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About the Lead-Free Solder Partnership

Lead-Free Solder Partnership Homepage | About this Project  | Milestones | Publications | Partners

Lead Free Soldering Project - Logo

In partnership with EPA and members of the electronics industry, the University of Tennessee Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies conducted a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of tin-lead and lead-free solders used in the electronics industry. The project focused on tin-lead and the following three promising lead-free solders:

  • 99.3% tin and 0.7% copper
  • 95.5% tin, 4.0% silver, and 0.5% copper
  • 92.3% tin, 3.4% silver, 1.0% copper, and 3.3% bismuth

The study generated data to help manufacturers, users, and suppliers of solder to incorporate environmental considerations into their decision-making processes. An LCA examines the full life cycle of a product, and estimates environmental impacts from each of the following life cycle stages:

  • Raw material extraction or acquisition and material processing
  • Solder manufacture
  • Solder application
  • End-of-life disposition

The project generated information that can be used by the electronics industry to select lead-free solders that work well for a given application, and that may have fewer impacts on public health and the environment. The LCA also identified areas that need further investigation, and may help organizations to better manage their electronics purchasing and end-of-life disposition.

For more information, contact DfE.

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