Seeed Fusion's Commitment to Environmental Safety

Seeed offers a wide range of options to Seeed Fusion customers whether you are looking for the most economical option for personal use or developing a product that needs to adhere to global environmental regulations.

In this article, we cover some environmental directives of most concern to our customers:

RoHS

REACH

Halogens

RoHS

What is RoHS?

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances or RoHS directive restricts the use of certain environmentally harmful substances in electronics. The latest revision, RoHS 3, which came into effect in July 2019, restricts the use of 10 substances in electrical equipment. These are: Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Hexavalent Chromium (Cr VI), Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB), Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE), Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP).

Are Seeed’s PCBs\PCBAs RoHS Compliant?

RoHS compliant electronic components are indicated with the RoHS mark where applicable and our PCB laminates are free or within acceptable limits of the 10 substances. But for the finished PCB board, the substance of concern is lead, which is found in leaded solder. This is an option available as part of Seeed Fusion’s PCB manufacturing offerings. In order to ensure your assembled devices are RoHS compliant, please ensure that all components are RoHS compliant and that the Lead-HASL surface finish option is not selected.

Seeed offers the following RoHS compliant surface finishes:

Standard PCB Service

-          Lead-free HASL

-          ENIG

-          Hard Gold

Premium/Advanced PCB Service (in addition to the above)

-          OSP

-          Immersion Tin

-          Immersion Silver

For Seeed’s PCB assembly service, all of our assembly facilities are lead-free, therefore selecting a lead-free surface finish, such as ENIG or lead-free HASL is sufficient for RoHS compliance.

Do I need high Tg/Td laminates for RoHS compliance?

Due to the higher melting temperature of lead-free solder, we recommend that high-density PCB designs use laminates with higher glass transition (Tg) and delamination (Td) temperatures. This is to prevent de-lamination issues during multiple soldering and re-work cycles. High TG options are available via Seeed’s Premium and Advanced PCB services. In most situations, however, our standard laminates are able to reliably withstand multiple lead-free solder cycles.

The Seeed Fusion standard PCB service uses KB-6160 series of laminates. The datasheet can be downloaded here:

KB6160 FR4 Laminates Datasheet

We use Shengyi S1000-2 laminates for our default High TG (TG170+, TD345) options.

Shengyi S1000-2 FR4 Laminates Datasheet

Do my boards need to be RoHS compliant?

The EU and increasingly more regions outside of the EU adopt the RoHS directive and it is now required for CE certification. Therefore, it is mandatory for electrical and electronic goods entering these markets to be RoHS compliant.

Independent lab testing for PCB and PCBA is available at an additional fee and RoHS certificates for the PCB composite materials are available upon request. Please contact Seeed’s customer support in advance for more details.


REACH

What is REACH?


The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, or REACH directive, is a European Union regulation that was introduced in 2007 to limit the use of hazardous chemicals from a Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). The latest version of the SVHC list (July 2019) contains 201 substances, 43 of which are included in Annex XIV – the REACH authorization list. Like RoHS, the directive was introduced for products entering the EU market, but now many other regions are choosing to adopt the regulation or similar regulations to reduce the impact on human health and the environment.

Are Seeed Fusion PCBs REACH compliant?

All PCBs manufactured using the Seeed Fusion PCB service, with the exception of boards with lead-HASL surface finish, are REACH compliant and do not contain any of the 201 substances in excess of acceptable limits (>0.1% by mass). Like RoHS, lead is also included in the REACH SVHC Candidate list, therefore the same applies when having your boards manufactured through Seeed Fusion. Please select any of the other lead-free surface finishes for REACH compliance.

Seeed ensures that materials suppliers regularly submit samples for independent testing to confirm REACH compliance.


Halogens


To be classed as Halogen-free, products must contain less than 900 ppm (parts per million) of any one of the four halogens and in total, must not exceed 1200 ppm. Halogens such as Bromine, are commonly used in PCB laminates as a flame retardant, and Chlorine is found in almost all green solder mask inks (as a pigment).

Seeed Fusion offers a range of Halogen-free options, please enquire for more details or place a quotation request via the Advanced PCB service and include your Halogen-free requirements in your files.

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