Surface Mount International Conference Proceedings


Author: Kay Nitnmo
Company: ITRI
Date Published: 4/28/1997   Conference: Surface Mount International

Abstract: The driving forces acting towards a switch from tin-lead to lead-free soldering can be summarized as direct legislation against lead (I3U banning lead from end-of-life vehicles), more stringent worker health and safety regulations, the introduction of producer responsibility and increasing legislation take-back and recycling schemes. These factors are all creating an environment where the use of hazardous materials, such as lead, introduce significant cost penalties in the form of complex waste disposal and control regulations. Calculations show that the additional metal cost of many lead-free solders do not produce significant cost increases in the final product particularly if additional expenses associated with use of hazardous materials are considered. The public is well aware of the toxicity of lead and a lead-free, green product may well have a significant commercial advantage. While a true drop-in replacement does not exist for tin-lead solder with matching melting temperature, wetting and mechanical properties and cost, many lead-free alloys are available which have been shown to be capable of replacing tin-lead with minimal alterations to the soldering process, and at least comparable reliability. The availability of lead-free components is currently limited although Ni/Pd coatings are being introduced. Keywords: lead-free, solder, review

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