Indium Corporation - A Review of Test Methods and Classifications for Halogen-Free Soldering Materials

Authored by: Jasbir Bath, Gordon Clark, Tim Jensen, Renee Michalkiewicz and Brian Toleno

Abstract

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the evaluation and use of halogen-free soldering materials. In addition, there has been increased scrutiny into the level of halogens and refinement of the definition and testing of halogen-free soldering materials. The challenge has been that there has been no common standard across the industry in terms of halogen-free definitions and the corresponding test methods to determine these. This has created confusion in the industry as to what end users want and what soldering materials suppliers can actually provide. This paper will review the status of both halogen-free and halide-free in terms of definitions, test methods and the limitations and accuracy of test methods used to determine if a soldering material is halogen/ halide-free or not. For halogen-free and halide-free definitions, the paper will review the different industry standards which are currently available and those being drafted, and it will discuss any similarities and differences. It w ll also cover the origins of some of the definitions mentioned in the standards. The paper will include a review of the accuracy and limitations of several test methods and preparation techniques for halogen and halide determination.


Introduction

In the electronics industry, there is a significant push toward halogen-free products. This movement is due to legislation from various countries, and public outcry from well publicized negative third world recycling practices, as well as non-government organizations (NGOs) testing and publishing information on electronic devices regarding their content of various potentially hazardous materials.


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