🌐Trace Design for Solder Flow Control
The solder mask designers place on the board exposes only the solderable parts of the copper traces. Without the solder mask, molten solder will flow down the trace covering as much as it possibly can cover. As the printer allows only a limited quantity of solder paste on each pad, in the event of solder flowing down the trace, not much of it may be available to anchor an SMT component properly to the pad. Additionally, the flowing molten solder may pull the component off the pad and skew their position. In fact, the force may be large enough to twist the component so much the other end comes off its pad altogether.
Designers counter this by careful design of traces leaving the pad. Typically, they allow the traces to leave the pads either directly inwards or outwards. The pulling forces of the molten solder then act in opposite directions, thereby canceling each other. In case it is not possible to make the traces leave the pad in the inward or outward directions, designers tend to have them leave the pad in the same direction. This allows the pull on the component to also be in the same direction, making it less likely for the component to face a torque-like situation that can pull one end off a pad.
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