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Dr. Ron Responds to Oliver

Folks:

Oliver writes;

Dr. Lasky,

Your statements sound rather strange to me.

1. It makes no sense to compare the increased energy and tin demand to the total numbers to justify leadfree. If it's worse, it's worse. Else you also had to consider that lead usage in electronic solder is near to insignificant compared to the total lead usage.

2. I really wonder who told you that you can use finer pitch packages with lead free, because it wets worse! Tin whiskers will kill your fine pitch after a short time.

Again, I get the impression that you are an advocate of short-lived "equipment" (or should I write junk?).

Although I also need to sell new stuff, I feel responsible to make it as good as possible.

Oliver

My Response:

1. a. I calculated the increase electrical power usage for RoHS compliant assembly as 0.0002% of the total world usage. This amount is "in the noise" and it is not possible to measure an increase this small. It is statistically insignificant, hundreds of other factors that fluctuate naturally have thousands of times more effect than RoHS compliant assembly. It is so small, it is meaningless.
b. I agree electronic use of lead is insignificant, lead is banned from electronics by the EU to make recycling easier.

2. Motorola has manufactured well over 100 million, fine lead spacing, lead-free cell phones since 2001 with equal or better reliability to leaded solder phones. Studies are emerging that show that RoHS compliant assembly with SAC solder minimizes tin whiskers. Is more work needed in this regard.....absolutely. Is the "sky falling" Re reliability for SAC assembly electronics, absolutely not.

I don't like junk and I buy a lot of electronics. I strongly support more work to establish long term reliability of RoHS compliant assembly, but with all of the earnestness I possess I will tell you that I don't beleive I will ever be a victim of a reliability fail due to RoHS compliant (read lead-free) assembly. (But I think every laptop I have had has lost a hard drive!)

Cheers,

Dr. Ron