These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced
(no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.
here to return to the Table of Contents.
Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted
reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
pB-Free: The Craze Has Begun
Motivated by reports of lead leaching into ground
water from landfills, some manufacturers of electronic equipment have begun using lead-free solder processes.
Japan is at the forefront with a year 2003 target for 100% lead-free soldering. Europe is targeting 2006, and N.
America has a voluntary compliance date of 2004. Studies in N. America show no increase in ground water lead
content after 50 years, but Japan claims increases. The most common lead-free solder in use today is Sn-3Ag-0.5Cu,
which melts at 219°C. 63Sn-37Pb melts at 183°C. Paradoxically, net environmental impact could be worse for
lead-free due to the increased fuel-fired energy required to run oven soldering equipment! Some analysts predict
the industry will abandon lead-free solder by 2008, due to minimal environmental impact and much more difficult
processes and costs. Storage batteries use 79.0% of all lead mined, while electronics solder uses only 0.6%