Tin-lead solder will be banished from EU market?

Thread Starter

bloguetronica

Joined Apr 27, 2007
1,372
I've heard that the brains (aka morons) from the EU council decided to take the tin-lead solder from the market, and that it is predicted to be completely out in 2012. Is this true?

I mean, with lead free solder and with dip components being replaced by those tiny smd components which are impossible to work, how do they expect this hobby to continue?

I saw jobs made by professionals with lead-free solder and it seemed that they were made by amateurs. And believe me, these guys solder very well, since I saw previous works from them in which tin-lead solder was used and they are from the best quality.

Is seems that the golden age of electronics was gone...defenitely.
 

lightingman

Joined Apr 19, 2007
374
Yes... you are rite, a good solder joint made with lead free looks like a very bad joint made with 60/40...As I have said before, the melting point of lead free is much higher, so component failure is a lot greater.....Also as usual if anything (including tools and materials) are required by law, the price is going to be high... It is a chance for manufacturers to make more money..... What a daft, greedy, rediculus, world we now live in !!!!!!!...Daniel.
 

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,220
It's certainly more difficult to work with lead-free solders than SN63 (63/37).

A good bit more heat required, and much more likely to have a "cold" solder joint. This is definitely NOT a chance for manufacturers to make more money; indeed it will result in a LOT of expenditures for capital equipment such as ovens, etc - and replacement of all of the equipment that was used in soldering with lead.

Because once you've worked on a lead-containing item using a tool, you can't use it for lead-free work. Why not? Even trace amounts of lead are easily detectable, and there's no getting rid of it.

Static mats, soldering irons and stations, pliers, sponges, etc - they all have to get replaced.

And if you get rework items back in that were assembled with lead solder, you have to work on those in a lead-permissible area, with lead-contaminated tools. They can't be worked on at the Pb Free stations.

You can't put the lead-containing items in the water wash, or the chemical baths. You have to use a special tray in order to place them in a vacuum oven to remove moisture.

Previously, manufacturers would tin PCB's - but with the lead-free solder, many are finding they have to go to silver or gold plating.

It's a nightmare for manufacturers.

But in order to become compliant, they have no choice.

The price of electronic items is going to escalate significantly.
 

lightingman

Joined Apr 19, 2007
374
Oh...Dont get me wrong, I did not mean the manufacturers of the equipment being made with these tools, I was talking about the tool manufacturers themselves......The solder is 4 times dearer, the irons are 5 times dearer, and so on.....You are 100% rite in what you say.Many manufacturers of equipmant had the same problems when the CE stuff came about, it cost millions for them to do the changes to designs and the paperwork to go with it.....I am afraid that lead free will lead us deeper into a through away society, as equipment fails due to the poor quality of the joints, and damage to the components through heat.......Daniel.
 

mrmeval

Joined Jun 30, 2006
833
I highly suggest a Metcal iron if you can afford one. I have considerable production experience using them and they are excellent. They're pricey but the tips last at least 20 times longer than weller and the design of the tip will put heat where it's needed with little problems with latency.

I'm considering a Hako and may see if it performs similarly as they are less expensive initially though the tips are more expensive. I'd prefer finding someone with production experience using Hako. Right now I can get a Metcal for my use for about 200 or I can get a Hako for around 100.

Weller IMHO is crap for both types of soldering but is particularly worthless for lead free.
 

Thread Starter

bloguetronica

Joined Apr 27, 2007
1,372
Yes... you are rite, a good solder joint made with lead free looks like a very bad joint made with 60/40...As I have said before, the melting point of lead free is much higher, so component failure is a lot greater.....Also as usual if anything (including tools and materials) are required by law, the price is going to be high... It is a chance for manufacturers to make more money..... What a daft, greedy, rediculus, world we now live in !!!!!!!...Daniel.
Indeed. But since those "geniuses" from EU council never soldered before... A bit of lead doesn't do any harm. The lead from the solder won't vaporise during the process. That's why I'm planning to stock myself with as much tin-lead solder as I can.

It's certainly more difficult to work with lead-free solders than SN63 (63/37).

A good bit more heat required, and much more likely to have a "cold" solder joint. This is definitely NOT a chance for manufacturers to make more money; indeed it will result in a LOT of expenditures for capital equipment such as ovens, etc - and replacement of all of the equipment that was used in soldering with lead.

Because once you've worked on a lead-containing item using a tool, you can't use it for lead-free work. Why not? Even trace amounts of lead are easily detectable, and there's no getting rid of it.

Static mats, soldering irons and stations, pliers, sponges, etc - they all have to get replaced.

And if you get rework items back in that were assembled with lead solder, you have to work on those in a lead-permissible area, with lead-contaminated tools. They can't be worked on at the Pb Free stations.

You can't put the lead-containing items in the water wash, or the chemical baths. You have to use a special tray in order to place them in a vacuum oven to remove moisture.

Previously, manufacturers would tin PCB's - but with the lead-free solder, many are finding they have to go to silver or gold plating.

It's a nightmare for manufacturers.

But in order to become compliant, they have no choice.

The price of electronic items is going to escalate significantly.
The new solder demands more heat, and thus the chance of damaging components in the production line will increase. And we all know the rest of the story... (...bring more chips from National!). Only manufacturers of components will make more money, the assemblers (manufacturers of electrical/electronic equipment) themselves will loose money for sure.
 
I have been in this business for over thirty years.....and here is what I have learned about this subject......

Weller Soldering stations have always sucked! They are crap, and they still keep failing....even the new ones. Hako is the best on the market for me and
my employees. The tips are worth the price.

What really pisses me off is that all the parts I have been buying for years are now unavailable.....and have been replaced with this ROHS crap that means I have to pay 50 percent more money to buy them! They are still the same part....but now they want more money.

Don't get me wrong.....lead is a dangerous metal....but governments are going overboard with their rules.
 

lightingman

Joined Apr 19, 2007
374
I have allways used Weller soldering equipment, and still hve 4 x TCP's and 1 x DS801 in the workshop..... .I now use JBC stations and irons, allthough the tips are £30 plus each. I have found them light and easy to use, and the quick change bit's make them very versatile...Daniel.
 

beenthere

Joined Apr 20, 2004
15,819
My Weller WTCP finally lost a heater after over 30 years of use. Think I'll stay with it.

Same for my Kester 63/37 solder. Can't stand those crappy-looking no lead joints.
 
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