Know About RoHS as an PCB Designer
As a circuit board designer, you need to have the qualified PCB design ability, but also the awareness for selecting environmental-friendly material and components.
We generate over 40 million tons of electronic waste every year, and only 12.5% of that is recycled. The problem isn’t just about the waste, it concerns more about what the waste does to our environment, and ultimately our health. This is why RoHS was made a law in Europe, to keep hazardous materials out of landfills once and for all. The following is what you need to know as an PCB designer.
RoHS or the restriction of hazardous substances became law in Europe in 2003 and restricts the use of hazardous substances in electronics after July 1, 2006. The restricted substances that involved in RoHS are lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CR6+), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).
Of these six, lead gets the most attention in the world of electronics manufacturing especially in the PCB industry. In the past, lead was used in nearly all solder to attach components to bare boards during assembly, and the most common surface finish before RoHS arrived contained 40% lead. HASL is one of the most common lead-based PCB finishes.
These days, everything has changed in the world of electronics manufacturing, especially in the PCB manufacturing. You might be hard pressed to find a component that is available in lead, and there’s a variety of lead-free finishes to choose from for your next PCB design project.