Skip navigation.

Leachability of printed wire boards containing leaded and lead-free solder

TitleLeachability of printed wire boards containing leaded and lead-free solder
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsTownsend T, Musson S, Dubey B, Pearson B
Journal TitleJournal of Environmental Management
KeywordsAlternative solder, Leaching, lead, SPLP, TCLP, Toxicity
AbstractDue to environmental concerns and regulatory initiatives, electronics manufacturers are replacing the tin/lead solder commonly used on printed wire boards (PWBs) with alternative solders. To determine the potential waste management impacts of the alternative solders versus the tin/lead solder, two leaching tests on PWBs manufactured with five alternative types of solder were performed: the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) and the synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP). These tests are commonly used in the US regulatory community to assess pollutant leachability in different disposal scenarios. The article discusses the application and limitations of these tests. The five types of solders investigated were 63Sn/37Pb, 99.3Sn/0.7Cu, 95.5Sn/4Ag/0.5 Cu, 96Sn/2.5Ag/1Bi/0.5Cu, and 42Sn/1Ag/57Bi. The leaching tests were conducted on four PWB sections, each with a unique configuration and solder density. The largest lead concentrations were observed from the PWBs containing Sn/Pb solder, with concentrations exceeding the hazardous waste toxicity characteristic (TC) in TCLP leachates. Silver, the other regulated element used in the solders, was rarely detected, with none of the samples exceeding the TC limit for silver. High copper concentrations were observed and were determined to result from the PWB itself, not from the copper-containing solders.
Login or register to post comments