An experiment on the early stages of intermetallic compound layer growth during soldering and its theoretical analysis were conducted with the intent to study the controlling factors of the process. An experimental technique based on fast dipping and pulling of a copper coupon in liquid solder followed by optical microscopy allowed the authors to study the temporal behavior of the sample on a single micrograph. The technique should be of value for different areas of metallurgy because many experiments on crystallization may be described as the growth of a layer of intermediate phase. Comparison of the experimental results with the theoretical calculations allowed one to identify the kinetics of dissolution as the rate-controlling mechanism on the early stages and measure the kinetic coefficient of dissolution. A popular model of intermetallic compound layer structure coarsening is discussed.

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