A quick comment on RoHS

I am still trying to catch up on my IPC TechNet list, IPC LeadFree list, and ROHSUSAPushback Yahoo! group reading from last October.

This will be a short post, but I did want to comment on the the discussion between Dr. Ron Lasky and John Burke regarding RoHS. Dr. Lasky wrote an article that subsequently appeared in September’s issue of SMT Magazine about RoHS, titled ” “Repeal RoHS” Movement Emerges “. (Article can also be found here in PCB007 online magazine.)

While I like Dr. Lasky’s blog on Indium’s web site, I disagree with his opinion of RoHS, and also his interpretation of what John Burke is trying to accomplish.

RoHS bans multiple substances, but many people in the electronics industry are most concerned with the ban on lead in solder. It is misleading to lump together those who are fighting to get lead in solder exempted with those who are trying to get all of RoHS overturned. (I personally dislike both RoHS and the ban on lead in solder, so I hope both camps prevail, but that’s just me.)

I could go through Dr. Lasky’s article paragraph by paragraph, but John Burke has already published a very good response here in the Letter to the Editor section of PCB007 magazine. I encourage anyone reading this blog to check out Mr. Burke’s reply, as well as his website Pushback.

As was also pointed out by Mr. Burke and many others on the IPC TechNet & LeadFree lists, it seems odd that Dr. Lasky’s biggest argument for lead-free solders is:

In the era of cheaper, lighter, faster, and smaller, lead-free assembly enables closer pad spacing because it does not wet as well as tin/lead solder.

Since when is non-wetting an advantage?

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