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topic 450

Antimony concentration vs. conductivity of silver


Does anyone know the correlation between Antimony concentration in silver deposit and conductivity of silver?

sara michaeli
sara michaeli signature 
Sara Michaeli
chemical process supplier
Tel-Aviv, Israel

Some background: Lowenheim's Electroplating textbook, page 261, says, unquote:... antimony has been recommended as a hardener for silver deposits... Antimony will harden silver deposits... , quote: "but there is considerable disagreement about whether hardness and wear resistance necessarily go together", unquote.

I'll bet a coffee that the small amounts of antimony probably needed for hardening will be undetectable in conductivity measurements.

tom pullizzi monitor
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township,

Make the bet a beer and I'll double it, Tom. Although I couldn't quickly find a chart with the conductivity of silver vs. antimony concentration, a quick look through conductivity tables for other metals showed that even a very minor amount of alloying material drastically cuts down on conductivity (probably because the crystal lattice dislocations disrupt the travel of the electron 'cloud').

But the conductivity of a solid material like a silver wire and the surface resistance of silver plating are different things. It's possible that the antimony has no effect or even a positive effect on the contact resistance of a silver plated connection.

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

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