Meeting the RoHS Directive
Using XRF Technology

The Maximum Concentration Value (MCV) for heavy metals and flame retardants covered by RoHS 3, the most recent iteration of RoHS regulations, is as follows:

  • Lead (0.1%)
  • Mercury (0.1%)
  • Cadmium (0.01%)
  • Hexavalent chromium (0.1%)
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) (0.1%)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) (0.1%)
  • Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) (0.1%)
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) (0.1%)
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (0.1%)
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) (0.1%)

IEC 62321 specifies test methods for quantifying levels of these substances. XRF is recommended in part 3-1 of IEC 62321 as a screening method for lead, mercury, cadmium, total chromium, and total bromine.

Bowman XRF systems are well-suited to the important task of quickly and precisely identifying hazardous substances covered in the RoHS 3 Directive. Their small X-ray spot capability, factory-calibrated RoHS package and powerful software provide companies throughout the electronics supply chain with a reliable and cost-effective quality tool.

Key Considerations

  • Conventional XRF instruments are limited to the measurement of spot sizes ˜10mm or larger, making it difficult to measure  electrical parts which are smaller, and/or have an irregular shape. Destroying the sample, a time-consuming task in itself, is often necessary.
  • New generation Bowman XRFs were engineered to meet the evolving needs of the electrotechnical industry. The maximum measurement spot size of a Bowman XRF is ˜1.5mm. (The minimum spot size, used for high-end electrotechnical and semiconductor applications, is ˜ 0.01mm.)
  • All Bowman systems have an integrated video camera with automated laser focus and image focus to precisely locate the intended measurement location. A photograph of each measurement spot is archived automatically.
  • L Series XRFs, one of two Bowman XRF instruments with the available RoHS package, have a flexible focal distance and programmable table. Multiple samples can be measured unattended using predefined XYZ multi-point programs.
  • Bowman XRF Systems are multi-use quality tools that perform 4 critical functions:
    • Plating Thickness
    • Plating Bath Analysis
    • Alloy Composition
    • RoHS Analysis

For plating thickness measurement, Bowman XRFs measure up to 4 layers, plus the substrate. For samples with a layered structure, composition and thickness results are generated simultaneously in minutes.

Bowman G Series and L Series

˜1.5mm Collimator

X-ray tube:
50W Rh target

Silicon Drift Detector

Application Bulletin #12 overviews key technical aspects of RoHS Directive 3, including plastics, aluminum, copper and tin standards, thickness compensation, achievable LODs, and more.

For more detail on using XRF for precise RoHS measurements, click the Application Bulletin button: