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High Lead Solders Exempt from RoHS

Eric writes:

Dr. Ron,

I have an application that uses a high melting point solder. The solder has more than 85% lead. Is it exempt from RoHS?


Dear Eric,

To the surprise of many, solders with more than 85% lead are exempt. Annex 7 (which covers exemptions) of RoHS reads:

7. Lead in high melting temperature type solders (i.e. tin-lead solder alloys containing more than 85 % lead)

The reason for this exemption is that some applications require these higher melting point, stronger solders for processing or for reliability (e.g. "c4" solder joints in "flip chip").

Two points are important to note:

1. This exemption might become mort "strict" in time.

2. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE PRODUCT IS EXEMPT FROM RoHS. One still must be compliant and "self declare" RoHS compliance for mercury, cadmium, lead (in solders less that 85% lead), chromium VI, PBB and PBDE.

So much work must still be performed.

Dr. Ron