Sample Preparation of Electronic Device Components for Hexavalent Chromium Analysis by IEC Method 62321-7-2:2017

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The increasing use of consumer and electronic device components worldwide has drawn increased attention to their impact on the environment. The correct disposal of these materials is of critical importance due to the potential for hexavalent chromium contamination of soil and water. Most countries around the world have adopted regulations regarding the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Recently the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has established a new test method, IEC 62321-7-2:2017, to test for hexavalent chromium in many of these products. This new method is a replacement for parts of the corresponding clauses in IEC 62311:2008.


The recent passage of IEC 62321-7-2:2017 provides determination of hexavalent chromium in polymers and electronics using colorimetric determination by a UV-Vis Spectrophotometer. Prior to analysis, a sample preparation method using microwave digestion is used. The IEC method has several post digestion steps and requires multiple reagents to be made up prior to the procedure. This application note will establish the correct microwave equipment, options, and program to be followed in order to be in compliance with the method. It will also attempt to make the method easier to follow by alerting the analyst to make up specific reagents prior to starting the procedure.