Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence: Practical Application as a screening tool to detect the presence of environmentally-sensitive substances in electronic equipment

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Abstract: As the implementation deadlines approach, the electronics industry is focusing significant efforts on compliance with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive and the Waste Electrical and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive. The intent of the EU RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC) is to restrict the use of six substances (lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBBs and certain PBDEs) in certain electronic products. There are a number of methods that companies are employing to validate restricted substance compliance within the supply chain, including analytical testing. Normative test methods are needed for the industry to determine the concentrations of the regulated substances in electronic products. This paper presents the practical application of a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to estimate the concentration levels of restricted elements such as lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) in electronic components. Through this study, handheld XRF was determined to be a suitable screening tool to estimate the concentration of regulated substances in electronic components with some limitations. Being quick and easyto-use, XRF has shown to be a useful tool for conducting inhouse screening analyses of components to reduce testing time and costs.

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