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What is RoHS Compliance and How Does it Apply to the Finishing of My Product?

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) 2002/95/EC was adopted in February 2003 by the European Union. The RoHS directive took effect on July 1, 2006. The directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment.

    1. Lead
    2. Mercury
    3. Cadmium
    4. Hexavalent Chromium
    5. PPB (Polybrominated Biphenyls)
    6. PBDE (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether)

It is closely linked with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) 2002/96/EC which sets collection, recycling and recovery targets for electrical goods and is part of a legislative initiative to solve the problem of huge amounts of toxic e-waste or waste from any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic appliance. In casual conversation, it is often pronounced  “rose”.  The directive applies to equipment as defined by a section of the WEEE directive as:

    • Large and small household appliances
    • IT Equipment
    • Telecommunications Equipment
    • Consumer Equipment
    • Lighting Equipment
    • Electrical and Electronic Tools
    • Toys, leisure and sports equipment

For a plated finish to meet the RoHS directive, it can not contain any of the six banned materials.  Advanced Plating Technologies leads the industry in RoHS compliant solutions for products in nearly any industry.  APT has taken the initiative to switch all in-house chemistries to complaint varieties where possible and can certify any of our compliant finishes to meet the RoHS directive if required.

Advanced Plating Technologies also offers a complaint alternative to hexavalent chromium plating with a tin/cobalt alloy plating process.  Tin-cobalt is generally plated over a bright nickel underplating similarly to traditional chrome plating.  Tin-cobalt has a similar “blue-bright” appearance of chrome but unlike hex chrome is fully RoHS compliant.

If you have a product that must be certified to RoHS requirements,  Advanced Plating Techologies has a breath of finishing solutions to meet your needs.  Our current line card details which finishes can be certified to meet this compliance as well as the MIL and ASTM specifications that the finishes meet.