|Materials Technology Driven by Environmental Regulations
Restrictions on toxic materials like lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, are affecting a number of industries. A recent key development was the Jan 1, 2007 adoption of RoHS, which had been preceded by years of lead-free solder development. The European Union and other “progressive” countries and states like Norway and California drive these restrictions. The recent proposals surrounding arsenic restrictions in Norway could have serious impact (if the EU copies the concept) on the mobile communications industry unless there is a specific exemption. This newsletter looks at the issues facing various industries and application areas, and includes some examples of recent important developments. The challenges include finding substitute materials, but the issues are complex given economics and the effects on the overall systems and manufacturing processes. Some of the sectors that we cover include displays, semiconductors, flame-retardants, batteries, and the application of organic metals.