What should I know about RoHS as a Design Engineer

Submitted by jack on Fri, 11/02/2018 - 19:01

Hi people,

I have just started my carrier as a Design Engineer, currently we are working on a project for European client which is supposed to be used as a commercial product in Europe itself. While interacting with the client I notice that he is so keen about the RoHS rating of the components. 

What does it even mean? What should I check for in those rating, I looked at the datasheet and there are numbers like 2011/65/EU and 2002/95/EC so on... What do they really mean? 

Can someone with experience guide me on this ? 

RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substance Directive. There is nothing much technical here but is more of a legal and ethical thing. As you know there are tons of electronic wastes out there polluting out environment. This pollution is because of the rare earth and toxic material like lead, cadmium, mercury etc. that we use during the manufacturing of a semiconductor device.

These devices not only affect the user but also the environment when they decompose, to prevent this the term RoHS was introduced in Europe. If a component has RoHS then is has been manufactured with less harmful chemicals and is considerably safe to use, the downside is that these components will be a bit expensive. A non RoHS component on the other hand will be cheap but will not be environment friendly.

In Europe if you are trying to sell an electronic device it should avail an CE certification for which the components used in it be rated for RoHS. 

The numbers 2011/65/EU and 2002/95/EC are just the derivative terms of when the law was revised etc.. as an engineer you need not worry about it. Then only thing you should is that the components you use in your project are RoHS supported.


Hope this helps ....

  Joined August 11, 2018      35
Saturday at 01:52 PM

Wow, this sounds very environmentally clever. I didn't know something like RoHS existed. I read up on it and there many other substances like hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates (DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP). This is really interesting subject though. Thanks for sharing your insight

  Joined February 21, 2019      4
Thursday at 02:44 PM

These chemicals cannot be complety avoided but can be limited within a safe ppm level 

  Joined May 19, 2015      213
Tuesday at 03:45 PM

Yeah, absolutely. It's a really sound idea, too. 

  Joined February 21, 2019      4
Thursday at 02:44 PM