RoHS Test Equipment: X-ray Fluorescence Technology
In recent years, one of the most popular applications of X-ray Fluorescence technology is for the testing of electronics (components, printed circuits boards, and final products) for compliance to RoHS regulations (Restrictions of Hazardous Substances). While the recent recast of RoHS (aka RoHS2) did not change the elements of interest, it has expanded the industries and supply chains that are affected (now includes medical equipment manufacturers, control instruments, etc).
Throughout the supply chains of affected industries, testing must occur and compliance must be proven. However, passing the responsibility of compliance down the supply chain will not protect your organization if non-compliant components appear - that is why in-house screening with XRF is commonly considered.
X-ray fluorescence is often preferred over other technologies for a few reasons:
Fast and Accurate:
benchtop or portable XRF will allow an organization to quickly screen product for the hazardous substances of interest
Lower Cost of Acquisition and Maintenance:
in addition to a lower initial investment, XRF technology does not have many additional expenses after set-up
after a brief training session, current personal of an organization can easily take measurements and develop reports
Additional Applications Beyond RoHS:
As an example, the X-Met8000 can also offer alloy analysis while the Hitachi XRF line provides coating thickness.
Eastern Applied Research is one of the few organizations that can offer both
Handheld XRF and Desktop analyzers for RoHS related testing.
Portable RoHS Testing:
Handheld XRF from Oxford Instruments: Benefits of portable testing equipment are (obviously) the portability that they offer. Screening for hazardous substances can be performed at incoming inspection locations, during processing, before shipping - or even at vendors facilities. In addition to portability, handheld systems offer a lower cost of acquisition than many bench-top models and are now offering measurement speeds and reporting functions that are on par with many desktops. Ask about our Handheld XRF Rentals, with optional credit to purchase (acts like a trial!).
Desktop XRF Options:
Hitachi High-Tech line of XRF Analyzers: Multiple desktop analyzers for organizations that are testing populated circuits boards and micro-spots. Benefits of the systems can include high speed mapping functions that include continuous measurement of up to 500 points without an operator involved after starting the program...this creates high laboratory efficiency and a thorough RoHS inspection process.
With the appropriate x-ray fluorescence analyzer, affected organizations can:
- Quantify total lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr) and bromine (Br)
- Achieve in-house RoHS screening of plastics, polymer and mixed materials
- High reliability solder analysis, for military specifications to verify lead content
- Analyze coated leads for RoHS compliance
- Perform composition analysis of solders (also important for counterfeit component detection)
- Store results and develop reports to meet a specific interest
We realize that these regulations, and the appropriate testing solutions, are new to many organizations - please keep in mind that the Eastern Applied Research technical staff has been involved in RoHS testing since the early 2000's. We have the knowledge base and experience to discuss your requirements and how XRF technology may fit into your organizations approach to RoHS compliance (and other quality control testing needs).