Do You Know About Silver Plating of Copper or Copper Alloys?
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Do You Know About Silver Plating of Copper or Copper Alloys?

Views: 481     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-11-07      Origin: Site

Do You Know About Silver Plating of Copper or Copper Alloys?

Actually, silver has been applied since the late 1800s on electrical switchgear and parts that pass electrical current like contact center components. Recently, silver plating of copper electronic components including connectors and terminals has grown rapidly within the electronic, automotive, and electric vehicle markets. As silver plating has many unique properties, it has been especially desirable for these applications. The main reason is that silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal and its products like stamped aluminum parts.


One of the key concerns with silver plating is the formation of silver sulfide compounds, which are commonly called silver tarnish. The tarnishing of silver is mainly a cosmetic concern to a variety of products such as silver-clad strips. For micro-electronics and low-voltage connectors, the potential for tarnish should be accounted for with a proper selection of an anti-tarnish inhibit. There are many different anti-tarnish inhibitors available to avoid silver tarnish that perform very well including organic, tin immersion systems, and so on.


Then, you should know more about copper properties. Copper materials have been the primary material within the electrical and electronic industries for more than a century such as stamped metal parts manufacturers. Copper has many fantastic properties such as excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, which is very effective for handling high voltages and high currents. Copper is also a relatively noble metal which reduces the potential for corrosion when in contact with metals such as tin, nickel, or silver as well as its products such as silver bimetal contact rivets.  


55 copper alloy 1

As a consequence, silver plating of copper will offer many design benefits since the properties of the two metals complement each other.  Numerous copper alloys like Copper Silver Alloy are available today which can offer a variety of mechanical and electrical properties.


55 copper alloy 2

Of course, you need to know the benefits of nickel underplating as the use of a nickel underplate can improve the performance of the overall deposit in several ways.


Diffusion barrier: When silver is plated on copper, a natural solid-state diffusion of the copper into the silver will happen over time. The rate of diffusion changes according to temperatures. As copper diffuses into silver, it forms a hybrid layer which has a negative impact on adhesion, solderability, and electrical performance of products like silver copper-clad metal strips. Hence, nickel forms an effective diffusion barrier to prevent this migration from occurring.


Corrosion Performance: Silver can keep copper from oxidation by forming a barrier layer between the environment and the copper substrate, which is usually regarded as barrier corrosion protection. The addition of a nickel underplate can form a more effective barrier between the copper base and the environment. Moreover, nickel is less expensive than silver so that many manufacturers are more likely to choose it like in cold heading manufacturing.


Load or Bearing Durability: The use of a nickel underplate can offer a rigid structure. This helps reduce the wear of the silver in high contact pressure switching and wear applications such as fuse stabs, high voltage switchgear, or brass stamping terminal parts silver contact.


Solder Base: The use of a proper nickel underplate can help improve the solderability of a copper component. In addition, since the nickel helps reduce the diffusion of copper into the silver, a nickel underplate can extend the shelf-life of solderability and reduce the overall amount of silver that needs to be plated to successfully solder copper components.

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