During printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing, several compounds and elements are used for a variety of purposes. In the initial days of circuit board development, many toxic compounds were used for cost-saving aspects or their useful properties. However, with the increasing awareness and subsequent policy changes as well as R&D pertaining to newer and safer materials, manufacturers now use non-toxic materials that do not pose a threat to individuals as well as environments. This is where halogen-free PCBs are used. Halogen-free PCBs are gaining immense popularity because they are constructed using materials that are free of halogen, thus named. The dissipation factor, dielectric constant, and moisture diffusivity of materials are described as halogen-free, which are different from those materials employed in traditional PCBs. Thus, halogen-free PCBs are ideal as environmentally-friendly products. Would you like to know more about halogen-free PCBs?
A Short Introduction to Halogen-Free PCB Boards
The printed circuit board with no halogen elements is called a halogen-free PCB. The family of halogen elements includes fluorine, bromine, chlorine, iodine, and astatine. These elements are harmful to life and the environment in many ways. Among these elements, chlorine, and bromine lead to PCB toxicity. Chlorine acts as a flame-retardant for protecting components and as an element of polyvinyl chloride coatings for wires. Bromine acts as a sterilizing agent and flame retardant in electronic components. If a circuit board to be considered halogen-free, it should have less than 900 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine or bromine, with less than 1500 of total halogen materials.
Why Choose Halogen-Free PCB?
The following are some peculiar features of halogen-free PCB, making them beneficial for certain applications:
- The main advantage of halogen-free PCBs is that they are a less toxic alternative to their halogen-packed counterparts. When a circuit board is disposed of, the process potentially releases halogen elements into the environment. In fact, halogen-based components can produce dioxin, which is one of the most toxic chemicals for individuals. However, this is not the case when using halogen-free PCBs. These PCBs do not pose the same threat to the individuals as well as the environment. They are designed by prioritizing the safety of individuals who will dispose of the board.
- In the tech era where users are conscious of toxins in their products, efforts are being made such that cell phones, automotive electronics, and some other devices are free of halogen derivatives.
- Apart from lowered toxicity, halogen-free PCBs are known for their performance as well. These circuit boards can withstand extreme temperatures, making them ideal for lead-free circuits. Lead is another compound many industries are trying to avoid.
- Halogen-free PCBs have a good dielectric constant.
- Due to better appearance quality, good mechanical properties, stable color, and transparency, halogen-free PCBs can be used in flame-retardant panels, signs, and other products.
- These PCBs have better insulation. Thus, they are widely used in power products such as TV/Displays, and other electronics.
What Are the Applications of Halogen-Free PCB?
As these PCBs are halogen-free, they can be used in any industry where PCBs are used. The most significant applications of these PCBs are:
- Automobile Industry
- Signal Integrity
- Mobile and Wireless Devices
- High-End Computing
Do you think halogen-free PCBs would meet your application requirements? If you have any doubts, then it is always good practice to employ an industry-leading PCB manufacturer and assembler to seek answers. Also, ensure the circuit boards are RoHS compliant and meet OSHA standards. With years of industry experience, players such as Rigiflex would not only assist you in making the right decision but also offer customized end-to-end PCB solutions.