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topic 24431

What is SPI/SPE #3

A discussion started in 2003 but continuing through 2018


Q. I received a drawing specifying an SPE/SPI #3 finish on non-textured surfaces and I can't find what this means. I looked on the SPI and SPE websites and they have no info available. Can you tell me what this polish spec means, and what the #3 means?

Krista VanDuyn
product development - Highlands Ranch, Colorado


A. I have looked at this question a couple of times and have come up with a big zero. This is not a QC spec. and as far as I know, it is not related to a material spec.; therefore, it must be home grown. Meaning, I suggest you check back with the originator of the information and ask them to clarify.

tony kenton
AF Kenton
Hatboro, Pennsylvania


A. Plastic injection specification but I don't believe that it is actually sanctioned. It means 320 grit abrasive cloth polishing technique RMS = 7.0 to 7.5.

Margie Garza
- Livermore, California

March 31, 2008

A. letter 20910 explains what the SPI standards are, covering the old numbered finishes vs. the new lettered finishes, and where to get them. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

August 29, 2012

Q. Hi,

I wanted to know how SPE/SPI #3 finish is done? Whether this finish is done to the mold box before molding or to the mold obtained after molding.

Does this finish process effect the part from being RoHS compliant? Do I need to get RoHS certificate from the vendor who is doing this finish.

Please reply.

Kirankumar Kulal
- India

April 13, 2018

Q. Can you please confirm whether SPI B3 Finish are ROHS And REACH Compliant as per regulation.

Deepak Joshi
- Chennai, Tamilnadu and India

April 2018

A. Hi Kirankumar, Hi Deepak. As far as I know, RoHS and REACH would not care how smooth a plastic finish is, but I might be missing something. Please introduce yourself and your situation so we can better understand your question. Thanks.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

April 26, 2018

Q. I am Deepak Joshi and I am working on a Project to make all parts ROHS and REACH Compliant. I have observed on max of the polymer components I come across all SPI different finishes. In order to make ROHS and REACH Compliant we need to look for all the finish materials as well. Please confirm whether we can consider all SPI finishes as ROHS and REACH Compliant.

Deepak Joshi [returning]
BD - Chennai Tamilnadu India

April 2018

A. Hi again Deepak. I don't know if you are misunderstanding me or I am misunderstanding you, but SPI numbers are 'smoothness' or 'profile' or 'pattern' descriptions, they are not materials.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

May 2, 2018

A. Let's do a quick review here, because a lot of people don't really know what REACH and RoHS are, they just know they need to comply, and they pass the question up to their suppliers asking if everything complies without any real appreciation for relevance.

RoHS is a short list of substances that should not be present in electronic equipment. The idea here is when this stuff ends up in landfills, they don't want bad stuff seeping out into the water table.

REACH is a program where chemical materials must be registered with the EU government if they are being manufactured in the EU or imported into the EU above a certain quantity.

A subset of REACH is the SVHC list, which is chemicals considered to be too hazardous to be used.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner

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