Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design SMT Electronics Assembly Manufacturing Forum

Printed Circuit Board Assembly & PCB Design Forum

SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead

Rick B.


Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 29 May, 2003

When is the U.S. required to fully implement the use of leadfree solder? European Directive 2002/95/EC is talking about year 2006 restricting the use of certain hazardous materials in electrical and electronic Lead,mercury,cadmium and hexavalent chromium. Any info.?

This message was posted via the Electronics Forum @

reply »

Jon Fox


Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 29 May, 2003

As far as I know, the limitations apply to to the manufacturing components, not the equipment per say. At this point there is no set date for the US at the national level. Basically our government is run by big businesses and their effect on our national representatives and fellow congressmen. This legislation will have a great impact on our larger industries (consumer electronics and the automotive industry being the biggest of them) so the special interest people have stepped up with their check books in hand to keep this subject on the hush-hush for a while longer. However, there are some localities and municipalities that have already created legislation against the use of lead and lead based products for the sole purpose of electrical manufactring in some parts of the US. I have even seen a "Welcome to" sign for a town that listed it as a "Green Industrial Zone" I asked one of my former customers and they even said that from time to time the town will check their water waste to make sure that nothing is going in that isn't supposed to. Got to love (parts of) good old CA, CO, and NV. to be sure, check your local laws and /or restrictions, that is where we will see it first. Some states may adopt it later and if I had to guess on a national level restriction...2010-2012 maybe.

The above statement of our nation's government was an opinion. I am a proud tax-paying American 100%, so don't accuse me otherwise.

reply »


Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 29 May, 2003

Lead free solder is bad for the environment, while increasing product costs. The US looked at restricting lead use a few years ago, took no action, and has no plans to enact frivolous legislation like the "greens" have foisted upon the Eurolanders and others. The primary impact will be upon US companies that decide to export to Euroland and such places, after the suits are settled.

reply »



Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 3 June, 2003

I have received information from the European Commissioners Environmental group that automotive electronics are not covered by WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment 2002/96/EC) or RoHS (reduction of hazardous substances 2002/95/EC) because they are covered by EoLV (end of life vehicle 2000/53/EC). EoLV exempts solder from the lead ban (subject to change at the whims of the politicians).

I'll agree lead is harmful. Being in the automotive industry I also know from our tests, leadfree solder joints are not as reliable as SnPb for the rigors of the underhood environment. We have demonstrated that we can build lead free electronics for autos. Question is do you want the reliability of the lead free or SnPb for your family's ABS system?

reply »



Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 3 June, 2003


There have been other studies where it was found that lead-free soloder joints are more reliable than tin-lead solder joints irrespective of test conditions. In fact the automotive industry has been using Sn/Ag for underhood applications for a long time.

I am curious to see your results. Did you publish any of them at any conference ?

will be glad to look at them


reply »



Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 5 June, 2003

Japan and Europe are the main champions for the leadfee solder initiative. USA join in due to global political efforts as one of the cub scout leaderships.

Military and Automobile industrial-electronics is exempt from the leadfree directive. Reasons vary and are valid depending on which direction you decide to arrive in.

Then again, "all roads lead to rome...".

reply »



Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 5 June, 2003

The data we have is from an IBM report. Below 100�C the SAC reliability is almost double that of SnPb (-40 to 100�C thermal cycle). When the upper end temp is increased to 125�C the reliability drops to 75% of SnPb. I'd like to see the data that shows leadfree reliability is better regardless of the conditions.

I'm curious as to whom is using SnAg in underhood? Delphi has reported a lead free radio and key fob (neither of which go underhood) and Visteon has used lead free in it's Passive Anti-theft system receiver (another in passenger compartment module). Passenger compartment thermal cycle max temp is 85�C, well below underhood temps.

reply »



Use and Restrictions of solder containing lead | 6 June, 2003


my understanding is that the US do not have plan's fr lead free legislation. However the European legislation states that any product entering the european market after June 2006 must meet the lead free std's of the directive. So basically if you want to sell in Europe then you need to be lead free. There are obviously various excemptions within the directive that product's can fall into.


reply »

IPC Training & Certification - Blackfox

conformal coating pcb - asymtek