Restricted Materials Screening

With the increasing presence of electronic devices, electronic waste is also being produced faster than ever before. In recent years the EU and other countries have established multiple regulations to promote the recycling of e-waste and reduce the health and environmental risks associated with the increase in e-waste production. RoHS directive (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances) is one of those rule sets aimed at reducing hazardous material from entering e-waste streams by restricting their use in electronic equipment. These restricted materials include heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium), hexavalent chrome, polybrominated flame retardants (PBB and PBDE) and phthalates. RoHS prevents specified electronic products from being imported, manufactured or sold that contain these materials above certain levels. The regulation also defines specific testing, documentation and verification obligations on both the manufacturer of these goods and on importers and distributors.

In addition to consumer electronics most of industrial electronic devices are now covered by the RoHS regulation, including medical devices and control equipment.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) offers a fast, non-destructive method of screening for these restricted elements. Small spot analysis is important for successful analysis, since the analysis beam must match the sample size which makes M1 MISTRAL micro-XRF a perfect choice for RoHS screening. Selectable collimators between 0.4 mm and 1.5 mm allow accurate analysis of individual components and cables, as well as bulk samples (metals, solder, raw materials) and large circuit boards.

The M1 MISTRAL benchtop micro-XRF spectrometer provides a unique combination of measurement precision and ease of use that makes it straightforward to ensure that the products are environmentally safe. It allows the analysis of a wide range of restricted elements in electronics, metals, and plastics. One typical application is to ensure that soldering material is RoHS compliant and contains less than 1000 ppm lead; with the M1 MISTRAL, this can be easily done in a wide range of samples, from bulk solder bars or finished circuit boards. Together with the video microscope and the motorized and programmable XYZ stage, the user can ensure that measurement takes place at exactly the desired spot.

The micro-XRF technique is widely used to monitor various critical elements within a production process or incoming material inspection. M1 MISTRAL allows RoHS screening according to the IEC 62321 RoHS XRF testing method and ASTM F2617 standard test method to ensure regulatory compliance as part of the reasonable testing program. The M1 MISTRAL can be also used to verify the compliance of electrical products and other consumer products with multiple other regulations such as The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), EU Packaging Directive, and End of Life Vehicles (ELV) directive. This versatility, ease of use, and completely non-destructive analysis make the micro-XRF technique an ideal screening method to ensure that products are fully compliant and safe for people and the environment.