BFR/PVC Cables & Wires

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A coordinated activity within the Materials/cable manufacturers/OEMs supply chain to quickly and thoroughly evaluate PVC/phthalate-free cable/wire options.  An effort like this is needed to quickly determine the best alternatives, and significantly reduce the cost and effort by the suppliers, by focusing on the specific needs of the OEMs and ODMs.  When we are finished, the users will be ready to implement the alternatives, because they have been part of the development.

 

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Project type: 

Idea Information

Background: 

There has recently been a workshop with the Oko Institute, EU Commission, DG Environment and DG Enterprise.  Several major industry players were also present.  The following was revealed:

  • It is likely that only the following substances will be suggested for ban under EU RoHS:
    • TBBPA - additive use only, e.g. in ABS plastic
    • HBCDD - BFR not likely used in electronics, but possible use in HIPS resins.
    • DEHP, BBP, DBP - Phthalates commonly used in PVC, particularly DEHP
    • Other substances suggested (e.g. MCCP, SCCP) are likely not used in electronics.
  • The transition time will likely be 24 months (if not longer).  The draft revision of RoHS will be released in October this year, with a likely adoption in 2010.
  • Bans then would take effect mid of 2012 earliest.
Problem: 

The phthalates ban has some significant implications for PVC phase-out in cable/wire.  This ban will create a profound impact across the industry to make this transition happen before the expected RoHS compliance deadline.  Even though phthalates are targeted by regulations and not PVC, PVC remains an environmental concern that should also be phased out.

 

Definition Information

Approach: 

 A coordinated activity within the materials/cables manufacturers/ OEMs supply chain to quickly and thoroughly evaluate the phase out of BFR/PVC in wires and cables.

 Cables/Wires include:
€“Internal cables/wires: SATA, ribbon
€“External cables: USB cables, wired peripheral cables (e.g. mouse, keyboard, webcams, microphones)
€“Power Cords and Power Adaptor cords
 
Because phthalate substitutes are commercially readily available, the removal of phthalates from wires/cables is not a technological concern and will therefore, not be included within the scope of this project.
 
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