Connect with us

More on lead-free junk solder

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by N Cook, May 10, 2007.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Guest

    Mpffffff.... The BS is in the requirement for a HazMat team. Not
    "normal precautions". As it happens, you are in far more danger from
    mouse droppings (Hanta Virus) and their mishandling, some of the salts
    used in the coating inside incandescent lamps (phosphor salts amongst
    others), beryllium coatings on HID lamps... even the toxic build up of
    Triclosan in mothers' milk, insecticides and many other materials and
    chemicals commonly found in the house.

    So, if something contains a potentially toxic chemical or substance,
    one simply does not lean into the punch and spread it all over
    creation in ignorance.

    One needs to learn that the opposite of "Black" is not necessarily
    "White"... but simply "not black". William of Occam figured this out
    in the 14th century, it still has not gotten through to the general
    population. We live in a world where polar opposites are almost life-
    necessity, and one is either "with" or "against" on any given point,
    process, belief or system, where anything but certainty is viewed with
    deep suspicion... and >your< necessities are madness and mine are
    truth and reason. It ain't necessarily so.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  2. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Well Peter, I'm more confused than ever now ... I think that the original
    reference to governments getting involved referred to the pseudo-science
    that they force on us in the name of green - such as the lead free solder,
    the eco light bulbs and so on. I agree with you that a hazardous waste team
    is not required to clean up a broken CFL, and that it is just sensationalist
    bull, perpetrated by some hack who has read that these devices contain toxic
    chemicals - it's the aforementioned government pseudo-science from the other
    side as well, if you like. But surely the article that you pointed at
    doesn't really support your (apparent?) view that these things are not
    dangerous per se ? It seems to put the view that compared to incandescents,
    these things are dangerous, if not singly, then in terms of disposing of
    them in quantity. You must accept, surely, that if lead which is firmly
    chemically locked up in solder, and does not leech as a result of water, is
    hysterically banned for eco disposal reasons, then a fragile bulb which
    contains *free* mercury and phosphors, and which the governments are trying
    to force on us instead of 'inefficient' incandescents, must pose a much more
    serious disposal threat ? Or am I understanding you wrongly ? In the next
    breath, you seem to be supporting the view that these things are potentially
    dangerous. It might just be the old American English / English English thing
    again. Two nations separated by a common language, and all that ...! d;~}

    Didn't W. of Occam advocate 'keeping it simple' ( black and white ... ?? )
    and 'limited responsible government' ?

  3. Guest

    Mpfffff.... GRUMP!

    OK.... Lead in solder is not "firmly chemically locked up" by any
    means. These days, rain is approximately as acidic as household
    vinegar or lemon juice, both of which will do a quick number on solder
    in terms of releasing lead. Lead in uncounted tons has been released
    into the atmosphere for a near-50 year period in the form of tetra-
    ethyl lead in gasoline. THAT has wound up (and still winds up) in our
    food supply as it is leached out of soils and into food grown where it
    has been deposited. Lead from solder is leached out of landfills and
    into ground water anywhere there is acid rain... do you know of
    anywhere there is *not* acid rain?

    Now, let's get into CFL/PL type lamps (I prefer PL-types as the
    ballast stays with the fixture and only the tube is changed... first-
    cost is slightly higher but long-term costs are much cheaper) vs.
    incandescent lamps, and life-cycle costs. But let's stick to CFL lamps

    Assume for the purposes of this discussion: Incandescent lamp at 100
    watts lasts 1000 hours, weighs about 4 ounces of which mostly glass,
    some aluminum, a wee bit of copper-coated steel wire, a tiny bit of
    tungsten, some phosphor or alumina coating, and a dab of solder at
    each connection (lead-free, of course). Assume that a CFL/PL lamp at
    23 watts will last 15,000 hours (more in reality but let's go with the
    manufacturer's typical ratings). It weighs about 8 ounces, includes
    some copper, aluminum, glass, about 5mg of mercury and so forth.

    Some brutal realities: Most of the electricity generated in the world
    today comes from coal, with nuclear being about 16%. In the US it goes
    this way:
    Year-to-date, 50.2 percent of the Nation's electric power was
    generated at coal-fired plants. Nuclear plants contributed 20.6
    percent, 17.4 percent was generated at natural gas-fired plants, and
    2.2 percent was generated at petroleum-fired plants. Conventional
    hydroelectric power provided 6.7 percent of the total, while other
    renewables (primarily biomass, but also geothermal, solar, and wind)
    and other miscellaneous energy sources generated the remaining
    electric power. And the US has an unusually high number of nuclear
    plants by world comparison (though by percentage less than France or
    Japan for example).

    Coal, when burnt, gives off considerable amounts of mercury. THAT
    mercury is spewed into the atmosphere with only limited means of
    control. Sure, coal plants attempt to control for particulates, use
    limestone beds to control acidity, but the mercury goes out as the
    technology to control it while better than before is still limited.

    So, we have a lamp that will burn 1,500,000 watts of power and
    generate 60 ounces of waste vs. a lamp that will burn 345,000 watts of
    power and generate about 8 ounces of waste in the same time-span. The
    mercury released generating the additional power will far exceed the
    amount of mercury in the lamp itself (don't take my word for it, look
    it up for yourself). And the mercury in the lamp is in an identifiable
    container with understood requirements for disposal, not spewed willy-
    nilly wherever the wind might blow.

    Come on guys and gals, get a grip.

    William of Occam was famous for his "razor" of course. But he did have
    a few cautionary tales about excess simplicity and his "law of
    parsimony": That is: if one were to come across the results of a chess
    game at its end, it the simplest explanation would be that the pieces
    were simply placed in those positions. Not quite reality. But "Black
    and White" taken as arguments would have driven him straight up the
    wall, across the ceiling and had him twirling all the while. What he
    was doing was attempting to break down that sort of limited thinking
    where the only opposite to "black" would be white. His position was
    that if you wanted Black, anything that was not black was not what you
    wanted. Period.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  4. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Ok, I am seeing your position now with regard to the numbers, and of
    lifetime energy useage and disposal issues. However, to some extent, this is
    taking the "black and white" view in that no account is taken of the
    additional energy budget in manufacturing, shipping and assembling all of
    the additional components required in a CFL over an incandescent, as well as
    the processes to refine the mercury and phosphors required, and
    manufacturing the much more complex glass structures that these units employ
    (complex tubing inside a 'globe' in many cases). You must also add to this,
    the manufacturing and disposal costs of the much more elaborate protective
    packaging that they come in, and the added energy budget of shipping
    something that weighs twice as much as an incandescent, around the world.
    Also add in the energy budget for specialist handling and disposal at life
    end, and take out from the incandescent lamp, the energy contribution that
    it makes to heating the premises that it is employed in anywhere in the
    world that has a temperate or substantially 'cold' climate. Whilst all of
    these factors may still not make the balance equal, they do tend to be
    ignored by advocates of the technology, and would, I am sure, make a
    significant difference to the 'preferred' figures, if properly factored into
    the equation.

    As far as 'opposites' go, it is largely a matter of semantics, and
    philosophical debate. Black is the opposite of white in purely physical
    terms, in that black represents the absence of any wavelengths of visible
    light reaching the eye, whereas white represents the presence of all visible
    light. Trying to show that there is no such thing as a true opposite is an
    old schoolboy debating society chestnut that we have probably all taken part
    in. Philosophical debate can show anything that you want it to. If you have
    "black", and then something else that is not "white", then what you have is
    not an 'opposite'. It is just what it says - something else ... :)

  5. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

  6. Ken G.

    Ken G. Guest

    I have some lead free solder here . It works ok on circuit boards when
    you quicky apply it on clean work .

    I work on alot of antique radio tube stuff . This solder does not do
    well on old tarnished wire or connections well at all
  7. Guest

    Opposite vs. Polar Opposite. Occam's position was that something
    either "was" or "was not". There is no subsantive or substantial
    difference in quality between something that IS NOT, and the Polar
    Opposite of what IS if only what IS is desired or required. So, puce,
    ecru, sienna, magenta or any other color may as well be Black if White
    is desired or required, and for all the difference it makes.

    Getting more into life-cycle costs, now you are discussing incremental
    costs as the cost of heating and fusing glass and transporting a given
    volume (and unless transport is by air, the nature of these items is
    by volume, not weight), and the labor in assembly. One more reason I
    prefer PL-type lamps as the subsantial difference in the making of the
    ballast is paid only once. But anyway... I can purchase a Euro-made
    CFL from a local industral supplier (23 watts ~ 100 watts
    incandescent) for about $5. A Chinese version for about $2 at Home
    Depot. Both makers and sellers are making a profit. The labor in
    Europe will be about 4X the cost of the labor in China, but as these
    lamps are largely made and packed on highly automated machines, that
    is negligible in the grand scheme of things. So, 1,500,000/1000 =
    1,500kw of electricity. Which, at $0.14/kwh = $210 in operating costs.
    If I purchase Hungarian "Action Tungsram" Lamps at 2/$1.00, and use 15
    lamps, that will cost me $7.50. If I purchase GE or Sylvania US-made
    lamps, that will cost me $15. So, my operating & purchase cost is $218
    for round figures. For the PL/CFL at $5, and using 325kw, it is $50.36
    assuming I purchase Euro-lamps. Add even $10 for "correct" disposal as
    a future consideration.

    Heat in a cold climate: An incandescent puts out about 6 watts of
    light for 100 watts of power. So, 94 watts in heat. A CFL puts out the
    same 6 watts of light at 23 watts of power. 1 watt = 3.413 BTU.

    94 watts waste heat (summer and winter) will contribute 321 BTUH. One
    gallon of #2 fuel oil = 130,000BTU. Or, the lamp contribute 1/405th of
    the heat value of a gallon of fuel. At $3/gallon, that comes to
    $0.00704 of saved fuel. However, the lamp burnt $0.01344 worth of
    power to save that fuel. Not a good balance. Even at $3/gallon where
    fuel (around here) is hovering around $2.25/gallon. Let's not discuss
    the fuel burnt at the power-plant as that makes the trade-off even
    worse. Gas or propane, the balance is yet worse. Only with electricity
    is the balance nearly equal, and would be equal whether CFL/PL or

    Of course, in the summertime, now one is burning electricity to remove
    this waste heat.

    Think it through, the numbers are implacable and pretty horrific in

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  8. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    The figures look impressive in your favour, but it's actually very difficult
    to equate energy budget to monetary costs. Every process involved is very
    inefficient, including transport. How do you arrive, for instance, at the
    transport energy cost only being a real factor if we are talking air ? A
    ship with x tons of cargo on board, will use less fuel than if it was
    carrying 2x tons. If 2x tons won't fit on there, because its volume is
    greater, then it will be necessary to either use a bigger ship, or do the
    run twice. Either way, something that's heavier for the same physical
    volume, will cost more energy to ship, no matter what the method - yes ?
    Many factories are involved in making the constituent parts of a CFL
    compared to an incandescent. All of those factories have to be lit and
    heated. The workers have to be fed, and have to get to work, and back home
    again. All of these factors contribute to the manufacturing energy budget.

    I guess that we are never going to even come close to being together on this
    one ... Still, it's been an interesting exchange, and has stimulated me, at
    least, to look from some slightly different angles at the whole thing.

  9. bz

    bz Guest

    Don't forget moral and ethical responsibility for every coal miner's death,
    etc., costs of environmental damage, species exterpated, replacing the stored
    fossile energy that is being consumed at ever increasing rates. Figure in
    the cost of restoring the environment to pristine conditions and recreating
    all the species that have been wiped out.

    bz 73 de N5BZ k

    please pardon my infinite ignorance, the set-of-things-I-do-not-know is an
    infinite set.

    remove ch100-5 to avoid spam trap
  10. Jerry Peters

    Jerry Peters Guest

    My point about the article was the hysteria about a _very_ tiny amount
    of mercury and ludicrousness of calling in a hazmat team for a broken
    CFL. Flourescent tubes have been in use, especially in commercial
    settings, including hospitals and schools for at least 50 years. In
    all that time I have a _very_ difficult time believing that no
    flourescent tubes were broken or that any special precautions were
    taken when cleaning up the ensuing mess, other than the normal
    precautions involved when dealing with broken glass.
    The same hysteria is now happening for lead, in some states, I
    believe, you need special "lead abatement" contractors when deaing
    whit lead paint.
    And of course it's part of the idea that we can make life risk free.

  11. Guest

    Rain here in Pennsylvania runs from about 4.0 in the west to 4.5 in
    the east. Commercial vinegars run from 4.0 to 2.3, commercial lemon
    juices about 4.0, natural lemon juice from about 2.2 to 4.2. In any
    case, 4.1 to 4.5 will do a number on tin/lead solder in fairly short
    order, and depending on the specific components (nitrogen or sulphur
    oxides, or both) in the rain.

    Things may be different across the pond, but with all the coal plants
    in Ohio and western/central PA, acid rain here is a major deal.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  12. Guest

    You keep stopping at the hairy edge of the actuality. It will take 15
    incandescent lamps to equal one (1) CFL/PL lamp. So, 15 x the ships to
    transport them if imported. 15 x the trucks if domestic. Even if you
    calculate strictly on weight, you are calculating on 60 oz. of
    material transported vs. 8, so only ~7 x. Both ways.

    Think it _ALL THE WAY_ through life-cycle costs.

    BTW, the very best oil burner is ~80% efficient. But we are neglecting
    peripheral efficiencies here. Were you to calculate all of those, the
    numbers would be even more obvious. Gas burners run to 94% or so.
    Electricity is 100%, delivery losses neglected as with all of the
    figures above.

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  13. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    OK, I need to think some more on this one. Maybe we're all looking at this
    wrongly. Perhaps we should be looking to LEDs to replace incandescents. The
    advances in this technology over the last 2 years has been astounding. I
    would surmise that LED lighting modules are not a lot more complicated to
    make than incandescents. Properly treated, the LEDs themselves now have
    lives in excess of 100,000 hours, and can be made in virtually any colour
    you like, so it should be possible to get a 100% match to an incandescent.
    Even the drive requirements are becoming simpler, with cheap integrated
    solutions becoming available. One of my magazines even detailed a LED module
    for direct connection to 230v AC in last month's edition. At least these
    devices produce instant light of a constant colour temperature, and are
    virtually independent of ambient temperature. I would even venture that watt
    for lumen, they are even more efficient than CFLs ?? Certainly more robust
    physically, I would have thought, with any potentially harmful substances
    very tightly locked away in the chemical composition of the chip, as well as
    physically in the package.

  14. Smitty Two

    Smitty Two Guest

    Assume that a CFL/PL lamp at
    Don't know about the rest of the planet, but here in California, if you
    buy ten compact fluorescents one day, three of them will be burned out
    by the next day, and only one of them will live as long as an
    incandescent. Why? Because once they became fashionable, they started
    making them out of recycled toilet paper.
  15. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    Severe hiccup in the system? Peter's last posting (above) was received
    here 13 times!
  16. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    I would say that this is a fair comment here too. There are stores currently
    selling these things for 49 pence each - around a dollar give or take. Now I
    don't care what the economies of scale are, either these things are being
    quietly subsidised to get them on the market in bulk, or they are, as you
    say, being made out of recycled toilet paper ...

  17. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    And here. Interestingly, my OE didn't put the "watched thread" coloured
    marker on the header, as though it was a new thread, which of course it
    couldn't have been as it has the same name. It had also placed the thirteen
    entries at the bottom of the thread, and then yours at the bottom of that,
    with the header correctly highlighted ... There's some odd things going on
    on here at the moment.

  18. clifto

    clifto Guest

    The coming ice age will negate the effects of global warming.
  19. Guest

    Surely it will.... but the operative term is "eventually".

    Peter Wieck
    Wyncote, PA
  20. clifto

    clifto Guest

    The world's best scientists told us it would be here before the year 2000.
    So it's got to get here plenty soon enough to make a difference.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day