Leaded solder in EU and USA

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What is the current ruling on tin lead solder in European and US markets?
Are there any exceptions affording use of leaded solder?
What is the experience with unleaded solder wire?
Are there any recognised "better" behaved unleaded solder wire/flux combinations?

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It is my understanding that this is an EU thing. I've not heard about requirements in the U.S. There is a lot of US hardware that is lead free because they want to sell the same stuff into the E.U.

While soldering is a potential issue, somewhat more troubling is the problem of tin whisker growth. This seems to be a function of the alloy and the environment.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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The leadfree solder grows whiskers that short stuff out. ROHS solder is waived for mil spec stuff I think.

Imagecraft compiler user

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As far as I know, there are 3 categories of equipment escaping the ROHS madness: miltary equipment, medical equipment en test equipment. I bought 2 rolls of leaded solder to keep me going for the rest of my life. But since components are 99% ROHS, I need to add flux to make a decent solderjoint.
Sorry, Ignoramus, I have no brandnames: all it says is "Solder flux"

Nard

A GIF is worth a thousend words   They are called Rosa, Sylvia and Tessa, You can find them https://www.linuxmint.com/

Dragon broken ? http://aplomb.nl/TechStuff/Dragon/Dragon.html for how-to-fix tips

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I am importing some equipment from Holland, modifying it and reselling into Australian market.
I am looking to do the same in EU and USA. The questions of compliance are now biting my back side.
A whole new game.

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ignoramus wrote:
...biting my back side. A whole new game.
You play "funny" games...

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Quote:
I've not heard about requirements in the U.S
What about California? I believe they have some ROHS requirements.

I sold some modules to a US company a while ago and after having got them the client asked if they were ROHS compliant which of course they were not as we don't have the madness YET.

Anyway they got another lot of ROHS compliant boards (which were a pain for me to produce) because they may be selling into California.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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ROHS seems to be european mostly.

Not sue on the 3 catagories though. I have seen an updated ROHS specification were a lot of exceptions were now to also be ROHS and WEEE compliant.

Thing stat are solled should be ROHS compliant, and as far as I know you even have to give certificates of ROHS conformity for all your components when the controlling body requests you to do.

with respect to soldering, you need to increase teh temperature of you iron somewhat when using lead free solder and the temperature profile for reflow soldering changes somewhat. ahve to admit that just before I entered the company an ex colleagu mistakenly ordered a lot of lead solder so we are also good to go for a couple of years still.

found some interesting stuff that might lead you further:
a pdf with a FAQ:
http://www.engineersonline.nl/download/rohs2faq.pdf

a dutch enginering site ( in dutch so might want to use google translate)
http://www.engineersonline.nl/nieuws/id20839-vanaf-2013-nieuwe-rohs-regels-.html

and on the farnell site there seems to be some interesting articles on ROHS:
http://www.premierfarnell.com/search/node/ROHS

On the farnell site there also seems to be interesting stuff on WEEE recast. search on WEEE and a number of potentially interesting articles pop-up.

hope this helps a bit.
fro short: if you sell electronics in the EU it needs to be ROSH and WEEE compliant (other then all the etsi/iso/nen standards that it has to be compliant to)
Note that if your product is ROHS compliant and adhere to all standards it might be that you can get away with just having a waiver(?) on what tings you change, that the used components and solder are ROHS compliant such that you do not have to go through full re certification, but that is something you will have to investigate

hope this helps a bit

Last Edited: Wed. Nov 20, 2013 - 06:51 AM
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ignoramus wrote:
Are there any exceptions affording use of leaded solder?
Yes.
Servers, storage arrays, network infrastructure, telecommunications management.
There are other exemptions.
PASTERNACK ENTERPRISES RoHS COMPLIANCE PROGRAM (search for exemptions)
Fairview Microwave, Technical Information

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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So, WEEE is a promise that you'll buy it back so the user doesn't throw it away?

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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Well, "buy back" is a little strong.

You need to have a way of disposing of dead electronic hardware in E.U. This seems mostly targeted at computers and television sets since they are probably the highest volume going into the trash. But, the rest of us get caught in it, also.

The standard method for suppliers from outside the E.U. is to contract with an in-EU disposal company.

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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Analog television ceases on 10 December 2013 in the Melbourne area. So "we" expect to see thousands upon thousands of old TV sets dumped at kerbsides and in country roads before Christmas.

Six months ago, local council authorities were charging $30.10 to accept these sets at their tips, but have now realised that people will not pay so much to get rid of each TV. So they have dropped the charges, but I suspect that some people will just be too lazy to do the right thing.

How many TVs do you have in your house? We have 3, but only one is analog and we intend keeping it because it covers PAL/NTSC/SECAM formats.

Ross

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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When we went all digital here, you could get converter boxes to receive the digital signal and send it to your old analog set. I had no set at the time, still don't, so I didn't bother getting one.

My x likes the converter box. "Wow, it gets LOTS of channels we never could before, and those that were all snowy are now crystal clear."

You don't have a similar digital receiver that outputs to the old analog tv?

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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Yes Tom, we can get a set top box for around $30, but lots of folks have just been waiting for this event to buy a digital large screen tv, also believing (rightly) that their prices will be lower.

We bought our digitals about 4 and 2 years ago (not so cheap :sad: )

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Gentlemen,

Thank You for the comments and links. Hopefully I shall be somewhat less ignorant at the end of this exercise.

Meslop thanks for the links...I think ( bloody bureaucrats ).

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Heavens, all you'd need to get a new bureaucracy in EU is say to some noisy guy, "You know, millions of outgrown LEGO pieces are discarded every year and they're filling up the whole country." Before long, there'd be laws and protocols regarding the purchase, shipment and responsible disposing of LEGO. Of course, if that doesn't do, just mention styrene is known to cause cancer to the State of California...

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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If you don't want to get cancer from Legos, stay out of California.

Smiley

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We would never say "Legos" over here, it's Lego. The word refers to the concept rather than the individual pieces. Did you have Meccano in the US? Same thing, I never heard anyone say "Meccanos".
Or bacon, nobody says "bacons"(except my 30 year old American step-daughter).

This is not a criticism, BTW, just an observation.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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My kids seemed to take LEGO as a plural word. The bunch of pieces were "LEGO." One of them was a "legot." Also, the little glass spheres children play were were "marmen." One was a "marmot."

The largest known prime number: 282589933-1

In my humble opinion, I'm always right. 

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John_A_Brown wrote:
We would never say "Legos" over here, it's Lego. The word refers to the concept rather than the individual pieces. Did you have Meccano in the US? Same thing, I never heard anyone say "Meccanos".
Or bacon, nobody says "bacons"(except my 30 year old American step-daughter).

This is not a criticism, BTW, just an observation.

Also not a criticism but you guys make company names plural whereas we use them as singular. I'd say 'Apple is introducing a new...' whereas you guys (Cliff at least) would say 'Apple are introducing a new...'

Two great peoples separated by a common language?

Smiley

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Quote:

Or bacon, nobody says "bacons"(except my 30 year old American step-daughter).

Or math; nobody says "maths". :twisted:

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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smileymicros wrote:
John_A_Brown wrote:
We would never say "Legos" over here, it's Lego. The word refers to the concept rather than the individual pieces. Did you have Meccano in the US? Same thing, I never heard anyone say "Meccanos".
Or bacon, nobody says "bacons"(except my 30 year old American step-daughter).

This is not a criticism, BTW, just an observation.

Also not a criticism but you guys make company names plural whereas we use them as singular. I'd say 'Apple is introducing a new...' whereas you guys (Cliff at least) would say 'Apple are introducing a new...'

Two great peoples separated by a common language?

Smiley


Indeed. I'd probably say "Apple are" as well.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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theusch wrote:
Quote:

Or bacon, nobody says "bacons"(except my 30 year old American step-daughter).

Or math; nobody says "maths". :twisted:

That's right. Or "sheeps", whatever they might be.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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The US military does not want lead-free balls on BGAs used in their equipment. They have been found to be significantly more brittle than 63-37 tin-lead balls.

There are reballing services in the USA that perform this job routinely on BGA-packaged ICs for military equipment manufacturers. They remove the lead-free balls and replace them with tin-lead balls.

Remember this: BGAs have "balls" not "pins".

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I suppose it is also wrong of us ( some of we ) to say mathematics rather than mathematic?

What am I doing cluttering my own topic with garbages!!!

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Math? Sheeps? Gooses? Oh Noes!

In the UK 60-40 fluxcore is still available, specifically for 'repairing' older equipment which might not be compatible with tin. We use tin at work as our kit is close to the melting point of 60-40, but nobody likes it.

There was apparently an incidence of bismuth pollution before I got here and half the chips fell off...

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Bismuth was an additive tin lead solder used to get in wave soldering pots to impart the joint a mat kind of a finish so that the inspection crew didnt have to wear sunnies.

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js wrote:
Quote:
I've not heard about requirements in the U.S
What about California? I believe they have some ROHS requirements.

There are none that I know of, except, perhaps, for regulations related to disposing of electrical equipment.

In anticipation of the U.S. possibly enacting similar regulations to EU RoHS in the future, I've been buying up 1 pound spools of Kester lead solder whenever I get the chance. I now have around 30 pounds of it to tide me over if it becomes unavailable.