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#15-The Influence of Coating Technology on the Mechanical Performance of Thin, High Performance Connector Springs from Materion Technical Materials

Abstract: A Size and weight reduction in consumer electronics such as cellular phones has resulted in miniaturization of components. This trend has resulted in the increased use of thin (0.005 thick) springs in connectors. These springs are highly loaded and therefore are manufactured from high performance alloys. In order to ensure reliable electrical contact, the springs are coated with noble metal in the contact areas. The coating application technology combined with the manufacturing process strategy can significantly influence the coating integrity, coating performance and spring rate in thin, highly loaded connectors.

Electroplated and Clad Connector Contact Springs

This Materion Technical Materials paper presents a comparison of electroplated and clad connector contact springs used in cellular phones. Data after environmental and mechanical testing are presented and discussed. The results indicate that the coating technology does significantly influence thermal stability, chemical reactivity and mechanical spring behavior.