The popularity of short lifecycle consumer electronic products is causing an ever expanding disposal problem. The seemingly sudden onslaught of outdated electronic equipment in landfills has caused governments worldwide to mandate reduction or elimination of known toxins in their manufacture. The EU RoHS Compliance Directive restricts the use of lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), hexavalent chromium (Cr6+), polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) at levels over 0.1% and cadmium (Cd) at levels over 0.01% in consumer electronic imports. Most governments are actively pursuing the elimination of lead in all manufactured products as its serious health hazards are well documented. Hence, there is an almost universal push for “Pb-Free Manufacturing”. However, there is a flip side to banning the use of lead. Highreliability, long-life components that are not disposed of within a year or two still require the use of lead-based solders. Until fully developed and tested substitutes are viable, lead is still a necessary material for the manufacture of mission-critical electronics such as aerospace, military, medical and other capital electronic equipment. Manufacturers and regulators alike need a simple, easy-touse tool to help them comply with regulations and assure their own product quality – with or without lead. Portable XRF is a simple screening solution for RoHS Compliance, Pb-Free and Hi-Rel/Long-Life Pb-Required electronics. In a matter of seconds, it can simultaneously screen for all five restricted elements - Hg, Cd, Cr, Br and Pb – and more. It is a non-destructive, in-situ screening method for PVC, PE, alloys, metals, solders, ceramics and packaging materials.
Key words: RoHS, Portable XRF, Pb Solders