iNEMI members release position statement on the definition of “low halogen” for electronic products

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 20 November 2009



(2009), "iNEMI members release position statement on the definition of “low halogen” for electronic products", Circuit World, Vol. 35 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

iNEMI members release position statement on the definition of “low halogen” for electronic products

Article Type: Industry news From: Circuit World, Volume 35, Issue 4

Statement defines BFR/CFR/PVC-Free

The international electronics manufacturing initiative (iNEMI), an industry-led consortium, have released a position statement that defines “low-halogen” (BFR/CFR/PVC[1]-free) for electronic products. iNEMI members supporting the statement include: Cisco, Dell Inc., Doosan Corporation, HP, Intel Corporation, Lenovo, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, Senju Comtek Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Tyco Electronics Ltd.

For PCBs and substrate laminates, iNEMI members define “low halogen” as containing no more than 1,500 ppm of total halogens in the resin plus reinforcement matrix, and no more than 900 ppm (each) of bromine or chlorine (per IPC-4101). For components, each plastic in the component should contain less than 1,000 ppm of bromine if the source is from brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and less than 1,000 ppm of chlorine if the source is from chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs), PVC or PVC copolymers.

“Dell and the other companies supporting the iNEMI position feel that it is important to have a common definition of ‘low-halogen’ electronics to enable industry initiatives and supply chain conversion to ‘low-halogen’ products,” said Scott O'Connell, environmental strategist for Dell, chair of iNEMI's Environmentally Conscious Electronics Technology Integration Group and co-chair of IPC's Low-Halogen Electronics Standard Task Group.

“A common definition of maximum halogen levels for components and materials will enable development of compliant material sets,” said Robert Pfahl, Vice President of global operations for iNEMI. “The limits that we are recommending for bromine and chlorine are the same as the limits currently included in the proposed IPC/JEDEC standard J-STD-709[2]. This standard is still in the balloting process, and our members support the standard with the maximum levels currently defined –i.e. the January 2009 draft – and as outlined in our position statement. Our members believe it is important to get a definition in place at this time to ensure a consistent approach as they move forward to remove halogenated materials from their products.” “Halogenated materials have been engineering materials of choice for several decades and have proven to be reliable and cost-effective,” continued Pfahl. “As the electronics industry seeks to further reduce the overall environmental impact of our products, we are working to develop reliable and cost-effective alternatives to these materials. While substitution opportunities are increasing, we expect applications such as complex multi-layer PCBs to require further investigation and qualification of new materials, which makes a timetable for broad-scale adoption of halogen-free materials difficult to predict”.

“Intel is committed to reducing our environmental footprint, having already removed halogenated flame retardants from our component products,” said Martin Rausch, general manager, SMTD for Intel Corporation. “A common definition of ‘low halogen’ helps ensure that an industry transition to these new materials will not fragment due to competing requirements. This, in turn, will speed the delivery of robust product solutions to the market”.

“Tyco Electronics has been actively supporting the ‘low halogen’ initiative for several years and has significantly expanded our low-halogen product offerings,” said Dave Bender, director or product compliance for Tyco Electronics. “A consistent definition of ‘low halogen’ is critical to effectively communicating requirements throughout the supply chain and Tyco Electronics endorses the definition included in the iNEMI position statement and in the proposed IPC/JEDEC standard J-STD-709”.

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