In-House Electroplating In-house rack & barrel electroplating brings important control and flexibility to the critical surface properties of electrical parts. Quite apart from aesthetic qualities, an electroplated layer can stabilise electrical contact, prevent corrosion, provide solderability and optimise tribology with a mating surface. Coatings are equally critical to the performance of cables, busbars and terminations.
For routine low-stress applications, tin protects copper components with a low contact-resistance coating that that is perfectly adequate for temperatures up to circa 60degC. In line with standard industry practice, our terminals are normally supplied with a 5μ tin coating and are intended for use in protected circuits working at controlled temperatures without thermal excursions from surge-currents etc.
If high temperatures, 80degC or more, are likely then tin should be avoided, especially in thick layers or on finely-stranded wires.Diffusion of tin into copper becomes rapid above about 100degC and then causes serious permanent damage to the conductivity of the copper substrate. Tin coated finely stranded cables can easily become dangerously resistive after exposure to overheating. Tin is also unsuitable for very cold environments, below circa -20degC, where it can form an amorphous allotrope that can detach as powder. Tin coatings are also compatible with soft solder but the high temperatures of the soldering process can cause local damage to the resistance of the copper substrate, as described above.