Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) EU Directive (2015/863) has banned the use of 10 hazardous substances in electronic products. These substances are:

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Hexavalent chromium (Chromium 6)
  • Polybrominated Biphenyl (PBB)
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl ether (PBDE)
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate (DEHP)
  • Butyl Benzyl Phthalate (BBP)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP)

These substances are limited to 1000 parts per million (0.1%), with the exception of cadmium, which is restricted to 100 parts per million (0.01%). For the printed circuit board industry, the restrictions on lead and polybrominates (used as flame retardants in plastics, i.e. epoxy resins) are far-reaching. Nowadays, even the laminates meet ROHS compliance.

How Does This Affect My PCBs?

In certain instances, tin-lead solder is no longer allowed. For many years the electronic industries used tin-lead solder to join the components and as a surface finish to protect the copper from corrosion. Lead-free solder requires materials with a high Td (decomposition temperature), as thermal profiles and dwell times increase.

Sierra’s RoHS Solution

Sierra Circuits has been making lead-free boards since 2005. Our lead-free boards are made with laminates that have a higher Td to withstand the increased temperature and dwell times required during assembly. The surface finishes that we can offer are also RoHS compatible.

Lead-Free PCB Boards

We provide lead-free material like IS410 or R370HR and we use lead-free finishes like Immersion White Tin, Immersion Silver, Immersion Gold. If you are not sure about how to proceed, begin your custom quote or chat live with an account representative.

High-Rel Lead-Free PCB Boards

We at Sierra Circuits, produce lead-free printed circuit boards that can withstand up to 2000 thermal shocks from -45ºC to 145ºC. These special-purpose lead-free boards are produced through our proprietary, patent-pending process. The dependability of these lead-free circuit boards has been proven through rigorous HATS testing and our own solder float testing.

If tin-leaded solder cannot be used, what other surface finishes does Sierra Circuits offer? 

We offer a variety of plating finishes that are RoHS compatible. These include Lead-Free Immersion White Tin, Immersion Silver, OSP, Electroless-Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG), Soft Bondable Gold and Full Body Gold finishes. Visit our surface finishes page for more information.

What changes will RoHS-approved PCBs bring, in regard to PCB laminates? 

Laminate suppliers have developed resin systems that are compatible with the higher temperatures required for assembly. Our lead-free laminates are also UL approved. The laminate has a Td of 364 degree Celsius.

Can Sierra Circuits supply a Certificate of Compliance to the RoHS Directive? 

Can Sierra Circuits supply a Certificate of Compliance to the RoHS Directive? 

Yes, as well as a letter of compliance from our laminate suppliers.

What is the best surface finish for RoHS compliant assembled PCBs? 

Check out our surface finish chart.

Do RoHS-compliant printed circuit boards take longer to process? 

No. While there is an increase in the lamination process time, this does not affect the turn time.

How do I specify that the PCBs need to be RoHS compliant? 

Add a note to your drawing, purchase order, or quote information (preferably all three) that states “Fabricate to meet EU RoHS Directive.” You can also Request a Certificate of Compliance to the RoHS directive.

Will the RoHS-compliant PCBs have markings to identify them as lead-free? 

Yes. The words lead-free or LF will be silkscreened on the board near the Sierra Circuits logo.

How do I order lead-free printed circuit boards from Sierra Circuits?

 If you have a lead-free board design and want a quote you can quote online or go to our custom quote form and upload your files.