RoHS Compliant PCBA Manufacturing Project

The ROHS directive, established by the European Union in 2003, lays down rules and regulations concerning the use of certain hazardous materials in the manufacturing of electrical and electronic devices. Materials restricted by ROHS include mercury, polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), cadmium, lead, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Ensuring ROHS compliance is crucial in PCBA manufacturing to ensure that hazardous materials are not present, minimizing the environmental impact when these devices are disposed of. If your project requires RoHS compliance, FS Technology is your ideal partner, offering lead-free PCB assembly services to meet your needs.

rohs pcb

ROHS PCBA Project Material Restriction

  • Lead: 0.1 percent or (1000 ppm) – Lead is mostly used in soldering and electronic components. Though it is very toxic and causes health issues, especially for pregnant women and children. Lead can also contaminate water and soil, causing environmental pollution. By minimizing the lead content in electronics, the ROHS PCB guidelines help reduce the negative effects.
  • Mercury: 0.1 percent or (1000 ppm) – Mercury exists in different lighting devices, sensors, and switches. It is a strong neurotoxin that can build up in the food chain and is harmful to both people and animals. Limiting the amount of mercury in electronic devices promotes accurate recycling and disposal of the devices, limiting mercury emissions in the environment.
  • Cadmium: 0.01 percent – Cadmium normally exists in rechargeable batteries and different types of coatings. It is highly toxic even in very low amounts and is known as a carcinogen. By restricting cadmium use in electronics, the directive’s main objective is to protect human health and avoid the accumulation of this hazardous material in ecosystems.
  • Hexavalent Chromium: 0.1 percent – Hexavalent chromium is mostly used in metallic plating processes. It is a very corrosive and carcinogenic material that can harm health if exposed to it. Hexavalent chromium is prohibited by the ROHS Directive, which also promotes safer substitutes and protects both the environment and workers.
  • Polybrominated Biphenyl: Polymers used to include 0.1% PBBs as flame retardants. These materials remain in the environment and can bioaccumulate in living organisms, causing long-term ecological effects. The directive’s guidelines on PBBs help to reduce their existence in e-waste and avoid their release into the environment.
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether: 0.1 percent – PBDEs were used as flame retardants in different electronic products and applications. Like PBBs, they also exist and can deposit in the environment and living organisms. The ROHS Directive encourages safer flame-retardant alternatives in electronics by avoiding PBDEs.

Why ROHS Compliant PCBA Service is Recommended

Environmental Protection

A PCBA board that complies with ROHS is important for protecting the environment. By following the ROHS directive and reducing hazardous materials, this PCBA board reduces the environmental footprint of electronic projects. Improper disposal of e-waste containing toxic materials in landfills poses a significant hazard to ecosystems and wildlife, as it can pollute the soil and seep into groundwater. Using ROHS compliant boards can minimize the release of hazardous materials during disposal, thereby protecting the environment for future generations.

Human Health and Safety

The existence of hazardous materials in the manufacturing process can also cause severe impacts on our health. When PCB or assembly materials are released into the air through inaccurate disposal, it causes air pollution and results in respiratory issues and other health problems for people living close to e-waste processing plants or landfills. ROHS compliant boards reduce the use of these hazardous materials and make products safe for both users and technicians involved in producing these boards.

Compliance with Global Regulations

The ROHS directive was initiated by the European Union; however, its impact has crossed international boundaries. By using ROHS PCB, manufacturers can ensure that their products comply with the requirements of different regulatory frameworks, helping them to enter international markets and maintain a competitive edge in the electronics industry.

Minimizing Electronic Waste

Due to the high speed of technical improvements and the short working life of electronic gadgets, e-waste is an important problem. ROHS-certified boards encourage proper end-of-life management, which minimizes waste. Recycling and proper disposal become essential when electronic devices have reached the end of their working lives. Because ROHS-certified products can be easily recycled, it is easier to separate useful components from trash and send less to landfills.

Driving Innovation

Following RoHS rules and regulations helps manufacturers find innovative and advanced alternatives to hazardous materials that are commonly used in different electronic projects. The search for more environmentally-friendly solutions promotes technical advancement and the manufacturing of environment-friendly devices and projects.

RoHS PCB Material Selection Guide

Decomposition Temperature

The decomposition temperature of any material is the temperature at which the material starts to break down and release hazardous materials. According to RoHS, it is necessary to use materials that have a high decomposition temperature. By using materials with high decomposition temperatures, circuit board can withstand high temperatures during soldering and assembly without releasing harmful substances. High decomposition temperatures contribute to the overall safety and environmental friendliness of electronic devices.

Glass Transition Temperature (Tg)

The glass transition temperature (Tg) is an important feature to consider when choosing the board material, especially for multilayer PCBTg represents the temperature at which materials change states from a rigid to a glassy state, providing the board with a flexible structure. When the temperature changes during the board’s working or manufacturing process, high Tg PCB maintains stability and minimizes the chances of delamination or structural integrity problems. ROHS-certified board materials with a high Tg ensure the dependability and operating life of electronic devices under different operating circumstances.

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE)

The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is a crucial factor in calculating material expansion or contraction when the temperature varies. In electronic projects, temperature fluctuations can cause stress and strain on the board, leading to damage of solder joints or cracks. Selecting materials with CTE values compatible with other components in the assembly reduces stress-induced issues and ensures the long-term reliability of boards. RoHS-compliant PCBA board must maintain CTE compatibility to endure heat cycling and mechanical stress without affecting performance.

Moisture Absorption Time to Delamination

Moisture absorption in the board can cause delamination and the separation of layers within a multilayer PCB. Delamination can negatively affect the structural integrity of the board, signal transmission, and the overall performance of electronic devices that use such boards. RoHS-compliant materials are chosen for their ability to withstand moisture absorption and resist delamination. To ensure boards function effectively in humid or challenging environmental conditions, it is crucial to have low moisture absorption and extended time-to-delamination features.

RoHS PCB Flame Retardant Directive

The ROHS directive does not specifically address flame retardants. Instead, it restricts the use of various hazardous materials in electrical and electronic projects that can cause health and environmental issues during their disposal. Flame retardants are chemical additives used in materials like plastics to reduce flammability and slow down the spread of fire.

It is important to note that some flame retardants, such as brominated flame retardants, contain restricted materials like polybrominated biphenyls or polybrominated diphenyl ethers. If flame retardants contain any restricted material above the threshold set by ROHS, it would not comply with the ROHS standard.

Therefore, manufacturers and competent providers must consider the composition of flame retardants used in their devices to ensure compliance with ROHS directives and other related instructions regarding flame retardant use.

It is worth noting that different countries and regions may have their own specific regulations and requirements for the use of flame retardants in projects, so compliance needs may vary based on the market where devices and projects are sold.

WEEE vs REACH vs ROHS

AspectWEEEREACHROHS
PurposeAddress the problems of electronic waste and promote its accurate collection, recycling, and treatment.Protect human health and environment from chemicals. In the European Union, it controls the registration, licensing assessment, and limitation of chemical compounds.Focus is on protecting the environment and public health during the development, use and disposal of electronic products.
ScopeUsed for any type of electric and electronic devices from household appliances to heavy machines used in industries and also for both new and end-of-life products.Work for any type of chemical material manufactured, imported, or used in the European Union, and also for products that use these materials.Specifically to electrical and electronic devices such as cables, spare parts, PCB, and PCB assembly.
Main RequirementsCollection and recycling targets for e-wasteRegistration of chemical substances with ECHABan on the use of PBDEs, PBBs, hexavalent chromium, mercury, lead,  and cadmium in electronic devices.
BenefitsMinimize environmental impact of e-waste;
Resource conservation through material recovery.
Enhanced protection from hazardous chemicals;
Improved transparency in chemical use.
Safer devices with fewer hazardous materials;
Access to global markets for compliant products.
ComplianceManufacturers responsible for financing recyclingCompliance by manufacturers, importers, and usersManufacturers ensure material restrictions
EnforcementEnforced within EU member states;
Penalties for non-compliant manufacturers
Monitored by ECHA and Member State agencies;
Fines and restrictions for non-compliance
Market surveillance authorities enforce ROHS;
Penalties for non-compliant manufacturers

Related Blogs

What is RoHS Compliance?

What is RoHS Compliance? The annual production of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is gradually increasing. It is one of the waste streams with

Read More »

We'd love to hear from you