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Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

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Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Trevor Johnson » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:31 pm

I was ordering a few parts from Rapid yesterday, including some 60/40 solder and usually buy the Rapid own brand, but came across this statement:

"Please note: As of 1st March 2018 the supply of solder containing lead at a concentration above the relevant limit as set out under Article 67 (by virtue of Annex XVII of the REACH regulation) is restricted to professional use only. We recommend that schools use lead-free solder for all projects." I have been aware of ROHS since it came out, but not this directive.

So the solder was automatically removed from my invoice at checkout. Not a problem as I also buy from Farnell or CPC, etc., and have accounts with them: the kicker for proving yourself to be a professional in regards to Rapid is to have a credit account. Interestingly, does that mean that the occasional hobbyist solderer is going to have progressive difficulty in obtaining 60/40 solder?
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Aug 29, 2019 1:02 pm

Trevor Johnson wrote:...does that mean that the occasional hobbyist solderer is going to have progressive difficulty in obtaining 60/40 solder?

Yes, obviously! Stock up while you still can! :D

The idea -- a sensible one in my view -- has always been to remove lead from solder and thus also from the environment and product recycling. It is technically now only required for the repair of legacy equipment, and hence the restriction to purchase (and thus use) by professionals-only.

Working with lead-free solder is not really any harder than before, just different. It requires the appropriate soldering iron temperature, of course, but temp-controlled irons are now commonplace. Lead-free soldering takes a little practice to become familiar with its characteristics -- and in particular recognising what is and isn't a good joint.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:52 pm

Anyone who has to use Lead free solder should look for the best stuff. Cheap solder is a real pain to use and probably puts many people off going Lead free. I believe the best solders have a decent Silver content (not to be confused with "Silver Solder" which is an excellent fixing method but needs ~1000 C to melt!)

As Hugh said, you need the right iron and Pbfree freezes very quickly making it very good for "lash ups". It is also mechanically significantly stronger than Lead 60/40.
The fume however I was told is actually more harmful than that from Lead solder so if you don't have fume extraction now, get some!

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:43 pm

ef37a wrote:Anyone who has to use Lead free solder should look for the best stuff. Cheap solder is a real pain to use and probably puts many people off going Lead free. I believe the best solders have a decent Silver content (not to be confused with "Silver Solder" which is an excellent fixing method but needs ~1000 C to melt!)

Have you got any Pb free solder recommendations Dave? I've only used the standard Multicore stuff which seemed OK but not as easy to use as leaded. As most of the gear I work on here is ancient I've stopped using lead free solder but I really ought to use it for any new projects.
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:35 am

James Perrett wrote:
ef37a wrote:Anyone who has to use Lead free solder should look for the best stuff. Cheap solder is a real pain to use and probably puts many people off going Lead free. I believe the best solders have a decent Silver content (not to be confused with "Silver Solder" which is an excellent fixing method but needs ~1000 C to melt!)

Have you got any Pb free solder recommendations Dave? I've only used the standard Multicore stuff which seemed OK but not as easy to use as leaded. As most of the gear I work on here is ancient I've stopped using lead free solder but I really ought to use it for any new projects.

Hi James. Can't remember! However I have dashed off an email to Phil Gower, service manager at Blackstar and I am sure he will tell me what they use.

I do recall, whan I started with them (in The Shed!) the Pbfree solder I was given was absolute ***t! Made horribly puddeny joints, nowhere near the immaculate soldering in the Artisan range of turret built amplifiers. Reels of the production solder were got for me and it was beeeutiful stuff! Still needs a good iron of course and the wee Antex jobs were a right pain. I took in one of my Weller solder stations. The #8 bits are fine for most work but I used a chunky #9 for heavy jobs.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:23 am

I was advised to use Wharton Metals Autosol, selecting a diameter that suits the gauge of
soldering you need to do.

https://www.soldersonline.co.uk/dept.aspx?id=30

These solders and have some silver loading to prevent leaching of silver from  SMD components, too.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:45 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I was advised to use Wharton Metals Autosol, selecting a diameter that suits the gauge of
soldering you need to do.

https://www.soldersonline.co.uk/dept.aspx?id=30

These solders and have some silver loading to prevent leaching of silver from  SMD components, too.

H

Wow! A lot cheaper than RS Comps' Hugh. Not what I used but looks like a similar alloy with the 3%Ag.

I used to use a fine, 0.7mm grade and twist two or more together for any big jobs.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby James Perrett » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:09 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I was advised to use Wharton Metals Autosol, selecting a diameter that suits the gauge of
soldering you need to do.

https://www.soldersonline.co.uk/dept.aspx?id=30

These solders and have some silver loading to prevent leaching of silver from  SMD components, too.

Autosol doesn't seem to have any silver loading but the Future No Clean solder does

https://www.soldersonline.co.uk/detail.aspx?id=29

Is that the one you mean?

I'd agree that a good temperature controlled iron is essential - I've had an Oryx one for over 35 years at home but always used Weller TCP's at work. We had the odd Antex iron at work but even their temperature controlled irons seemed too small for most things.
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:48 pm

James Perrett wrote:Autosol doesn't seem to have any silver loading...

Some do and some don't. The Autosol SAC3 variants lower down the page have some silver content.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sun Sep 01, 2019 5:37 pm

I'd agree that a good temperature controlled iron is essential

Thank you all for the excellent suggestions and information!

I've used a Xytronic 100W temperature controlled station for some years now, and, on new builds, Rapid's own lead-free solder (part no: 85-1168) which has been fine. I was ordering some more lead free solder and tried to add the 60/40 as I am restoring some old radios, (Eddystone and Atlas) which are going to need a fair amount of desoldering/soldering!

I have a fume extractor, too, which is very effective on a new build, but slightly less so in the innards of an old radio.

P.S. I have been following the thread on adding a third head to a vintage, valved, Philips reel-to-reel recorder. My feeling is that preserving and restoring old equipment is important, doing it as sympathetically as possible, rather than sometimes well intended, but poorly thought through, modifications.
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:45 am

Had a reply from Phil very early am..

https://uk.farnell.com/multicore-loctit ... SearchNB_2

I remeber it now, has a higher Silver content than most.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:52 am

Interesting. The SAC3 ones I linked are 3% silver, where your Loctite one is nearly 4%. I'll give it a go when I next need to re-order.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:11 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Interesting. The SAC3 ones I linked are 3% silver, where your Loctite one is nearly 4%. I'll give it a go when I next need to re-order.

H

Good stuff as I now recall Hugh. I was using Lead for nigh on 50 years but after a day or so with that Pbfree I never really noticed the change.

Just been reading up on solders in Wiki, lots to know! Lead it seems can have radioactive trace elements in it and these can give "soft errors" particles that zap data in memory cells. Never knew that.

Lead solder is also used it seems for certain aerospace applications because Lead free alloys don't yet have a track record for reliablity.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Trevor Johnson » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:55 pm

Had a reply from Phil very early am..

Thanks, Dave, now in my 'wishlist' for my next order from Farnell!
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby peterdeltablues » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:15 pm

Just thought I'd mention that I ordered some Pb/Sn solder from Mouser, absolutely no problems. It took just three days to arrive, apparently from Texas (which may be how they get round the UK regulation?) Free postage, same prices as Rapid/Farnell.

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:23 pm

I bought some lead/tin solder from a local hardware/diy shop on Anglesey last year (they still carry it as of this week). When I tried to buy some from RS they didn't have it in stock and could not post it to me so I would have had to collect from the branch (no problem getting it on the van to the branch apparently).
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Wonks » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:16 am

I bought several reels of it from Amazon quite happily after this thread was started, just in case.
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:19 pm

Other than the airborne Lead in petrol I think the dire warnings about solder were a bit OTT?

I am 74 and have no symptoms of Lead poisoning and I was soldering several times a day, 5 days a week and most weekends. All sans fume extraction (and often with tea, fag and a wad)

Similarly most of the people I knew in the service industry have survived with me.

I suppose there is the problem of Lead soldered products being landfilled but that could have been fixed had "they" the will.
Then, it takes a heck of a lot of telly PCBs to equal the lead in one 45a/h car battery!

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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby Wonks » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:16 pm

Lead-acid batteries (unless you dump them yourself) are 90% recyclable.
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Re: Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (e.g. 60/40 solder)

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:56 pm

Wonks wrote:Lead-acid batteries (unless you dump them yourself) are 90% recyclable.

Agreed but the odd one that ends up in a river will do a lot more damage for a lot longer than a few PCBs.

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