Plating processes for contact pins
I am a High School student at Palmyra Area High School who is looking for information about the plating processes for, specifically, contact pins that are used in electrical connectors. My problem is that all of the web sites that I contact about that subject are business sites of companies in that field, not databases of informational websites about that subject. Any information, reccomended web sites, of reccomended literature (as up to date as possible please) would be gladly appreciated
high school - Palmyra Pennsylvania
I am interested in showing K-12 students how electroplating works. I might be willing to give my talk, Plating4Kids, via the internet, to your science class, gratis. Ask your teacher to contact me.
Contact pads and pins are usually a thin electroplating of hard gold over a thicker electroplating of nickel. Gold is used because it is one of the very few metals that does not tarnish (which would cause an electrically resistive layer). The alternative metals are either not as good as gold, or are more expensive, or are not practically electroplateable.
The nickel is required because gold is metallurgically similar to copper in such a way that if there were not a nickel layer between the gold and the copper that the contact runs are made of, the copper would diffuse into the gold, spoiling it.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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