The electronics industry is in the process of eliminating lead from all manufactured products because of the environmental hazards associated with lead. ExpressPCB fully supports this change.
We offer several PCB choices, both leaded and lead-free. Our boards that contain lead are the same tin/lead solder plated PCBs that we have traditionally manufactured. Our lead-free boards are RoHS compliant, indicating that they are environmentally friendly and can be shipped to Europe. Both board types are easy to assemble and look great.
ExpressPCB recommends transitioning to lead-free boards for all production applications.
Our Lead-Free Process
The lead-free process that we use is a 99% silver finish. Silver plating is more expensive than the tin plating most of our competitors are offering, however we believe that our silver alloy produces a board that is easier to assemble and looks more professional. See a Lead-Free Board
ExpressPCB offers six manufacturing choices: Standard, Miniboard, Production, ProtoPro, 4 Layer – Standard, and 4 Layer – Production. All of these choices remain available with the traditional tin/lead solder plating.
Our Production and 4 Layer – Production PCBs can be ordered with a tin/lead, or a RoHS compliant lead-free plating. There is no difference in price between the plating choices.
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Assembling Lead-Free Boards
You will find that our lead-free boards assemble very nicely using the same tin/lead solder that has been commonly used for decades.
If you wish to manufacture a finished product that is lead-free or RoHS compliant, you must use a lead-free solder and select lead-free components. We recommend using a solder with a 96.5% tin, 3.0% silver, 0.5% copper alloy, such as Kester 24-7068-7600 (Mouser part number 533-24-7068-7600).
Storage note: PCBs plated with a tin/lead solder finish can be stored almost indefinitely before they are assembled. Our lead-free boards also store well, but we recommend keeping them wrapped in plastic if they will be stored for more than one month prior to being assembled.
ExpressPCB partners only with suppliers that source metals from smelters that are not in conflict with this act.