RoHS Compliant Materials & Special Storage Guidelines

As the industry has moved to lead-free assembly processing, demands on materials have increased, and suppliers are now utilizing phenolic based substrates due to higher Tg and Td values.

These new phenolic materials tend to pick up moisture over time. Moisture picked up around the periphery of the boards or around tooling holes that have not been plated or on exposed areas turns to steam during solder reflow. The vapor pressure of water can range from 300 psi for lower temperature solders (63% Tin 37% Lead), to over 700 psi at 260°C for lead-free solder assembly. This higher vapor pressure can cause delamination.

It is very important that the printed circuit boards are dry when they reach an assembly operation.


  • You as the user must assure that your boards are not exposed to moisture during storage, board assembly, and rework. The boards should be placed in dry storage controlled at < 10% R.H.
  • Special vacuum sealed packaging is available by SAE Circuits Colorado, Inc. along with moisture indicator strips to assure dryness. This is a value added service that SAE Circuits Colorado, Inc. provides for a small additional fee.
  • Baking prior to solder reflow is required if:
  1. Boards have been stored in humid conditions (>60% R.H.) for any amount of time.
  2. Boards have remained in uncontrolled storage for over 10 days.
  3. Floor time life has been exceeded, and product is not stored with moisture indicators.

Please note: The baking does not necessarily guarantee assembly performance. The best practice is to avoid exposure to moisture.


If baking is required due to conditions indicated previously, SAE Circuits Colorado, Inc. recommends 250°F for 4 hours on all surface finishes. (With silver finish the silver may tarnish, but solderability should not be affected.)


To avoid excessive over-temp conditions during processing , the assembly profile should be optimized depending on board thickness, area, and copper distribution.

As board thickness changes, the assembly profile may need to be adjusted by changing the line speed or the reflow oven zone temperatures in order to assure that all assemblies have the same temperature profile regardless of board thickness. Ramp rates should not exceed 1-2°C per second, keeping dwell times from above 125°C to reflow temps at a minimum.

Care must be taken to control and monitor the temperature gradient across the board areas during assembly. Unequal copper distribution and / or differential component mass can result in laminate “hot spots” or areas of excessive temperature that can result in delamination.


Due to the variation in board designs, copper distribution, board thickness, board dimensions, and component type and placement, a First Article Qualification should be completed to verify the lead-free assembly process. Results of this qualification should be fed back to SAE Circuits Colorado, Inc. so that common design features and board construction options can be documented and implemented on similar and future board / assembly designs.

SAE Circuits Colorado, Inc.

4820 N. 63rd street, Suite 100

Boulder, CO 80301

August 5, 2013

To: Whom it may concern

Re: RoHS (2), WEEE compliance, and Conflict-Free Certification

Dear Customer:

After a thorough review of all data provided by our suppliers for all products used in the manufacture of RoHS compliant circuit boards in our facility, we feel confident that the banned substances in the list (below) are not present in any of our RoHS product per RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU (RoHS 2) entered into force on 21 July 2011, and WEEE directives.


Cadmium , Hexavalent Chromium, Lead, Mercury, Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), Polybrominated biphenylethers (PBBE or PBDE) , Anthracene, 4, 4’ – Diaminodiphenylmethane, Dibutyl phthalate, Cobalt dichloride, Diarsenic pentaoxide, Diarsenic trioxide, Sodium dichromate, 5-tert-butyl-2, 4, 6-trinitro-m-xylene (musk xylene),  Bis (2-ethyl)phthalate (DEHP), Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and all major diastereoisomers identified Alkanes, C10-13, Chloro (Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins), BIS(tributyltin) oxide, Lead hydrogen arsenate,  Benzyl butyl phthalate.


Furthermore, we have certification letters from individual suppliers of Tin and Gold raw materials stating that none of these materials come from a conflicted region where there may be human rights violations. This is a new industry initiative aimed at reducing human suffering in conflicted regions of the world.

For more information on our products and services, contact us or request a quote .