Hello, all:

I was wondering if there are any easy, quick tests to determine if solder
has lead (Pb) in it, and what the approximate concentration might be.  I
don't need a quantitative lab analysis, just a yes/no.  A vendor told me
yesterday that their process has been lead-free for over a year now.  Then
when I said that I don't want a lead-free process, they had their process
engineer call me back later and say that they don't use lead-free processes.
So I am wondering if the first guy made an honest mistake (he's not
technical), or if they are switching their story to cover up something.

Personally, I wish the lead-free hysteria would just go away.  Lead usage in
PCBs such a small percentage of total lead usage, it's not worth the
reduction in solder joint reliability to switch to lead-free.  Besides, how
environmentally friendly is it going to be when the landfill fills up twice
as fast with lead-free PCBs that failed due to brittle solder joints?  I
wish U.S. electronics companies would fight this lead-free madness (which
started in the EU) by challenging it in the WTO as a non-tariff trade
barrier.  Oh, I guess it's just good business to make stuff that lasts half
as long, that way they sell twice as much of it!  Oh, and don't forget the
patent royalties from new solder formulations!

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com






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