Open forum: Are you ready for lead-free electronics?

Valérie Eveloy, Sanka Ganesan, Yuki Fukuda, Ji Wu, Michael G. Pecht

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


An expedient transition to lead-free electronics has become necessary for most electronics industry sectors, considering the European directives other possible legislative requirements, and market forces [1], [2]. In fact, the consequences of not meeting the European July 2006 deadline for transition to lead-free electronics may translate into global market losses. Considering that lead-based electronics have been in use for over 40 years, the adoption of lead-free technology represents a dramatic change. The industry is being asked to adopt different electronic soldering materials [3], component termination metallurgies, and printed circuit board finishes. This challenge is accompanied by the need to requalify component-board assembly and rework processes, as well as implement test, inspection, and documentation procedures. In addition, lead-free technology is associated with increased materials, design, and manufacturing costs. The use of lead-free materials and processes has also prompted new reliability concerns [1], as a result of different alloy metallurgies and higher assembly process temperatures relative to tin-lead soldering. This paper provides guidance to efficiently impleme nt the lead-free transition process that accounts for the company's market share, associated exemptions, technological feasibility, product reliability requirements, and cost. Lead-free compliance, part and supplier selection, manufacturing, and education and training are addressed. The guidance is presented in the form of answers to key questions.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)884-894
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Lead-free
  • RoHS
  • Tin-lead soldering


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