When cleaning PCB assemblies, the primary goal is to remove contaminants from populated boards and hybrid circuits resulting from fluxes and improper handling.  The use of engineered PCB cleaning solutions is essential to ensure flux residues are fully removed from the assemblies used in high-reliability applications and industries such as automotive, medical, aerospace, and military. 

The targeted use of a cleaning agent substantially improves the integrity of subsequent processes such as bonding and conformal coating.  Residues can cause improper adhesion of bonds that can lead to failures such as heel cracks or lift-offs. During the coating process, remaining residues can result in poor wetting and delamination that can cause assembly failures and ultimately lead to field failures.
These reliability risks are increased when using lead-free solder pastes as they contain more resins as well as aggressive activator systems and are soldered at higher temperatures.

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