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topic 59276

Tin plating over silver

May 21, 2013

Q. I am hoping for some advice on a laboratory deployable method for plating tin over silver.

I am researching the use of silver/tin diffusion soldering for metal-to-metal bonding and I am seeking a process suitable for depositing 5 µm to 10 µm of tin onto small pieces of high purity (99.99%) silver foil (say 1 cm x 1 cm x 50 µm).

I don't think it is likely to matter if the tin deposit is bright or matte provided it is uniform and reasonably well adhered and it may be an advantage not to use organic brighteners or anything else that could potentially interfere with the diffusion soldering process.

Simplicity/ease of use are probably more important than time taken/cost/efficiency at this stage and the avoidance of cyanides and other highly toxic chemicals is highly desirable.

Any suggestions or pointers towards possible solutions would be much appreciated.



Ian Atkinson
- Knutsford, UK

May 25, 2013

A. Ian,
There is a UK law (and elsewhere) banning the coating of precious metals (gold, silver) with base ones. I'm sure it was never intended for people like you. There is some discussion on he subject on this site.
That said, I would look at alkaline tin plating from a sodium or potassium stannate bath. Acid tin solutions using stannous sulphate and sulphuric acid, tend to need organic grain refiners.

Harry Parkes
- Birmingham, UK

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