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topic 620

Proper Gold plating thickness for copper contact pins


We are wanting to direct gold plate tellurium copper contact pins of an RCA (phono) plug.

We appreciate advice on the appropriate thickness of the gold plate.

Previous advice indicates 10 or 20 micro-inches.

As you can imagine there is a large price differential between the two thicknesses.

The gold plating is to ensure a smooth finish and oxidation protection.

Robert Woodland
- Brisbane, Queensland,Australia


Plating gold directly onto copper is generally not recommended because the gold will diffuse into the copper (over time, and faster at higher temperatures). Further, the gold will not provide a smoother finish.

There really should be a barrier of nickel plating between the copper and the gold. More info on the subject is available in a nice paper by Paul Stransky,"Some Notes on Nickel Diffusion Barriers", available on our on-line library pages.

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

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