developed a liquid solder, which requires no heat.

The group has developed a patent for the tiny particles of liquid encased in an outer shell.

"It's like having a balloon full of water so when you punch that balloon the water flows,” said Thuo. "The same thing with our particle layer holds liquid metal as a balloon.”

The researchers received a $225,000 National Science Foundation grant and a matching $25,000 grant from Iowa Innovation Core. They have formed a company called SAFI-Tech to market the idea.

"SAFI tech is a member of the first cohort of the ISU startup factory run out of the economic development office here,” said Tevis, who is the Chief Financial Officer at SAFI-Tech. “It's one of the new economic development core facility off University, actually on Collaboration Place which is the name of the road.”

Tevis said they plan to do demos of the new solder at Trade Shows, and it may take a couple more years for the product to hit the retail markets.

The group says it could be used in-home repair or in mass production of electronics.

For more information on SAFI-Tech, click here.