Conference on Electrical Contacts. Joint with the 18th International Conference on Electrical Contacts, pp. 342-351, New York, NY, 1996.

The Effect of Wipe on Corroded Nickel Contacts

Rod Martens and M. Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Contact resistance studies were performed on phosphor bronze test coupons plated with 1.25 mu m of nickel to examine the effects of wipe and normal force on corroded nickel contact finishes. The test coupons were exposed to the Battelle class II mixed flowing gas environment for 1 and 2 days to produce an aged contact surface. Two contact geometries were tested. Contact resistance readings were taken with no wipe, as well as after 0.025, 0.125, 0.250, 0.375, and 0.500 mm of wipe at constant load, with a final reading taken after 0.025 mm of backwipe. Experimental results show a significant decrease in the contact resistance with 0.125 mm of wipe, but little decrease in resistance if the wipe continues. Of particular note is the beneficial effect of the backwipe on the corroded nickel coupons.

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