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topic 1644

Tin whisker growth


I am looking for any information on research on whisker growth when using a bright acid tin plating process.

Mark Boone

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Hi Mark,

A large amount of research is available;. a quick computerized literature search through the Metal Finishing Information Service showed some 20 articles with 'whiskers' in the title in electroplating industry journals alone.

But the short version is that electrodeposited tin (and several other metals) have internal stresses, and it is believed that this force powers the growth of the whiskers in an attempt to reduce the stress. Partial or total cures can involve stress relief reflowing and alloy plating. Good luck.

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


NASA has a page on tin whiskers at:

Kirk Mueller
Raytheon Systems Co. - Los Angeles, California

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