This manual has been prepared jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Cooperative for Environmental Leadership (ICEL) (formerly the International Cooperative for Ozone Layer Protection (ICOLP)) to aid the electronics industry in its phaseout of ozone-depleting solvents. It will prove useful to both large and small manufacturing facilities because the processes described are applicable to a wide range of manufacturing applications. The manual has been prepared by a committee of experts from industry, the U.S. EPA, and the U.S. Air Force.
In 1987, the U.S. EPA, the Department of Defense, and the Institute for Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits (IPC) formed an Ad Hoc Solvents Working Group. This working group concluded that military standards and specifications inadvertently discouraged and/or prohibited the use of no-clean processes by prescribing the flux and solvents that must be used in specific manufacturing operations. The working group felt that these constraints were slowing the rate of technological progress and prohibiting manufacturers from considering all alternatives to ozone-depleting solvents. DOD agreed with the committee's recommendation to switch from prescriptive standards to performance standards in a three-phase strategy:
- Phase 1 - Perform a CFC cleaning test to be used as a benchmark against which other alternatives would be compared.
- Phase 2 - Evaluate alternative cleaning formulations against the benchmark and approve those which clean equal to or better than the benchmark.
- Phase 3 - Evaluate no-clean controlled atmosphere soldering processes
In 1990, the U.S. EPA, ICOLP, and IPC helped catalyze interest in perfecting no-clean technology.
- No-Clean Soldering to Eliminate CFC-113 and Methyl Chloroform Cleaning of Printed Circuit Board Assemblies:
- Part 1 (PDF, 45 pp., 156K, about PDF)
- Part 2 (PDF, 59 pp., 213K, about PDF)