RoHS directive Directive 2002/95/EC on the Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS)
Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) that are shipped to the European market after the 1st July 2006 must comply with the European Union's RoHS directive. This directive limits the use of six hazardous substances, i.e., four heavy metals: lead (Pb), mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two brominated flame retardants: polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), with some limited exemptions.
The Commission Decision 2005/618/EC of 18 August 2005 established maximum concentration values of 0.1 percent by weight in homogenous materials* for lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, PBB, and PDBE and 0.01 percent by weight in homogenous materials for cadmium.
*Homogeneous material means a material that can not be mechanically disjointed into
The term "homogeneous" means" of uniform composition throughout". Examples of
"homogeneous materials" are individual types of: plastics, ceramics, glass, metals, alloys,
paper, board, resins, coatings.
The term “mechanically disjointed” means that the materials can, in principle, be
separated by mechanical actions such as: unscrewing, cutting, crushing, grinding and
A plastic cover is a "homogeneous material" if it consists of one type of plastic
that is not coated with or has attached to it or inside it any other kinds of
materials. In this case the limit values of the Directive would apply to the plastic.
An electric cable that consists of metal wires surrounded by non-metallic
insulation materials is an example of a "non-homogeneous material" because the
different materials could be separated by mechanical processes. In this case the
limit values of the Directive would apply to each of the separated materials
A semi-conductor package contains many homogeneous materials which include:
plastic moulding material, tin-electroplating coatings on the lead frame, the lead
frame alloy and gold-bonding wires.
Manufacturers are fully accountable for ensuring that their products are in compliance. Failure to comply with the ROHS requirements will result in the removal of manufacturers' products from the market place.
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