The importance of lead-free electronics processes

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is placing increased importance on reducing lead-bearing wastes. Toward this end, the EPA has proposed that reporting thresholds for the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) be lowered to ten pounds of lead content per year. The US electronics industry is also placing a high priority on lead reduction or elimination. The Association of Connecting Electronics Industries, which is the major trade association for electronics packaging, including printed circuit (PC) board manufacturers, has launched a lead-free initiative that seeks to eliminate lead in solder, in PC board etch resists and finish coats, and as tinning for component ... continued below

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152 Kilobytes pages

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Meltzer, M October 21, 1999.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is placing increased importance on reducing lead-bearing wastes. Toward this end, the EPA has proposed that reporting thresholds for the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) be lowered to ten pounds of lead content per year. The US electronics industry is also placing a high priority on lead reduction or elimination. The Association of Connecting Electronics Industries, which is the major trade association for electronics packaging, including printed circuit (PC) board manufacturers, has launched a lead-free initiative that seeks to eliminate lead in solder, in PC board etch resists and finish coats, and as tinning for component leads. Europe and Japan are also considering various regulations that will phase out lead in the next few years. In response to EPA and electronics industry priorities, the DOE complex will soon need to address lead phase-out issues. LLNL is now developing approaches for eliminating lead from PC board etch-resist operations. LLNL is seeking funding to continue this work and to eliminate other major uses of lead in electronics operations, particularly in hot-air solder leveling as a PC board finish, and tin-lead solder for component assembly operations. LLNL seeks to take a proactive leadership role in the DOE complex with respect to the elimination of lead. The envisioned lead-elimination project will be approximately two years in length. During the first year, lead-free etch resists and finish coats will be analyzed, and the best ones identified for electronics assembly and PC board fabrication. During the second year, lead-free solders will be examined and tested for compatibility with alternative PC board finish coats. Cost avoidance opportunities resulting from lead elimination include avoided TRI reporting expenses and reduction in PC board fabrication-related wastes through implementation of more efficient fabrication processes. Integrated Safety Management considerations are also relevant. Handling lead-bearing alloys poses safety issues to employees as well as possible environmental impacts. This is especially true during high-temperature, molten solder operations in which fumes may be inhaled, or during wave solder equipment-cleaning operations, in which lead-bearing dust may be generated. The elimination of lead makes the operations considerably safer.

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152 Kilobytes pages

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  • DOE Pollution Prevention Conference, Albuquerque, NM (US), 11/15/1999--11/18/1999

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC--136528
  • Report No.: EW02MM09B
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 750361
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc711365

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • October 21, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • Aug. 8, 2016, 7:27 p.m.

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Meltzer, M. The importance of lead-free electronics processes, article, October 21, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc711365/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.