National Physical Laboratory

Reusable, unzippable, sustainable electronics (ReUse) interconnect system for the circular economy.

Hunt, C P, Wickham, M, Pittson, R*, Lewison, J*
NPL Report MAT 75, January 2015
NPL Doc. Ref:
PDB: 7565 | DDB: 7133
Document Type:
NPL Report

Note: An asterisk after an author's name indicates a non-NPL author.


Recycling levels of electronics are increasing with a high proportion still going to landfill. EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) legislation targets recycling levels within Europe, but true recycling with current technologies using FR4 is a considerable challenge. An alternative approach (ReUSE) using thermoplastic substrates and novel adhesive systems for both bonding dielectric layers and for component attachment has been proposed. An important feature of the technology is the end of life disassembly, which following a simple soak in near boiling water, the components can be pushed off the assembly with minimum force. This paper discusses this approach as well as materials testing and manufacturing process development. Results will be presented on reliability testing, which proved the technology to be robust until disassembly was required. Finally the disassembly process at end of life will be presented for a functioning demonstrator.

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