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ELFNET: A European Network on Lead Free soldering

Herbert Ipser 1Clemens Schmetterer 1Adolf Mikula 1Jeremy Pearce 2

1. University of Vienna, Department of Inorganic Chemistry - Materials Chemistry, Waehringerstr. 42, Wien A-1090, Austria
2. ELFNET, Unit 3, Curo Park, Frogmore, Hertfordshire AL2 2DD, United Kingdom


The EU RoHS Directive requiring removal of lead hazard from electronics production processes in Europe by 2006 is now in force and is in line with similar initiatives in Japan, in the US, and in China, seeking greater sustainability. The necessary lead-free soldering technology exists and has been in development for a number of years but now requires urgent research and industry coordination on a pan-European scale in order to support the transformation of European industry and improve its competitiveness.

Several major EU, Regional and National projects are under way or proposed and industrial implementation has already begun. However, the technology is seriously lacking integration and synergy, particularly with regard to candidate countries, and there is no coherent knowledge base.

‘ELFNET – European Lead-Free Soldering Network’, is a Coordination Action that addresses these problems by using a new organizational model to create a network of research institutions and industry bodies from across Europe. It is a 3-dimensional structure with National Networks in 19 countries, recognized Technical Experts from each field and Industry Networks from each sector. It aims to mobilize and optimize the necessary critical mass of research and development in an industry-led initiative and to provide technical information to each Member State.

ELFNET has recently moved into its second year. It now holds a database of 100 lead-free research projects and 350 lead-free experts across Europe. In addition, information on state-of-the-art and research gaps has been compiled in various Reports, accessed on the website by members. With these reports and the first European Implementation Status Report now complete, ELFNET has identified a set of key issues where further effort is urgently needed. This will be dealt with by the new ‘Issues & Solutions’ initiative.


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Related papers

Presentation: poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005, Symposium H, by Herbert Ipser
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005

Submitted: 2005-05-12 15:04
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44