SMD preheater, bga preheating, smt preheat, pcb pre-heater, rework pre-heating, lead-free rework
Powerful PCB Preheat Design, Rework, Repair


Zephyrtronics Equipment is Designed, Engineered and, Made in the U.S.A.

Hundreds of ZT-1 AirBaths™ Utilized to Make the ISS.

27th Year Anniversary

Solder Paste, 6 Month Shelf Life, No Refrigeration

Pen Vacuum, Station

Preheaters      SMT, BGA, SMD & Thru-Hole Rework     Bottom-Side Pre-heating    Ramping & Preheating for PCB's
The Originals! No One Knows More About Preheating PCB's Than Zephyrtronics®! 
Bottom-Side Convection PCB Pre-Heat for Thru-Hole, SMD, SMT, QFN & BGA Rework & Repair. Our Heavy Industrial Series!
Effective, Powerful 800 Watts With 25 CFM AIR SUPPLY (710 Liters per Minute)
Zephyrtronics' AirBath “bathes the circuit board in warm air to reduce thermal stresses
to the board and its components.”-- NASA Report, January 9, 2004

This is the world-first, original and, internationally acclaimed, award-winning and patent-protected ZT-1-HIS Heavy Industrial AirBath preheat system -- your effective solution for preheating PCB's for low-volume prototyping or in rework.

Two Models!  Our ZT-1-HIS AirBaths™ are available with either analog or digital control. Both models have powerful 25 CFM (710 Liters/Minute) of air supply.

Powerful bottom-side preheat, smd, bga, hot air preheater, smt rework
Chosen By Boeing for the     TM
International Space Station Project.
This is the AirBath
TM  that Forever Triggered
 PCB Preheating at the Benchtop!


Greater volume of air supply preheat with far lower temps than with other ineffective preheat devices limited by low air volume outputs, which require higher temps and burn your boards. Not a preheating "toy", this is real preheating! And in our famous trademark pyramidal design!

800+ Watts of Power: Coupled with ample air output is our 800+ Watts of preheating capacity. This is effective preheating by design!





Convective Preheater


25 CFM
 Air Power
(710 Liter/Min)
850 Watt Power

120 Volt for the U.S., Canada & Mexico


230 Volt for
Our International


Preheat PCB


 25 CFM
 Air Power
(710 Liter/Min)
800 Watt Power

120 Volt for the U.S., Canada & Mexico


* The HIS Series is our mid-range capacity of preheaters in our extensive
 AirBath Preheater Product Line. Nothing beats a Zephyrtronics AirBath at
 repairing Smartphones, Tablets or Flat Screen televisions. Quality, twenty
 years on the market and a 1 year warranty (see details below).

Preheat Power: Our ZT-1-HIS AirBaths ample air supply from the AirCone™ delivers its forced-convection preheat power for even the most challenging PCB's. Beware of imitative pre-heaters with less than 13CFM (360 liters/minute) that crudely attempt to compensate for wimpy air volume through higher temp settings. Remember: the glass transition of a FR-4 PCB is only 170°C. You don't want higher preheat temps, you want higher volume of safe preheat (100°C-170°C).

So Many Features: The AirBaths  with the Zephyrtronics ZeroTouch preheat get into a PCB's nooks and crannies where hot plates and IR preheaters can't go (see  videos below). Fabricated from steel, not plastic for industrial use and long production life, they are RoHS Compliant, ESD-safe, exceed U.S. Military Specs and uniquely feature indicator lights (blue: cooling; red: preheating). All AirBaths™ have internal air supply so you do not need compressed air hook ups......and our ZT-1-HIS-DPU Digital Model has our very big LED lighted digital temperature display for quick "set & read" not tiny, impossible-to-read, and simply horrible LCD's for displays!).

Thermal Ramping: All AirBaths™ have the industry standard, temperature ramp of 2°-4°C per second "built-in" to prevent thermal shock to semiconductors, sensitive chips, ceramic caps and glass diodes. Indeed, our integrated ramping was essential to Motorola® and Boeing® with their space applications. And they are essential for high-quality smartphone, tablet, pc and flat screen television soldering and desoldering repair.





SMD PCB Holder

3-RAIL (10” X 18” MAX)
ABC-1 $345

3-RAIL (20” X 18” MAX)
ABC-2 $395

BGA PCB Holder

QUATRO (10” X 18” MAX)
ABC-1-Q $395

QUATRO (20” X 18” MAX)
ABC-2-Q $425

More Details

For Thru-Hole, SMT & BGA Preheating Tasks: The HIS Series AirBath Preheating Systems is ideal for all PCB challenges from low-volume production runs, prototyping during design or during rework with all SMD packages such as BGA, CSP, QFP, QFN, TSOP, PLCC, SOIC, SOL, LCC, Flip Chip and Glob Top components. Still, the AirBath  is not limited to only SMD devices: Don't overlook the superb benefit the AirBath  preheating boost brings to your tough through-hole (PTH) soldering and de-soldering tasks! Plus, it easily handles all substrates including FR-4, polyimide, composites, flex circuits and ceramic boards.


The Many Benefits of Preheating Your PCB: The benefits of preheat are multiple and compounding. 1.) Preheating or "soaking" the assembly before reflow activates the flux that removes oxides and surface films thereby enhancing the wetting process and solder joint quality. 2.) Preheat permits lower soldering reflow temperatures. 3.) Preheat reduces "dwell time" at the final reflow stage. 4.) Preheat reduces thermal stresses to the PC substrate and components if localized reflow is made with soldering irons, de-soldering tools or hot air tools. 5.) Preheat gives a thermal boost for  RoHS lead-free solders without damaging the work!


The HIS Series of AirBaths™
is available in two models: Analog and Digital. Both models feature variable temp selection from ambient up to 205°C and feature closed-loop feedback temperature sensing control. The digital model incorporates a digital set/read lighted display that permits single digit/degree incremental temperature selection in the "set" mode and tracks real time temperature at the air exit point above the grids. Our Analog Model provides the two most common preheat settings: 100°C and 150°C.


Digital Preheating, PCB Preheater
Model ZT-1-HIS-DPU
 With Digital Temp Control
& Big LED Lighted Display
(Not Impossible to Read LCD's!) With Temp Set & Read Functions  on Front Panel.


Preheater, Temperature Control, PCB
Model ZT-1-HIS-MIL
With the 2 Most Common
Preheat Temps: 100°C
& 150°C
 By Rocker Switch on
Back Panel.

Solder SMD's Quickly

Your Lead-Free Solution: Working with lead-free, RoHS solder alloys --- all have higher melting points --- makes preheat essential to PCB work at a bench. Don't raise temps higher on your soldering irons, desoldering tools, hot air tools or thermal tweezers! A brief preheat below the PCB permits soldering/ desoldering at lower temps.


Lead-Free Component ReworkThe RoHS Lead-Free Solder Mandate: Europe (and Japan) no longer permit the use of traditional tin/lead solders. Learn more about the European Lead-Free Mandate & Preheating. AirBath™ preheaters are your RoHS solution making lead-free soldering a breeze.

  All Pre-heaters Are Not Created Equal

1.  Achieve Superb Thermal Profiles at the Bench with industry standard 2°-4°C ramping to preheat! This critical ramp is "built in" to all AirBaths™ preventing thermal shock to ceramic capacitors, glass diodes and temp sensitive chips. Ramping helps prevent "pop-corning" of moisture within I.C.'s. Preheat allows flux activation and lower temps on the  topside of the PCB with your soldering tools. Effective preheat prevents scorched substrates, damaged pads and chips in rework or prototyping.

2. DeSolder &  Remove SMD's under 150°C (300°F) with only  AirBath preheat and LowMelt® DeSolder by the co-metalization process. No nozzles! No lifted pads! No burned PCB's! Video: SMD Removal With LowMelt®.

3. Non-Contact!: The AirBath preheat permits using solder "paste" (not just solder wire) with a Hot AirPencil. NASA calls it "non-touch" soldering. Video: How To Solder SMD's With Solder Paste.


4. Thru-Hole Rework: Heavy ground planes? High copper content? Big heat sinks? No problem! Your AirBath™ makes de-soldering thru-hole chips a breeze! Place your PCB over the AirBath, lower the temps on your desoldering tools. Stop lifting pads. You'll never de-solder thru-hole without preheat again.

5. Ideal for Shrink Tubing, the AirBath is temperature controlled unlike heat guns that burn and tear insulation and shrink tubing.

6.  BGA, QFN Soldering & DeSoldering.  The AirBath™ is a stand-alone, yet also a modular part of the ZT-7BGA Hot Air System. The AirBath™ has the essential features for BGA processing: industry standard ramp rate; "post-cooling" rapid cool-down (required for BGA's; and 25CFM (710 Liters/Minute) of preheat power permitting lower final reflow temps. Video: BGA & SMD De-Soldering in 3 Minutes.

Desolder SMD, Remove Capacitors

Beneificial Preheating

Preheating PCB at Benchtop  Mimics High Quality Thermal Profiles on Production Floor

Remove Chip Quickly at Less Than 150°C with  AirBath & LOWMELT® "Never Lift A Pad"

Solder Capacitors, Resistors

Desolder Thru-Hole

100% Non Contact , SMT Hot Air Solder Reflow With the AirBath and a  Hot AirPencil. Yields Highest Quality  Joints.

Easy Thru-Hole  Desoldering At Lower Temps With AirBath Preheat Heavy Ground Planes? No Problem!

  Shrink Tube Easily BGA Rework Station

All  AirBaths Sit Below the ZT-7-MIL BGA, SMD &  Thru-Hole Hot Air Station.

 Ideal For Heat Shrink Tubing Applications.
Far Superior To Uncontrolled Heat Guns!

  Comparing the Four Methods of Preheating

Preheating PCB assemblies falls into four categories: 1.) hot plates, 2.) ovens, 3.)  IR systems, and 4.) forced convection (warm air) under a PCB: The short video at the right breaks down these four methods with comparative demonstrations. While any PCB preheat prior to soldering is better than none, an objective analysis of the various methods of preheating reveals that all preheating methods are not equally effective or beneficial:

1.) Ovens:
Using ovens to preheat before rework and soldering for either removal and/or replacement of components can yield the most uniform temperature profile as it warms both the top and bottom of the PCB as ovens also do in high volume production equipment such as conveyor ovens and wave solder machines. It's just a little problematic to crawl inside an oven with your PCB to preheat while you perform selective soldering or desoldering tasks on one side of the board. Of course, one can preheat with an oven, and then rush the PCB back to your bench, but it's hardly practical or convenient solution.


Hundreds of Zephyrtronics AirBaths™ Utilized to
Build the International Space Station (ISS)

39-Page Rework Guide
by NASA with Zephyrtronics AirBaths™

Zephyrtronics AirBaths™ Used on the Mars Rover & Phoenix Programs.
Photo Credit: NASA

3.) Hot Plates: The obvious limitation to the hot plate is that not all PCB assemblies are single sided. In today's world of hybrid and mixed technologies, the PCB that is entirely flat or plane on one side is an exotic and rare creature indeed.  PC board assemblies are never the same from one to another. They can be populated with many disparate devices such as heat-sinks, connectors, relays,  and transformers on both sides. These uneven surfaces on PCB' present an indirect path of heat conduction from hot plates to the board.

"Hot air is more versatile than a hot plate due to
non-uniform parts on the bottom of the PC Board."
Glen Dody,  Motorola Lab National Journal of SMT, '96

4.) Superior AirBath Forced Convection Preheat The PC board assembly market has long spoken with regards to the distinct advantages and superiority of a warm air bath in the pre-heating process. It is why most all high reliability governmental and quality commercial PCB production, design and rework/repair groups stick to and with forced convection preheating: it is superior.

Forced convection completely disregards the topography (or bottomography) of a PCB, allowing immediate, direct access of the warm air into all of the nooks and crannies of the PCB assembly. And much like the newer, popular forced convection commercial ovens, the circulating warmed air is far more effective than static warm air.

Unlike IR "systems", there's another tremendous advantage with Zephyrtronics AirBaths™ -- temp control is "built-in". No small distinction! No fumbling with taping thermocouples on top of PCB's. AirBath™ preheat has temp control by dial or push button with accuracy and repeatability saving time, hassle, scrap and money.

Finally, forced convection preheaters can also multi-task for cooling down PCB's after soldering which is critical to solder joint integrity as the next section explains.

2.) IR: There are many drawbacks with infrared and why it really never completely caught on.  Some of the drawbacks (enumerated in articles and white papers) are the difficulty in ramping temps, darker surfaces heating more than lighter ones ('albedo' effect), shadowing caused by high profile devices on PCB's. IR preheaters can warp PCB's and some chips require IR shielding with aluminum foil! If an IR preheater is very large, working on small PCB's can be very uncomfortable for techs (a common complaint).

Another quality disadvantage of IR preheaters is they are not "temperature controlled" without taping an external thermocouple onto each PCB before working on it...a hassle/headache for techs and filled with quality pitfalls, and inconsistent results. There are more drawbacks, but these are some of the worst.

NASA & JPL: 'IR Preheaters Are Risky': Addressing the preheating process for heat sensitive chips in a 49-page published report, two JPL engineers, Dr. Rajenshuni Ramesham and Dr. R. David Gerke, wrote "Hot plates and infrared preheaters are not recommended for this type of rework. The reason that they should not be used is that the thermal reaction times, energy transfer rates and efficiency are never consistent. However, they can be used for large metal and ground-plane boards in limited applications, e.g., where the size of the board matches that of the preheater in area."

Citing the late William Scheu, the authors point to the superiority of bottom-side preheating with forced convection systems. The JPL/NASA Survey spotlighted still more of the deficiencies of IR preheating devices: "They have little capacity to ramp and soak to perform properly engineered repair scenarios or to support the creation and application of complicated thermal profiles. They also are limited in their ability to preheat beyond the physical dimensions of the heating surface. Hot-air preheating can be ramped, soaked and, on some systems, synchronized with the reflow process, permitting duplication of the actual profile used in manufacturing the assemblies. BGAs and photoelectrical parts are sensitive to higher temperatures and any attempt to preheat with marginally controllable sources is risky."-- NASA & JPL: Survey of Rework Methods & Equipment for Various Packaging Technologies"

  Post-Cooling™ Feature Built Into The AirBaths™ 

BGA, Preheat, Rework
Post-Cooling™ Mode Cools Down BGA's After Reflow Within 8 Seconds Allowing Quicker Lifting Hot Air Nozzles Preventing Bridges

Another AirBath™ Advantage: flipping a switch the unit transforms into a post-cooler™ cooling down your PCB, chips and solder joints. PostCooling™ is essential to soldering BGA's because hot air nozzles must never be lifted from above a BGA until all the balled joints have cooled to prevent unwanted bridging. Important: hot plates, static ovens and IR plates do not provide the critical post-cooling™ feature standard on every Zephyrtronics AirBath™.


Zephyrtronics Introduced PostCooling™ PCB assemblies to the benchtop clear back in 1994.  Our AirBaths™ cool BGA's enough within 8 seconds so a hot air nozzle can be lifted without fear of bridging.

Without post-cooling™ techs must wait for the ball/pad interface to solidify completely before lifting a nozzle to inspect. Post-Cooling™ remedies this problem for rapid lifting nozzles off BGA's after soldering.

Bottom Side Preheat, PCB, Preheater, PCB Rack
The  AirBaths™ Established
the Standard for PCB Preheating.


Our AirBaths inspired a lot of cheesy imitations, but we're still the pioneers who understand thermodynamics and preheat better than anyone else.  Our AirBaths are the intelligent solution to stop burning up your PCB's by preventing thermal degradation, thermal  shock, lifted pads or traces, substrate delamination, measling and warping.


Twenty Years! Zephyrtronics AirBaths are still the first choice for PCB preheating by most major aerospace and semiconductor manufacturers after two decades. It truly is the one single tool that belongs on every bench.  This is the "Science of Zephyrtronics."  We have an AirBath for you.



  ZT-1-HIS-DPU-120 120 VAC (US, Canada & Mexico) Digital Model 
  ZT-1-HIS-DPU-230 230 VAC International Digital Model
  ZT-1-HIS-MIL-120 120 VAC (U.S., Canada & Mexico) Analog Model
  Other: (All Models)
  Power:  800 Watts
  Electrical Construction:  3-Wire Input with Earth Safety Ground
  W x H x D:  12" x 4.5" x 7.2" (30 cm x 11 cm x 18 cm)
  Weight:   5.3 lbs (2.41 Kg)
  Air Volume:   25CFM or 710 Liters/Minute
  Temperature Modes:   Preheating & Cooling from AirCone™
  Preheat Temp Range: Ambient (Room Temp) to 205°C (400°F)
  Preheat Ramp Rate:   2-4° C per second
  Cooling Temp:  Ambient (Room Temp) 
  Temperature Stability:   ± 3°C (± 5 °F) at Idle.
  Absolute Temperature Stability:  Meets or Exceeds ANSI-J-STD
  Air Supply:  Self-Contained Internal Supply (No Air Hookups)
  Construction:   All Metal ESD Safe Construction
  Warranty:   One Year Limited Warranty Parts & Labor
  Recommended: Use With ABC Series of Board Cradles / Fixtures


The Preheating System Used By Boeing on Int'l Space Station
Prevents Thermal Shock of Components
Permits Lower Soldering & DeSoldering Reflow Temperatures
Ideal for the Heaviest PCB's & Lead-Free Applications
Helps Prevent Warping Substrates & Damaging Pads
Superior Forced Convection Preheating
800  Watts of Preheat Power
Powerful 25 CFM (710 Liters/Minute) Air Volume
Digital & Analog Models
Big Indicator Lights.  Red:  Preheat.   Blue: Cooling
Analog Preheating Model:  Dual Settings 100°C & 150°C
Digital Preheating Model: Variable from Room Temp to 205°C
Preheating Ramp Rate at Industry Standard 2°-4°C Per Second
Self-Contained (No Air Hook-Ups Required)
Small, Compact Construction Saves Benchtop Space
ESD Safe
One Year Limited Warranty Parts & Labor
Every Unit is Calibrated at Zephyrtronics' California Factory


Model Price Buy Now

Convective Preheater

 25 CFM Air Power
850 Watt Power


120 Volt
for the U.S., Canada & Mexico


230 Volt
For All Int'l Customers


 25 CFM Air Power
800 Watt Power

120 Volt
for the U.S., Canada & Mexico


* We manufacture many other sizes of AirBaths.  Note that the HIS Series is our mid-range capacity of pre-heaters
within our extensive AirBath Catalog.  We have an AirBath Preheater tailored to your company's PCB needs.


Model Price Buy Now
3-RAIL (10” X 18” MAX)
ABC-1 $345

3-RAIL (20” X 18” MAX)
ABC-2 $395

QUATRO (10” X 18” MAX)
ABC-1-Q $395

QUATRO (20” X 18” MAX)
ABC-2-Q $425



Model Price Buy Now

2-Post and 8-Post Positioning
(8 Posts Allow PCB & ABC to Be Flipped Up & Down For Thru-Hole De-Soldering & Inspection)



 (SET OF 4)





©1996 - 2023 by Zephyrtronics®. All rights reserved. The information, text, images, photographs, charts, graphs you receive online from Zephyrtronics® are protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws prohibit any copying, redistributing, retransmitting, or repurposing of any copyright-protected material. Zephyrtronics is the registered trademark property of JTI, Inc. "The Science of Zephyrtronics" and "Simplicity Through Innovation" and "Zephlux" and "ZeroLead" and "Zero Balling" and "Zero Residue" and "Post Cooling" and "Post Cooler" and "AirBath" and "SolderGlide" and "SolderMill"  and  "ZeroTouch" and "Just So Superior" are the protected trademark property of JTI, Inc. "Zephyrtronics" and "Low Melt" and "Air Fountain" and "Fountainhead" are the registered trademark properties of JTI Inc. *The above names are the registered property of their respective owners.

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Updated for September 26, 2023