National Physical Laboratory

Recyclable printed circuit boards

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 immersion in hot water. The project demonstrated a 90% recyclable inverter circuit for an electroluminescent lamp.

Find out more about NPL's work on Electronics Interconnection

For more information, please contact Chris Hunt

Last Updated: 14 Jul 2014
Created: 31 May 2012