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New Kind of Magnetic Solder Eliminates Toxic Lead

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A group of scientists at the Yale University have created a new type of magnetic, lead-free solder that could be used to manufacture electronics more efficiently and cheaply.

Because conventional solder is made from lead, a toxic heavy metal, the new discovery could be a big boost for efforts to manage the growing problem of recycling and electronic waste disposal.

In the United States, lead was commonly used in gasoline and house paint. This heavy metal has been partially banned after a study showed it is a potent neurotoxin. I said partially because it is still used in conventional solder that is manufactured in the U.S.

The Yale researchers have come up with a tin-silver alloy that holds micro-particles of iron. Rather than applying heat from an external source, the compound is exposed to a magnetic field. That excites the iron particles, which in turn causes the solder to heat up and melt internally. The result is a highly localized melt that has little or no effect on the components around it.

In the energy efficient future, the magnets will have an important role. For example, at the Columbia University, scientists are creating computer chips that use nano-magnetic materials, which have the possibility to reduce up to 30% of the energy used by data centers.

For the moment, the new solder is still in development stages, but thanks to its energy-efficient magnetic field, it could replace a relatively energy-intensive step in the electronics manufacturing process.

[Source: Cleantechnica]

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am not going to begin to suggest I fully comprehend the content of this article. There appears to be a significant amount of intellectual information or data that is missing for readers to process adequately. I do know the potential effect lead toxin has on the animals, including mammals and that if exposed often does accumulate in their system. This can result in many illnesses and disorder. Will this project eliminate lead in all current uses or just this specific application.

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