SOLDERING CHALLENGES IN A HALOGEN-FREE PCB ASSEMBLY PROCESSAuthors: Timothy Jensen, Ronald Lasky and Amanda Hartnett
Company: Indium Corporation
Date Published: 5/22/2009 Conference: ICSR (Soldering and Reliability)
In recent years halogen containing compounds have been demonstrated as environmentally unfriendly. For instance, in some applications, halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) in plastic materials can release corrosive & toxic gases if ignited in a fire. The corrosive element of these gases has the potential to damage electronics wherever the smoke travels. The toxic element can be potentially hazardous to human and animal life.
Trace amounts of halogen containing compounds have also been found in humans, wildlife and the environment. These concerns have brought halogen reduction and elimination to the forefront by environmental organizations. Electronics manufacturing companies have an opportunity for halogen reduction in fans, connectors, PCBs, sockets and power cords. PCBs, connectors & sockets represent the largest halogen reduction opportunity. 
While the Br and Cl in soldering fluxes are likely not nearly as detrimental or harmful, alternatives to Br and Cl in soldering fluxes are being sought by major electronics companies. In light of this situation we will focus on how to be successful in implementing halogen-free fluxes and solder pastes.
KEYWORDS: halogen-free, halide-free, solder, soldering, graping, fluxes, head-in-pillow, hole-fill
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