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Export Case: Lead Free Electronics Industry. 2006

Work over the last several years to develop lead-free solder alloys has identified numerous technical challenges. Because no "drop-in" lead-solder replacement has been found, lead-free requires a change in design of whole products. Industry has been actively working on developing alternatives, with many industry consortia sharing R and D resources. In 1997 one of the largest consortia conducted a study of 80 lead-free solder alternatives, recommending 3 alloys for further study. However the rapid time frame of EU legislation, combined with technical difficulties, concerns that new solders will become future regulatory targets, and difficulty agreeing on either a lead-free solder or a standard definition of "lead free", have made for a difficult transition with many companies scrambling to meet EU guidelines.

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