Connector Plating discussion – hint: Not silver

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Why is it a common misconception that Silver is used on the Electronic Connectors?
Silver is not generally used for connector plating, when you see silver color on the headers or other connectors that is TIN plating.
Gold is commonly used for connector plating, if there are multiple insertions and extractions between 2 connectors, having gold plating on the contact area would be important. Also gold does not degrade over time and performs well under extreme environmental conditions. Gold plating on the tail (pcb side) is optional, as the solder contains tin, therefore, once a gold plated tail gets soldered – it really becomes a tin plated tail. The underplating plays a very important role, as most connectors use a nickel barrier, barrier is needed to prevent the copper alloys from migrating to the plating surface. Most connectors use beryllium copper or phosphor bronze for the pin or socket material + nickel underplate + tin or gold plating.

Please visit phoenixent.com to browse many connector types.

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