Materion Corporation logo Materion Corporation 50th celebration

#26- Technical Overview of Silver as a Candidate Contact Material for Automotive Connectors 

Abstract: There is increasing pressure to reduce the insertion effort required to engage automotive connectors. If the proposed maximum force is adopted, high-density tin-plated connectors will have to be redesigned. An alternative solution would be to change the contact finish.

Silver as a Replacement Over Tin

Gold over nickel would easily pass the insertion effort test but at an unacceptable cost penalty. Due to the incompatibility of gold and tin, the contact finish on both the terminal and blade would have to be gold. Silver and tin interfaces do not exhibit the rapid degradation in contact resistance that has been documented for gold tin interfaces.

Therefore, silver appears to be a viable candidate to replace tin and achieve the reduction in insertion effort. This Materion Technical Materials paper will present an overview of silver as a connector contact material.