RoHS is the Directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electronic and electrical equipment. The RoHS Directive stands for "the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment"(RoHS).
Although the term "lead-free" is commonly used in connection with RoHS, lead is only one of several substances to be banned. As of July 1st 2006, new electrical and electronic equipment cannot contain more than agreed levels of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) regulates the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment as scrap.
Camtech Electronics is well versed in the European RoHS and WEEE Directives. We understand that these directives significantly affect you and your company. As your supplier of printed circuit boards, Camtech is well positioned to assist you in the implementation of these new laws and provide you with helpful information about them. Call Camtech today.
What is the Scope of RoHS?
Although implementation of the Directives is based on EU legislation, they have to be observed worldwide. Japanese manufacturers have been reducing the lead content in their products for three or four years, and California has also already passed laws that roughly correspond to the EU schedule, although only for video displays as the moment. Manufacturers are unlikely to make "lead-free" products for Europe and standard leaded versions for the rest of the world.
When did RoHS come into force?
The RoHS Directive came into force on 1 July 2006.
When will California’s RoHS regulations become effective?
California’s regulations are in effect as of January 1, 2007.
How is California’s RoHS law different from the EU RoHS directive?
California’s RoHS law applies only to a “covered electronic device,” which Public Resources Code section 42463 defines as "a video display device.” Where as, the EU directive applies to all electronic devices, with few exceptions.
When can Camtech start delivering printed circuit boards that comply with RoHS?
Specific laminate materials have been developed to deal with the high heat associated with the Lead-Free assembly process. These are now standard and readily available for most design applications. As these materials are usually in stock, we can start on a new design immediately and have prototypes to you in just a few days.
What base material does Camtech use?
Camtech uses base materials that correspond to RoHS guidelines. Tetrabromobisphenol A is the flame retardant in FR4 laminates (CAS no.: 79-94-7), which is in compliance with RoHS standards. Tetrabromobisphenol A has been the standard flame retardant industry wide for some years so the only improvement from a material standpoint that is required for Lead-Free assembly compatibility is the ability to survive the high heat associated with Lead-Free reflow. IPC-4101B, the Specification for Base Materials for Rigid and Multilayer Printed Boards, provides six different specification sheets that identify material requirements for “Lead-Free FR-4” laminate systems. These six “slash-sheets” are /99, /101, /121, /124, /126, and /129. Although every PCB design is unique and there are differences in Lead-Free assembly processes, as a general rule, Camtech recommends a material that meets slash sheets /99 or /124, is selected for Lead-Free assembly.
There are 5 criteria that are critical to ensure lead-free assembly compatibility for any laminate system:
1) Temperature of Decomposition (Td)
2) Glass Transition Temperature (Tg)
3) T260 test results
4) T288 test results
5) Z-axis CTE (50 to 260C)
Slash sheets /99 and /124 specify materials with a (Td) of 325C or greater, a (Tg) of 150C or greater, combined with T260 results of 30 minutes or greater, T288 results of 5 minutes or greater and a maximum Z-axis CTE (50 to 260C) of 3.5%. Based on many, many RoHS conversion efforts with all of our key customers, Camtech Electronics is very comfortable recommending materials that meet these requirements for most lead-free assembly compatible PCB designs. Of course, there will be circumstances where alternative materials are required for specific purposes and, in these cases; Camtech engineering will support your requirements as necessary.
Does Camtech also offer "Lead-Free" HASL (Hot Air Solder Level)?
Camtech does offer Lead-Free HASL along with the standard RoHS compliant surface finishes like Electroless Nickel -Immersion Gold (ENIG), Immersion Ag (Silver), Immersion Sn (Tin), etc.
Are Camtech printed circuit boards completely halogen-free in addition to RoHS compliant?
Camtech can indeed produce bare boards witch are Halogen-Free. This requires special materials which usually require a special order.
How can people tell if printed circuit boards comply with RoHS?
As this is not standardized at the moment we leave it to the customer. We recommend labeling of the solder mask or marking legend with "Pb-free" or "complies with RoHS".
Will all the RoHS requirements have an effect on price?
The special materials required to survive the Lead-Free assembly process and conversion to a RoHS surface finish are the only cost drivers for RoHS compliance.