Component Testing Electronic Components Semiconductor Technology

RoHS, REACH, and dangerous substance legislation

RoHS and REACH are two pieces of legislation referring to the control of dangerous substances and chemicals. Companies manufacturing and distributing electronic equipment in Europe must comply to be able to trade.


The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive came into force in 2004. With an aim to mitigate the effect of dangerous substances on customers, the Directive restricts the concentration of 10 substances used in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE).

Acceptable levels of restricted substances in a single material are generally less than 0.1% or 1000 parts per million (ppm). For the chemical Cadmium, however, levels must be no more than 0.01% or 100ppm.

Companies must provide proof that they comply with the regulations by way of documentation. This includes a Declaration of Conformity, a record of the assessment procedure for conformity, and any other control documentation.

Since its release in ’04, there have been 3 iterations, with the latest being introduced in July of 2019. RoHS 3.0 introduces 11 new category products and four new substances.

The materials listed include products that could be harmful to not only human health, but the environment too. As such, non-compliance carries with it the potential for a heavy fine.

RoHS certification takes place in several steps:

  1. Extraction testing of the components takes place to determine the value of the RoHS substances contained.
  2. On-site manufacturing processes are inspected to ensure RoHS compliance at the facility.
  3. Review all relevant documentation, including the BOM (Bill of Materials), assembly drawings, and test reports from suppliers.
  4. Following this, if all is in order a RoHS Certificate of Compliance is issued.


REACH stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It was introduced a few years on from RoHS, in 2006.

The scope of REACH is more inclusive than RoHS. It encompasses almost all products manufactured, imported, or sold in the EU or UK.

REACH revolves more around Substances of Very High Concern (SVCH), which includes those considered carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction.

Manufacturers and importers need to register the quantities of substances produced every year. Companies need to safely manage and publicise the risks associated with the substances. They’re also responsible for tracking and managing which substances are being used, and produce safety guidelines for each.

Recent changes

Due to events like Brexit in the UK, RoHS and REACH regulations became transplanted into UK law. Since many substances are imported between mainland Europe and the UK, the legislation in both remained very similar.

As part of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, REACH was copied into UK legislation, becoming UK REACH in 2021. Although the difference is seemingly in name alone, the two REACHs operate separately, and manufacturers need to comply with both.

REACH for the stars!

Cyclops can supply products that are RoHS and REACH compliant and can provide this information to our customers. This means Cyclops customers can guarantee if they want RoHS compliant parts, they will receive them. So contact Cyclops Electronics today!

This blog post is designed to be informative and is in no way offering advice or guidance on how to interpret legislation.

Component Testing Electronic Components Semiconductor Technology

Resins and coatings for electronic components

Coating components

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the core of many electronic devices and contain electronic components like capacitors, transistors and fuses. As such, keeping them safe and protecting them from damage is key to the continued working of electronic devices. Resins and conformal coatings can be used for this purpose.


Resins are the more sturdy, heavier option in terms of coatings. This is a great choice when protecting a PCB from adverse conditions and insulating it from potential physical damage.

Within the range of resins used, there are three main types that are used, with each suited to certain PCBs.

Epoxy resins

This compound is well-suited for potting electronics, and protects components against moisture and mechanical damage coming from vibrations or shocks.

Depending on if there are amines (curing agent) mixed with the resin the curing time of the PCB can differ. Something to watch out for is the exothermic reaction cause by the curing. Although this can be mitigated, there is a risk of damaging the component.

Polyurethane resins

The pricier cousin of epoxy resin, polyurethane can also protect PCBs against moisture, as well as high temperatures and UV. Most resins have a maximum temperature tolerance of 130⁰C.  However, polyurethane can cope with temperatures of up to 150⁰C if formulated well.

This maximum temperature is in part thanks to the resin having a lower exothermic rate compared to epoxy. Polyurethane is also more flexible, so is favoured when it comes to potting delicate components.

Silicon resins

Silicon also protects against UV light, and so is often used in LED applications where the change in the colour of the LED needs to be minimised.

Silicon is the most expensive of the three but is not as popular as its counterparts. The material thrives when it comes to high operating temperatures and heat-sensitive components, thanks to its low exothermic temperature.

Conformal coatings

While resins are thick, durable and designed for high levels of stress, conformal coatings are thinner, lighter and are transparent.

Thanks to the tiny layer of coating, usually applied with a paint brush or spray, this kind of coating is a lower-risk alternative than a heavy resin for fragile components.

The coating can be altered or removed more easily than the resin too, and the curing time is massively reduced. However, alongside this the component is more exposed and has a lower level of protection. This makes these coatings more useful for PCBs that will face shorter exposures.

Do your own research

Any coating of a PCB should be carefully considered depending on the purpose of the circuit board, the conditions and stresses it will face, and whether it already has a coating on it. If this is the case, chances are this original coating was meant as the PCB’s primary layer of protection.

Speaking of protection, Cyclops quality checks all of the electronic components it supplies. This protects its customers from damaged parts and counterfeits. For an extra layer of protection in your electronic component supply chain, contact Cyclops today.

This blog post is designed to be informative and is in no way offering advice or guidance on how to coat electronic components.

Component Testing Electronic Components

The Benefits of Electronic Component testing

Electronic component testing is an essential stage in your supply chain to ensure that the components you purchase are genuine and perform as expected. Without testing, you could end up with any old components.

Testing will safeguard you from counterfeit goods, prevent costly recalls, and help assure your manufacturing capability.

We provide electronic component testing as part of our service, inspecting and testing components upon delivery to us and prior to shipment to you. We do this for a few reasons, which we’ll take a closer look at below.

Testing prevents counterfeit components from entering your supply chain

One of the biggest challenges the electronic components industry faces is the increasing number of sophisticated counterfeiters. These counterfeiters build factories faster than they can be shut down, creating a problem that gets bigger over time.

As an electronic component distributor, we source components for our customers. This means we are at a high risk of counterfeits. There are several ways we mitigate this risk, and the number #1 way is with electronic component testing.

Component testing takes place within our own warehouses. We only use ESD-qualified personnel and procedures set out by ISO9001:2015. We also use a variety of procedures, including IC testing using a sentry machine which tests the electrical signature (PinPrint) of components to ensure they are genuine.

Testing ensures that the components you receive function as intended

One of the great things about modern manufacturing techniques is the quality of components is consistently high. Sure, you get bad batches now and again that lead to recalls, but by and large the components from top OEMs are consistently good. This is why we like to source components from leading manufacturers.

Of course, some components will be duds. Testing helps to catch these duds, so they don’t enter your supply chain. This is critically important if you don’t conduct your own testing, so that product recalls as a result of dodgy components don’t happen.

Testing is a key part of circuit design and this is especially true of PCBs and integrated circuits. Not all components need to be tested, but those that are prone to interference and damage from external elements should be tested.

Testing saves you from costly product recalls as a result of bad components

Leading on from our points about testing with regards to product recalls and counterfeit components, it is a fact that bad components (be them malfunctioning or counterfeits) are bad for business. They will cost you money.

At Cyclops Electronics, we specialise in testing electronic components to ensure they are genuine and function as intended. We conduct these tests as part of our service, acting as a component distribution partner to other businesses.  

Our ties with leading OEMs and distributors means we can source electronic components from all over the world, including end of life and rare components. The quality of our work and our network means we can offer a 1-year quality guarantee. This is a guarantee that we will replace components that fail manufacturer standards.