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topic 60508

Need a plating recommendation for electrical application

September 15, 2017

Q. We make a part that is used in a low voltage (24VDC) high current (50A)application. For years we've been getting the part plated with tin. However, I would like to improve the conductivity of the part. The tin is semi-bright. Would a matte finish have better conductivity? Is there another plating someone would recommend? Note, I am very wary of a material that readily forms an electrically resistive oxide since the parts may sit on my shelf for a year before being installed. Also, I do not necessarily need good wear/friction resistance since there is no movement of the part once installed in customer's device.

The base material that gets plated is 12L14 steel (it's a screw machine part).

Larry Murphy
Precision Controls Co. - Ann Arbor Michigan USA

September 16, 2017

A. Other than silver or other precious metals, tin is your best choice. Since the coating is very thin, conductivity is not an important factor, and matte vs semi-brite or bright tin is not very important.

Lyle Kirman
consultant - Cleveland, Ohio

September 20, 2017

Q. Thank you for the helpful feedback. If I am willing to pay for a precious metal finish, which would you recommend? Maybe Silver or pure Nickel or Electroless Nickel?

Larry Murphy [returning]
Precision Controls Co. - Ann Arbor Michigan USA

September 26, 2017

A. Hi Larry,

You may consider palladium plating which has good conductivity, corrosion and wear resistance.


David Shiu
David Shiu
- Singapore

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