Restriction of Hazardous Substances (Rohs)

The purpose of this initiative is to eliminate harmful materials from the waste stream for consumer electronic products.

What is Fuller Metric's procedure in complying with Rohs?

Fuller is an importer and distributor of fastener products and industrial supplies. We are not the manufacturer and do not have any plating facilities. We rely on our international vendors to supply us with compliant parts. We now require all our vendors to supply us with Cr6 free parts, this information is documented on all the paperwork and traceable through to the final packaging process. Our internal processes and labelling procedures have been modified to retain this information.

In the fastener industry, although we try to turn out inventory several times per year, many items are maintained in large quantities and turn less often. There are thousands of SKU’s that are affected and it will take some time to totally resolve this problem.

Until these supplies are exhausted we can only individually qualify each item you require, this can be done at some reasonable expense.

What materials are we talking about?

  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Cr+6 (Hexavalent Chromium called Cr6 hereafter)

Cr6 is used in zinc plated fasteners as the topcoat finish primarily for yellow zinc.

Which industries does Rohs affect?

Only consumer electronic equipment is covered by the directive, products only used in commercial applications are excluded. Our customers must specifically ask for compliant product. We are only responsible to supply what they ask for at the time of purchase.

What fasteners are affected by this initiative?

Zinc Plated Fasteners with a Chromium top coat. Plain Steel and Stainless Steel themselves may contain trace amounts of these materials but are compliant as long as they are homogeneous (This means they cannot be mechanically disjointed into different materials). Generally all fasteners that are not plated will comply.

Are all plated fasters non-compliant?

No, only certain coatings contain Hexavalent Chromium. The zinc coating on fasteners also needs protection from corrosion with a sealing product. Yellow and some other colored finishes contain Hexavalent Chromium. Clear zinc does not contain any Hexavalent Chromium that is intentionally added.

Why is the phrase “intentionally added” important?

Trace levels of these materials are allowed as long as they are not intentionally added to provide a specific characteristic to the product. Some contamination is possible at any step from initial manufacturing, plating to packaging. The key is that if these materials are not intentionally added then some small trace amounts are allowed.

Why use Hexavalent Chromium?

This product adds significant corrosion protection, up to 3-4 times compared to clear zinc alone. No direct replacement is available at this time with identical properties.

What is the best way to comply with Rohs?

Use Stainless Steel on items that need to be compliant, no testing or certification is required.

If plated steel fasteners are required how do we comply?

Clear Zinc fasteners comply with Rohs as well as some other coatings. The Manufacturer or Metal Finisher has to certify the product used complies.

Can we certify products in stock without Manufacturer or Metal Finisher certificates?

No, we can only state that no Hexavalent Chromium has been added intentionally and the goods should comply. For certification each lot will have to be tested for compliance.

If we have a certificate from a Manufacturer or Metal Finisher can we certify the product?

Yes, when our supplier certifies the goods then the liability now transfers to the supplier.