TURI works with companies across the electronics industry supply chain to identify safer alternatives to commonly used toxic chemicals such as lead in soldering materials and brominated flame retardants in circuit boards.
Industry representatives collaborate with TURI to determine best practices and assess the reliability and quality of alternative methods for manufacturing electronic components and printed wiring boards.
As a member of the Clean Electronics Production Network, TURI staff works with companies, suppliers, advocates and governments on finding safer alternatives used in the electronics industry.
Sponsored by TURI, The University of Massachusetts Lowell, and the U.S. EPA, the Consortium has collaborated since 2000 to improve the conversion process to lead-free. The Consortium includes companies representing the entire printed wiring board (PWB) supply chain. The goal of Consortium projects is to achieve a level of lead-free solder joint manufacture and reliability comparable or better to that of leaded solder joints.
Lead-free conversion testing parameters studied by the Consortium include material selection (raw PWBs, component finishes, solders and fluxes); process selection (reflow parameters, temperatures and environment); mix of component types and finishes; acceptability (visual inspection); reliability; and planning to address consequences to lead-free conversion. The Consortium also employs six sigma tools to focus research efforts and enhance the quality of testing results.
The New England Lead-Free Electronics Consortium connects peers in the electronics industry with their suppliers and markets. Several years of testing and experiments, as well as supply chain workshops and communication have resulted in a large archive of practical presentations, papers, and articles available for downloading.
This fact sheet provides a summary of the efforts of the Consortium.