If you look for indium on the periodic chart, you will see that it located right by tin (Sn) and lead (Pb) but it is a world away in terms of its properties.
Indium and indium alloys have some unique characteristics that make them ideal for a variety of usages including: soldering to non-metals, low temperature alloys, RoHS compliance, thermal management, battery manufacturing, cryogenic or hermetic sealing and many, many more.
Does your application require you to bond to glass, quartz or ceramic? Then you know that traditional solders will not work. But if you choose Indalloy #4 (pure indium) or Indalloy #1E (52In 48Sn) you will get excellent wetting. If you choose an alloy that includes silver (like Indalloy #290 which is 97In 3Ag or Indalloy #3 which is 90In 10Ag) you will get slightly less wetting but a much stronger solder joint.
Surface preparation along with the proper tools and the proper process are key to acheiving the proper bond. You can get all the details with our PDS, Bonding Non-Metallic Materials Using Indium and High Indium Alloys.
If you look for indium on the periodic chart, you will see that it located right by tin (Sn) and lead (Pb) but it is a world away in terms of its properties.
Patty was checking her email. She noticed a note from someone who had attended last night’s SMTA meeting. Patty had just been elected chapter president, after giving a talk on the head-in-pillow defect. In her talk, she also shared how important it was to work closely with your materials and equipment suppliers. To her, it was obvious that her suppliers were interested in her success. If they were competent, why shouldn’t she rely on them for technical information and help. If she didn’t think they were competent, she should get new suppliers. She was surprised at how much “push back” she got from the attendees. Several people stated that they felt that suppliers where just out to make a sale and that a smart person just bought from the supplier with the cheapest price. Patty thought that this perspective was negative and self destructive. She was sure that 60% of all process knowledge was learned from her suppliers, either in person or at the technical shows like APEX and SMTAI. She felt the main reason to go to these shows was the technical program. And some of the best papers were presented by the better equipment and materials suppliers.
One of their marketing VPs even told her, “We believe that the more technical help we give our customers, the more successful we will be.”
“Well wasn’t that a condensation of what good business should be like? He who helps his customer is the most successful,” she thought.
As she was thinking these thoughts a new email popped up on her PC. It was from Hal Lindsay, a noted curmudgeon. Patty read on….
“ I heard you telling some of the people at the meeting last night that lead-free assembly had some process advantages: Hogwash. Lead-free has no process advantages, and it’s not needed,” he started.
After a few more complaints, he finished, “ It’s because of young tree huggers like you that never stood up and fought lead-free that we are in this mess to begin with.”
In preparing her response, Patty’s mind went back to some conversations about this she had had with The Professor. He had made two strong points:
1. The first purpose of RoHS is to make recycling safer. So much recycling isperformed in poorer countries with chemically unsafe processes. RoHS compliant products will save the lives of the unfortunate people who have to perform this type of recycling to survive.
2. Lead-free soldering is challenging because the solder does not wet as well. This situation forced us to develop assembly processes with tighter process windows. However, an initially unseen benefit is that tighter lead spacings are possible with lead-free soldering because of this poore wetting. Many portable products such as mobile phones, could not be assembled with leaded solder. There would be too many shorts.
Patty was including this information in her response to grumpy Mr. Lindsay, when the phone rang. It was Rob.
He began, "我可能要出差去中国探访几家ACME在那里的新工厂。我想你可能也要在焊接工艺上做一些工作。"
(For our few readers that can’t read Mandarin: "It looks like I will be traveling to China to visit some of ACME's new factories there. I think you will be going to work on some soldering issues too.")
“Whoa!,” Patty exclaimed, “Why would you be going to visit ACME’s factories in China?”
Rob went on, “You know things haven’t been going well here at AJAX, we never adopted “Lean Sigma” techniques like ACME did. Today, we had a layoff and I got hit.”
“Yikes!” screamed Patty. Her mind went through many scenarios with Rob being unemployed 5 weeks before their wedding.
“Easy girl,” Rob implored. “My GM called me in and said that he was sorry to see me go, but being a friend with your GM, he got me a job at ACME. I am to be the liaison for the 3 factories that ACME has in China. My fleuncy in Mandarin made the difference,” he finished.
Patty and Rob were unusual for Americans, in that they both spoke Spanish and Mandarin. Both of their dads had encouraged them to take Mandarin at Tech as they had both taken many years of Spanish in high school. Both did a language study abroad (LSA) term and an internship in China. As their dads said, “If you can speak English, Spanish, and Mandarin, you can speak to almost any professional in the world.” Both Patty and Rob found that their language skills gave them a ready bond when they were abroad. One German colleague even told Patty that she was the only American he knew that would not fit the European view of Americans when they ask, “Are you bilingual, trilingual, or American?”
After Patty calmed down, she asked Rob why he thought she would be going.
He responded, “When your GM gave me the job offer on the phone, he alluded to a team visit to China, by me and this genius young woman that is a process expert. Apparently, they have some Head-in-Pillow, graping and productivity issues. I will be handling the business aspects, you the technical. He also mentioned he would like The Professor to go. I don’t think he knows we are engaged.”
Patty congratulated Rob and finished to conversation. She hoped that their being married wouldn’t create any issues in working together. She also was a little annoyed that she always seemed to be the last to know about trips that the executives were planning for her and her team. It was especially annoying that Pete seemed always know before her when they would need to go on one of their adventures. After all she was Pete’s boss. Well at least this time it was Rob, not Pete. There is now way Pete could know about this potential adventure.
She went back to finishing her note to cranky Hal Lindsay when she heard, “Pack your bags kiddo, it looks like China this time. Oh and Rob is going.”
I saw Patty at a recent SMTA meeting. I mentioned that many of her fans would like to see a photo of her. Surprisingly, neither of us had a camera. As you remember she is also a self taught artist, I asked if she would mind sketching herself. Here tis.
The reflow image of leaded and lead-free solder coutesy of Motorola.
上周我参加了2天半高强度，快节奏的IPC认证培训，对电子组装制造electronic assemblies 有了更全面的认识。
IPC是电子电路组装制造这个大行业的北美组织。 我们平时说的J-STD-00X, 都是IPC的标准，可以说是行业标准了。现在很多OEM, ODM, 和EMS公司的电子组装制造，也是参照IPC标准。 在我们这个细分的焊接材料供应商市场中，关注最多的是J-STD-004, 关于助焊剂flux的标准， J-STD-005关于焊锡膏solder paste的标准，还有 J-STD-006 关于锡粉solder alloy的标准。 其中，J-STD-004(B) 和 J-STD-006(B) 都是最新的版本，大家可以在IPC网上直接购买。因为版权限制，这里也不方便和大家分享原版。
当一个行业逐渐壮大了，所有相关参与者们聚在一起，就会制定/完善自己的行规行标。 当一个国家/地区的行业在全球的这个行业中，有足够的话语权(市场份额，地位等)，那么其它地方这方面的相关活动，也就要遵循这些标准。 在我们这个大行业中，日本有很强势的电子和电子组装制造公司，美国和欧洲也是。它们都有各自大同小异的标准。 中国作为世界加工工厂，为别人服务的话就要按照别人的规则办事了。 但是近年来，中国自主品牌的电子和电子加工行业，也日渐强大。或许，某一天中国也会出自己的标准(China RoHS就是一个很好的例子)？如果有这个需要和必要（经济利益的驱动）？ 翘首以待。
PS: 当我上课的时候还在想工作的事情而开小差的时候，火眼金睛的老师总会冷不丁的叫我回答问题(cold call) “Anny, please answer this question!” …真是无语了。如果这里也流行“举手回答问题”，多好啊。
Conductive epoxy is a common material choice for bonding components, especially if the assembly process is temperature-sensitive. Tin-based solder paste or preforms with flux are preferred Pb-free bonding materials; however, conductive epoxies arguably provide advantages over these traditional solder assembly materials.
It has been my experience that these advantages are perceived in the absence of an awareness of the full solder assembly materials product offering. Specialty solders can provide the same advantages as conductive epoxies and then some.
Some claimed advantages to conductive epoxies include:
· Ease of assembly
· Low cure temperatures
Low-temperature solders such as 58Bi42Sn and 52In48Sn are specialty low-temperature solders which have these same properties including processing temperatures below 150ºC. Both of the referenced alloys are Pb-free, can-be used with no-clean fluxes and are assembled using the traditional solder assembly techniques.
It would seem a toss-up between whether to use a conductive epoxy or specialty solder to assemble temperature-sensitive components except that there are additional advantages to a soldered assembly as compared with an epoxy-assembly. These include:
· Thermal cycling reliability
· Solder material consistency
· Thermal Conductivity
- Cost of implementation - There are a significant number of small electronics assemblers throughout the USA. These "mom and pop shops" may only have one or two SMT lines that build for a very specific and niche application. Many of these products never leave the United States and, therefore, the assembler never had to worry about the EU restrictions. A quick Internet search can show the millions of dollars that major electronics manufacturers spent on the conversion from Sn/Pb solder to Pb-Free solder. The cost of compliance will risk putting these small companies out of business. The last thing the USA needs right now is fewer companies and fewer jobs!
- Lack of long term global law uniformity - While this US RoHS bill is set up to match the current EU version, there is already a revision in the works in Europe. Therefore, there will always be a struggle to globally match other laws. To make it even more of a challenge, China is also working on their own RoHS law.
- Unknown Reliability - The United States has already lost the majority of the high volume, low cost electronics assembly (such as cell phones and computers). Now the US electronics manufacturing landscape is for predominately medical, military, and automotive applications. These products usually have much more stringent reliability requirements. At best, reliability experts will say that the we still don't have enough history to accurately predict the reliability of Pb-Free solders. However, most also believe that Pb-Free will not be as reliable as Sn/Pb in many applications.
- Dramatically simplifies the testing and detection. It is simple to test for Cl and Br, but much more difficult to determine which halogenated compound that halogen came from. When restricting only 3-4 halogenated compounds, one would have to run the simple Cl/Br test and, if Cl or Br appeared, run costly tests to be certain they didn't come from one of the restricted compounds.
- Puts all electronics on an even playing field. These companies are often using "green" marketing to promote their company and/or certain products. There is no clear way to identify whether on mp3 player is more "green" than another. It is all on how they spin their "green" efforts. By having legislation, all companies will be required to take the same actions (at least relative to the restricted items).
- There are only a few halogenated compounds that have actually been tested and determined to have some health or environmental risk. Therefore, a total ban would restrict materials that pose no risks. Companies like Apple have proven that electronics can be manufactured without any halogens today. However, as the technology advances and changes there may be needs or technological advantages to using certain halogenated compounds but if the law is in place it will be extremely difficult to change.
- The proposed regulation states to ban all halogenated flame retardants. Exactly what is a halogenated flame retardant? If there are 10,000 halogenated compounds, how do we determine which ones are a flame retardant and which ones are not? Without spelling out specific compounds, individuals will be left to assess whether or not their halogenated compound could be considered a flame retardant. This is a particular challenge for solder pastes and fluxes where halogenated compounds are used but are not intended as a flame retardant. Would those be banned?
Why RoHS is Destined to Fail (aka Against Lasky):
- Sn Whiskers - Sn whiskers are filament growth that protrudes from pure Sn surface coatings and are a result of the compressive stress inside of that Sn. For an overview of Sn whiskers, check out the article titled Structure and Kinetics of Sn Whisker Growth on Pb-free Solder Finish. When looking at Sn whisker mitigation, it turns out that Pb added to Sn is very effective. That's why Sn/Pb components never show whisker growth. There are other mitigation techniques such as Ni underplating and doping with Bi but they don't seem as effective a good old Sn/Pb. Over time (often greater than 5 years), whiskers can grow large enough to form a short between adjacent components. Whiskers may not be a big issue for cell phones (because of their short life) but is a major concern for military, medical, and aerospace electronics.
- Pb-Free Alloy Reliability - The two most common alloys used for Pb-Free soldering are SAC305 and SAC387. When compared to Sn63Pb37, the SAC alloys are considerably more brittle. This means that under low stress conditions, they actually may be more reliable than Sn/Pb. However, under higher stress conditions, Sn/Pb can creep to absorb some of that stress while SAC alloys can simply fracture. The reduced reliability of SAC can be seen under challenging thermal cycling and drop testing. There are studies on doped SAC alloys that show promise in bridging the reliability gap, but more work is necessary in this area.
- Higher Reflow Temperatures - The peak reflow temperature for Sn/Pb assemblies was generally around 210-215 C. For Pb-Free assembly, it tends to be around 240-250 C. This increase of 30+ C can reap havoc on boards and components. For components, higher temperatures increase their susceptibility to moisture. The MSL levels are generally more stringent for Pb-Free. For boards, you can get barrel cracking, delamination, and CAF growth.
- Proven Pb-Free Issues: There have been a number of reported issues that are likely related to Pb-Free. Here are a couple: NASA and Sn whiskers; Pacemakers; X-Box RROD (Red Ring of Death)
Why RoHS is a Success (aka Pro-Lasky):
- Recycling - As Dr. Lasky notes in his blog, there are a number of benefits to eliminating Pb from the recycling process. Although, Pb contamination can easily be dealt with at state of the art recycling facilities, there are unfortunately too many uncontrolled reclaim situations in poor and developing countries. The elimination of Pb makes those people safer.
- Technology Advancement - Consumer electronics are almost completely Pb-Free and have been since 2006. Since 2006, we have seen a significant amount of advancement in the technology behind cell phones, laptop computers, and handheld GPS. Had Pb-Free been such an impediment, there would have clearly been some stagnation in the advancement of those technologies. In consumer electronics, there has been the implementation of 0.4 and 0.3 mm pitch CSP's, 0201's, package-on-package (PoP) to continue to improve the technologies. Remember, the first iPhone was Pb-Free! As the technology advances, there will always be challenges but they are not directly related to going Pb-Free.
- Whiskers (Non)Issue - It is absolutely proven that pure Sn can form whiskers that could be a long term reliability issue. However, there are existing Pb-Free alternatives today and in many cases the standard mitigation techniques are good enough. The real issue here is cost. People want to use pure Sn (or as little mitigation adders as possible) to get the cheapest component. However, if you eliminate the Sn, you can eliminate the whiskers. Texas Instruments uses Ni/Pd/Au for many parts. That is Pb-Free and contains no Sn. Whisker free alternatives do exist!
Which side of the fence are you on?
A major challenge facing today's Sn/Pb assemblers is the limited availability of Sn/Pb components. Why is this an issue? The first is the concern of Sn whiskers when components are plated with pure Sn (the popular alternative to Sn/Pb). This is a potential reliability issue specifically for assemblies that are required to last many years. The second problem is with BGA components. For Pb free, they are typically bumped with Sn/Ag/Cu solders. These solders melt at 217 C which is typically higher than the peak reflow temperature of Sn/Pb. If your BGA supplier no longer sells the Sn/Pb version, you could be forced into a mixed alloy system which is probably less reliable than all Sn/Pb or all Pb free.
The Sn whisker challenge can be addressed with a number of mitigation techniques, but if you are building something with extremely high reliability requirements, you are better off staying Sn/Pb. From the BGA perspective, you are probably better off going to Pb free to avoid the mixed alloy system.
I remember talking to companies that were ecstatic that they were building something that was exempt from RoHS legislation. Unfortunately, today they face a new set of challenges that weren't there a couple of years ago.
因此，也有一些电子焊接材料供应商尝试用其它合金满足制造商的要求。如具有20余年历史的亿铖达工业有限公司推出的M0507(Sn-0.5Ag-0.7Cu)无铅焊料就是一款性价比非常高的无铅焊料。其熔化温度为217~227℃，硬度为14.3HV，与SAC305和Sn-0.7Cu合金的性能表现相差不大。该公司出具的采用润湿平衡法(wetting balance method)评估结果表明，M0507的润湿性、PCB组装板缺陷率均明显优于Sn-0.7Cu与Sn-Cu-Ni，略低于Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu。与此同时，四种无铅焊料的Cu溶解速率尽管十分接近，但M0507最低。此外，其通孔插装电阻焊点拉脱强度约为70牛顿，介于Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu和Sn63-Pb37之间，片式电阻焊点剪切强度及QFP封装外引线焊点拉脱强度数据优于Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu和Sn-Cu-Ni。
Two years ago, electronics companies were talking about China RoHS becoming the next big set of legislation affecting the assembly of their products. It was supposed to restrict all the materials that the EU RoHS does (Pb, Hg, Hex-Cr, and some halogenated materials) but have fewer exemptions and require more testing and documentation. It didn't just go away, but it's implementation has been much slower than China initially reported.
The first phase of China RoHS is actually already in place. On March 1, 2007 all electronics must have labels showing whether or not they contain one of the EU RoHS restricted materials. Currently they are not actually resticting any of the materials. If your product does not contain any of the 6 materials, you must use the green e-label shown to the right. If it does contain one of those materials, you can still import it and sell it within China, but it must have the orange label shown to the right. The number in the middle of the orange label is the number of years that you guarantee that product can be safely used (how do you figure that out?).
Phase two is the actual restriction of those 6 materials. China will be creating a product catalog and all materials in that catalog must not contain any of the restricted materials. Therefore, there will be not broad category exemptions. To make it more challenging, they are expected to require products imported into China to have a testing report from one of a handful of China "approved" labs. These labs are undoubtedly going to be government owned and simply a way to profit from the restriction. Phase two continues to get pushed back and is now expected sometime in 2010.
Let's hope they continue to delay phase two!! A good website on China RoHS is by Design Chain Associates and can be found by clicking here.
Ever since RoHS was implemented in 2006, people have been wondering what happens to the company that gets caught with Pb, Cadmium, Chromium, or certain halogens. In the UK, they use the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) as the enforcement authority for RoHS. Recently the NWML released their RoHS activities for April 2008 to March 2009. This gives us insight into what at least on EU entity's RoHS efforts are.
NWML reported to have investigated 250 companies for RoHS compliance. From that investigation, it is reported that they issued 14 improvement plans, 3 EU notifications, 4 product withdrawals, 8 compliance notices, and 8 warning letters.
There are several things here that made me think. First, RoHS compliance is a product based compliance and not a company based compliance. Companies can't comply with RoHS but a certain product that they build may or may not comply. Maybe the wording isn't the best or maybe they aren't investigating properly. I assume that it isn't worded properly and that they are really saying that they took 250 products and worked with their producers to ensure complance. Of all the electronics being shipped into the UK, it really surprises me that they only looked at 250 products throughout an entire year. Of the millions of electronic products flowing into the UK, they only looked at 250? That doesn't seem like very effective screening. What's even more disturbing though is that of the 250 they did look at, they found 37 with some issue. That means there was 15% with some type of non-compliance.
In summary, they came up with a law that is not properly enforced AND not properly followed. Who came up with this RoHS idea anyway? If you are interested in the complete NWML report, click here.
Amid predictions of disaster RoHS was enacted 3 years ago on 1 July 2006. The sky was going to fall.......it never did. Since then, much more than $1 trillion dollars worth of RoHS compliant electronics have been manufactured with out significant incident. (Since many manufacturers don't want to have two assembly lines for their products, most electronics sold in non-EU countries is RoHS compliant, hence the >>$ 1 trillion dollar figure.) I believed the EU helped averting disaster by not being too strict on compliance. This laxity will likely end with RoHS 2.0 or as others call it RoHS redux. But at this point, it is unlikely that strict enforcement of RoHS will cause great difficulties.
Being a chronicler of RoHS for almost a decade, I started from the perspective that it was not needed, as no study had shown that lead, or as far as I could determine the other 5 materials, in waste electronics leached into the environment. However, it finally occurred to me that, as the EU stated, the main purpose of RoHS was to make recycling safer. Since the ultimate objective was to recycle everything, recycling needed to be safe as it was going to be a rapidly growing business. I became comfortable with this concept around 2004-2005.
By 2008, I learned of the unintended benefit of RoHS. In third world countries, electronics are recycled for usable electrical components and scrap metal. Almost all of this recycling is performed unsafely. With RoHS compliant products, this unsafe recycling will be done more safely. National Geographic published an article on this unsettling unsafe recycling topic in January of 2008. The man in the photo above, from this article, is reclaiming solder to sell to a metals merchant. It is almost certainly lead containing solder. He will cook his supper from the same pan that he is using to gather the solder. In a short time, as RoHS compliant products become dominant, the solder will not contain lead. I think we will all sleep a little more soundly knowing this.
最近Indium公司在这一年的某项战术指导下，技术部的同事们开始了与许多同行co-supplier，或是密切相关上下游公司的合作活动。比如说有这个电子电路装配SMT行业全球的各种组织，如EU REACH & RoHS, IMAPS,IPC, SMTA 等等；同行们，有什么印刷机公司，贴片机公司，回流炉公司，元器件公司，兼容材料公司；还有什么大学，实验室，研究所，等等。大概的方向，是共赢，一起成长和发展。
刚好，上周读到了安迪·格鲁夫的六力分析模型(Andrew S. Grove)。其中的第六种力，叫做"协业者的力量"。原文的大概描述如下："协力业者系指与自身企业具有相互支持与互补关系的其它企业。在互补关系中，该公司的产品与另一家公司的产品互相配合使用，可得到更好的使用效果。协力业者间的利益通常互相一致，也可称之为通路伙伴，彼此间产品相互支持，并拥有共同的利益。但任何新技术、新方法或新科技的出现，都可能改变协力业者间的平衡共生关系，使得通路伙伴从此形同陌路。"…… Andy Grove的这个第六力，是在著名的波特五力分析模型(Porter's Five Forces Model)上延伸出来的。
The clock is ticking before the extension of Pb-free legislation for high Pb-containing solders expire. Luckily, when RoHS was passed, those on the committe knew enough about solder alloys to know that there wasn't a non-gold contained solder replacement material for these high-Pb alloys, so they made them exempt from the RoHS restriced materials.
Time has passed however, and this exemption won't last forever. Engineers want to be prepared and begin testing the replacement materials which have been developed over the past few years. Unfortunately, there still isn't an industry accepted material available.
Creating new solder alloys is not easy and Indium's Dr. Andy Mackie explains why in his recent blog posting titled, "Elementary, My Dear Watson..."
I'm excited about the May 2009 issue of SMT magazine, which will be highlighting photovoltaic soldering applications. Not only does it combine soldering and PV (which is our niche), but it will be including an article written by Karl Pfluke of the Indium Corporation. (Abstract shown below) Karl's one of my personal heroes, he's a veteran technical engineer and leader in solar applications.
Photovoltaic Stringing in Solar Cell Module Assembly
By Karl Pfluke
"As more and more contract manufacturers (CMs) look for opportunities to diversify and fill factory space, photovoltaic (PV) solar cell module assembly seems to be the popular choice. Commonly referred to in the solar panel industry as the "back end process", the assembly is done in lines and has some similarities to SMT.
Solders, solder pastes, solder wire, solder preforms, and fluxes are used for interconnects in PV assembly. Since RoHS and WEEE initiative does not apply to this industry, many manufacturers use SnPb solder for interconnects, Sn60 and Sn62 being the most popular. However, SnAg is occasionally used, and some manufacturers are exploring the use of SAC alloys (SnAgCu), specifically SAC305.
One process, "cell stringing" or "tabbing", uses products quite familiar to the SMT industry. Tabbing ribbon, a precisely straight and flat piece of copper that has been coated with a tightly controlled thickness of solder, is used to connect multiple PV cells.
This article discusses the common solders, reflow technologies, and materials used in PV cell stringing for solar module assembly."
Nice work Karl!
The proposed changes in RoHS 2 are minor. No new substances have been added to the 6 currently banned. Inclusion of WEEE categories 8 and 9 (medical devices and monitoring and control instruments) in RoHS is now proposed, but the proposed dates for inclusion are reasonable, 2012 or later. To the relief of many, TBBPA (Tetrabromobisphenol) was not included as a RoHS banned substance. TBBPA is a common flame retardant in PWBs. IPC took the lead in being the champion of moderation in RoHS changes, and appears to be happy with this outcome.
It appears that the EU will be tracking what is learned in REACH and may include more banned substances in RoHS if the learnings form REACH support such a move.
Although many do not share my view, I continue to see the EU's RoHS decisions as cautious and most of them reasonable. With the world drowning in electronic waste driving the need for safe recycling, it becomes more difficult to not agree with the need for RoHS..........especially after reading articles such as National Geographic's High-Tech Trash.
Tim Jensen is one of the leading experts on the “green” movement. Tim hosts the Halogen-Free Blog - which is a great source of current HF information. It seems only fitting to have him here to share some insight on the topic.
Jim: Many of the readers of the Semiconductor Packaging Blog are concerned with the “halogen-free movement”, other than www.Halogen-Free.com, where else can we find more information on the topic? Where do you find the latest news?
Tim: The IPC is about to publish their J-STD-709 “Low Halogen Standard.” That will be a very useful guideline on what parts of electronics assemblies may contain halogens and some of the potential challenges in implementing halogen-free alternatives. The IPC (www.ipc.org) also offers many technical programs geared toward green electronics and halogen-free. One such example (and an example of self-promotion) is at the APEX tradeshow at the end of March where Dr. Lasky and I will be presenting a ½ day workshop on halogen-free.
Jim: A half-day workshop demands a lot of material. I imagine the workshop must be quite in-depth, what does it consist of?
Tim: The workshop will cover some of the historical trends that have lead companies to develop “greener” and halogen-free electronics. The majority of the discussion will be about the “green” legislation around the globe and how halogen-free affects the electronics assembly process and end product reliability.
Jim: There are still holdouts for pb-free legislation. What do you say to anyone resisting the halogen-free movement?
Tim: Halogen-free is probably less about legislation than Pb-Free was. In the case of Pb-Free, the European RoHS Directive basically mandated that if you were to sell into the EU then the product had to be without Pb. For halogen-free, there are some legislative influences but the primary influence is the consumer buying response to items that are deemed more environmentally friendly. For both Pb-Free and Halogen-Free, there are very specific and very different business decisions that will determine if and how a company makes that transition.
Jim: Last words?
Tim: The “green” movement in electronics will dramatically affect the assemblers. It will be critical for them to understand how material properties will change and what they need to do to minimize the impact on assembly yields and product reliability.
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals) pre-registration ends today. If your company imports or manufactures more than 1 metric ton per year of any chemical, the chemical was supposed to be pre-registered by today. As I write this (1930hours EST) it is likely too late to pre-register as it is already December 1 in the EU.
While the EU expected about 30,000 chemicals to be pre-registered, I hear that over 1 million were. REACH's 849 pages (vs RoHS's 6 pages) make it the most ambitious law ever enacted by the EU.
It is expected that this law will take some time to unfold, stay tuned for updates.
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