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Technical Tidbits Archive:2008-2011

To learn more about the materials we develop, read about our high performance alloys.


  1. PDF icon Nickel as an Undercoating-Issue 36-December 2011

    Learn why nickel is a fantastic choice for an undercoating layer below tin or precious metal top layer coatings.

  2. PDF icon Creep Corrosion And Pore Corrosion-Issue 35-November 2011

    Investigate the potentially damaging effects of creep corrosion and pore corrosion, and what can be done to mitigate them to preserve good electrical contact.

  3. PDF icon Nickel As A Coating Material-Issue 34-October 2011

    See how nickel has many advantages for increasing durability of your connectors, and some potential shortcomings that could cause reliability problems.

  4. PDF icon Fretting Corrosion-Issue 33-September 2011

    Examine fretting corrosion, and why it is particularly a concern for you if your contacts are tin-coated.

  5. PDF icon Tin As A Coating Material-Issue 32-August 2011

    Learn why tin is used nearly everywhere in low cost connector designs, and the potential problems with tin that you need to take care to avoid.

  6. PDF icon Coating Electrical Contacts-Issue 31-July 2011

    Introduce yourself to the different ways that electrical contacts are coated, and what design considerations must be taken into account for each.

  7. PDF icon Round Vs Rectangular Cross Sections-Issue 30-June 2011

    Examine the advantages of contacts made with rectangular cross sections over those with circular cross sections.

  8. PDF icon Strip Vs Wire-Issue 29-May 2011

    Compare and contrast the manufacturing of contact made from strip and wire, and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each product form.

  9. PDF icon Material Property Directionality-Issue 28-April 2011

    Examine how the directionality inherent in certain materials can create unexpected failures in your part, unless it is considered in the design process.

  10. PDF icon Tensile Testing-Issue 27-March 2011

    Introduce yourself to the tensile test, and learn why it is probably the single most informative test you can perform on a material.

  11. PDF icon Hardness Testing Pitfalls-Issue 26-February 2011

    Investigate all the different ways hardness testing can go wrong, so you can avoid them and be confident in your measurements.

  12. PDF icon Hardness Testing-Issue 25-January 2011

    Review the concepts of hardness and learn how to ensure accuracy and repeatability in hardness testing.

  13. PDF icon Current Carrying Capacity-Issue 24-December 2010

    Investigate how to determine the maximum amount of current that your connector design can safely carry.

  14. PDF icon Connector Temperature Rise-Issue 23-November 2010

    Learn how to estimate (and minimize) the temperature rise caused by joule heating in your connector.

  15. PDF icon Elastic Resilience-Issue 22-October 2010

    See why the little-known properties of elastic resilience and the modulus of resilience give the best indication of performance and reliability for any spring design.

  16. PDF icon Cantilever Beams-Part 2 Analysis-Issue 21-September 2010

    Read how the insights from cantilever beam theory can greatly improve your connector designs.

  17. PDF icon Cantilever Beams-Part 1 Beam Stiffness-Issue 20-August 2010

    See why the cantilever beam makes a good model for electrical contacts in connectors.

  18. PDF icon Summary of Metal Strengthening Mechanisms-Issue 19-July 2010

    Review the methods used to strengthen metals, and determine how they work together to create the optimum combination of properties.

  19. PDF icon Thermal Strengthening Mechanisms-Issue 18-June 2010

    Read about the various heat treatments that are used to greatly improve the strength of copper alloys, without hindering conductivity or formability.

  20. PDF icon Strain Hardening And Strength-Issue 17-May 2010

    See how cold work is used to increase the strength and hardness of metals, and why too much is not a good thing.

  21. PDF icon Solid Solution Hardening And Strength-Issue 16-April 2010

    Find out how various alloying elements improve the strength of copper, and thus the reliability of your designs.

  22. PDF icon Grain Size And Material Strength-Issue 15-March 2010

    Learn how the performance of a material can be improved by refining its grain size.

  23. PDF icon What Happens During Yielding-Issue 14-February 2010

    Discover what really happens on a microscopic scale when you exceed the strength of your material, and how that knowledge is used to make stronger materials.

  24. PDF icon Factors Affecting Stress Relaxation And Creep-Issue 13-January 2010

    Explore the factors that determine how much your design will gradually lose reliability, and learn to guard against them.

  25. PDF icon Stress Relaxation And Creep-Issue 12-December 2009

    Discover the similarities and difference between stress relaxation and creep, and how knowledge of them can improve your connector designs.

  26. PDF icon Elastic Springback-Issue 11-November 2009

    Find out what you can do to minimize springback when forming parts, or at least how to account for it to keep your parts within tolerance.

  27. PDF icon Bend Testing vs Forming Reality-Issue 10-October 2009

    Explore how formability determined by bend testing can actually vary signficantly from actual production forming, and what you can do about it.

  28. PDF icon Formability And Bend Testing-Issue 9-September 2009

    Familiarize yourself with how material formability is determined by bend testing, and how to apply the results so you are not blindsided by forming problems.

  29. PDF icon The Cumulative Effects OF Tolerances on Connector Performance-Part 2-Issue 8-August 2009

    See how the typical, acceptable variations in geometry and material properties can interact and lead to unacceptable variation in the final part.

  30. PDF icon The Cumulative Effects Of Tolerances On Connector Performance-Part 1-Issue 7-August 2009

    Find out how small but allowable variations in geometry and properties can make a nominally good part fail.

  31. PDF icon The Importance Of Contact Force-Issue 6-July 2009

    Find out why contact force is the most important connector design variable, and what you can do to ensure reliability throughout your connector's life.

  32. PDF icon Reliability And End-Of-Life Contact Force-Issue 5-June 2009

    Determine what you need to do to ensure that your connector works as well at the end of its intended life as it does in the beginning.

  33. PDF icon Cumulative Stress And The Bauschinger Effect-Issue 4-May 2009

    Explore how residual forming stresses can reduce the reliability of your connectors, unless they are taken into account early in the design stage.

  34. PDF icon Size Reduction-Issue 3-April 2009

    Discover which material properties allow you to reduce the size of your contacts, saving space and raw material costs, while increasing reliability.

  35. PDF icon Why Good Designs Fail-Issue 2-March 2009

    Read how designing to the yield strength of your material may not be enough to ensure reliability.

  36. PDF icon Impact Resistance-Issue 1-June 2008

    Learn which material properties will allow your connectors to survive repeated drops or other shock loads.