Not long ago we featured a blog article about the use of palladium as an alternative to gold for plating electronic components due to the rising cost of gold. It's Time to Consider Palladium for Electronics Plating -- Again.
With the continued rising costs of gold and now palladium prices, there is a renewed interest in finding yet another low cost alternative for connector finishes.
Silver's benefits and low price make it an attractive alternative to gold and palladium as a finish for electronic connector stampings
Due to its "near noble" nature, high conductivity and relatively low cost (less than $50 per troy ounce), silver may be that alternative finish.
Vince Azzano, Precision Plating Company, has written an in-depth article on the use of silver for plating electronic components.
The article discusses the challenge connector designers face when considering using silver as a finish for electronic connector stampings and presents possible solutions.
The Challenge: trying to balance normal force and low contact resistance against high insertion force and premature wear
The Solution: high technology contact lubricants and next generation silver tarnish inhibitors
Read the article in its entirety at All that Glitters is not Gold… Interest in using Silver as a Connector Finish Continues to Grow.
There are very likely some existing hard gold and palladium connection systems that could take advantage of the significant cost saving offered by silver. While silver is not without its challenges, by properly matching design characteristics with the application requirements, engineers may find that the advantages of silver can be successfully employed.