J. Wu and M. Pecht
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
As lead-free solders replace tin-lead solders in soldering, it is also expected that lead-free solder alloys will be used as contact finish materials for electrical contacts. In this study, the contact resistance and fretting corrosion of tin-silver-copper and tin-copper coatings were investigated and compared with tin-lead eutectic coating. The contact resistance before and after different aging conditions, including mixed flowing gas, steam, and dry heat aging, was examined. Tin-silver-copper and tin-lead alloy coatings have similar performance on contact resistance versus contact normal force after dry heat aging and MFG aging. Severe degradation was found on tin-silver-copper coatings after steam aging. Higher contact force is suggested in the application of tin-silver-copper solder alloy coating than for eutectic tin-lead alloy coatings. Fretting corrosion on tin-silver-copper and tin-copper lead-free alloy coatings was studied and compared with tin-lead coating. Fretting corrosion experiments were conducted and compared at different temperatures and normal forces. In general, tin-silver-copper and tin-copper alloys show equal or better fretting corrosion resistance than tin-lead eutectic alloy at the experimental conditions in this study.
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