Recyclable printed circuit boards

June 1, 2012, National Physical Laboratory

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL), along with partners In2Tec Ltd (UK) and Gwent Electronic Materials Ltd, have developed a printed circuit board (PCB) whose components can be easily separated by immersion in hot water.

The work was part of the ReUSE project, funded by the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board.

The ReUSE disassembly process is demonstrated in the video below.

The aim of the ReUSE (Reuseable, Unzippable, Sustainable Electronics) project was to increase the recyclability of electronic assemblies. The partners designed, developed and tested a series of unzippable polymeric layers which, while withstanding prolonged thermal cycling and damp heat stressing, allow the assemblies to be easily separated at end-of-life into their constituent parts, after in hot water. The project demonstrated a 90% recyclable inverter circuit for an electroluminescent lamp.

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3 comments

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Feldagast
not rated yet Jun 01, 2012
That's a joke, its a circuit printed on plastic and glued to a board, I was expecting to see a multilayer PCB like a motherboard disolve in hot water.
marciot
not rated yet Jun 01, 2012
Are they using Wood's metal for the solder? If so, not much progress being made here...

(google the composition of Wood's metal)
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jun 02, 2012
Agreed. This is sort of underwhelming.

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