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Electronics Production | January 25, 2006

Swedish PCB market concerned<br>about banning plans of TBBP-A

The Swedish government wants to speed-up the environmental work within the European Union. Therefore the Swedish government has started to investigate the opportunities to ban even the flame retardants TBBP-A and HBCDD in electronic and electric equipment.
The flame retardant TBBP-A is one ingredient in the common used FR4 PCB laminate and if the proposed legislation becomes reality the Swedish PCB suppliers will have to leave this laminate and make a transition to halogen free laminates. These are according to evertiq's sources about 20% more expensive than the FR4. The price increase will have its larger effect on the simple PCBs but on the more advanced HD boards the price increase won't have that much effect since the material costs on these boards are not that large compared to the simple boards. Even if the proposed legislations are concerning a general ban of the certain chemicals the PCB makers are still worried. This could mean that their customers turns to the trading firms because they might be able to put some pressure on their suppliers to lower the prices even with the more expensive halogen free laminates.

According to industry expert Lars Wallin at IPC there will not even be any BGA components without the brominated flame retardants available. Therefore such electronic equipment containing these chemicals will not be available in Sweden at all, at least of legal terms. Many of the industry experts evertiq has spoken to claims that it will be almost impossible to control whether the imported goods are containing the banned chemicals or not.

The opponents to the proposed law claims that if the law turns into reality it would practically kill the Swedish electronics industry.

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