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April 14, 2008

We are a custom RF connector manufacturer. We have a customer specification which calls out for a Nickel Flash followed by .000020" min. gold plate on the metal components. Also, the specification also dictates that it must pass corrosion test per MIL-STD-202, Method 101, Test Cond. B. We fail this test because of the nickel plating (or lack thereof)
per customer specification. Our plater recommends at least .000100" min of Nickel plating, however, are we violating our customer's specification of "NICKEL FLASH" if we used .000100" thick plating? I have not come across a specific definition of how thick a "FLASH" requires.

Lee Valdez
Product Designer - Long Beach, California, USA

April , 2008

Hi, Lee. "Flash" has no particular thickness meaning, but neither does it offer any specific corrosion resistance meaning. If a measurable thickness of nickel is required in order to meet the corrosion resistance test, a spec which calls for a nickel flash is wrong. You should help your customer, and the plating shop should too, but it is the customer's obligation to write a reasonable specification. I think that neither you nor the plating shop should pussyfoot around, trying to squeeze more nickel onto the part to resist corrosion while still calling it a flash. Tell the customer that a flash doesn't cut it. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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