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Effects of bath contamination in tin plating, limits for metallic impurities?

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⇦ (tip: readers rarely show much interest in abstract questions, but people's actual situations usually prompt responses)   smiley face

Q. Hi all,
For a lead free tin electroplating, I would like to know the maximum level of impurities (ppm) for the following metals:

Thank you,

Dana Asulin
Process engineer - Israel June 9, 2016

A. Hi Dana. The usual source for that info is the technical data sheet offered by the supplier of the particular tin plating solution you are using. If that is not available for some reason, you might be interested in this quote from F.A. Lowenheim in the Garden State Branch American Electroplaters Society 'Electroplating Course Manual':

"Stannate Tin Baths are remarkably insensitive to contaminants. Most metallic impurities are either insoluble in the bath or, if soluble, do not codeposit ..."

But electroplating is complex and 'general' questions usually aren't answerable. In this case the answer de pends on whether you are running an acid, MSA or stannate process; they're quite different. Are you doing rarrel, rack, or continuous plating? CRS substrate or something else? Any under-layers of other plating? Please carefully detail your situation and the readers can probably help. Thanks and good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Hi Ted,
Thank you for your reply.
The information offered by the supplier is not available.
Metallic impurities have an effect on the wetting properties of solder.
Our process is:
*rack plating
*no under layers, no other plating (just lead-free tin electroplating)

Thank you,

Dana Asulin [returning]
- Israel June 13, 2016

A. Control Limits:
Fe <200 ppm
Ni <200 ppm
Cu <25 ppm

Jernson Espinoza Leal
- Hermosillo, Son, MX
June 27, 2023

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