Abstract

With the rapid growth in the use of electronics, more studies are focusing on the tribological performance of electrical connectors. The most common electroplating coating materials are tin and copper. One major issue is when fretting corrosion produces metal oxides, which are likely to increase the electrical resistance at the contact interface. This research aims to reduce metal oxidation of electrical connectors by studying the tribological performance of various thicknesses of tin and copper layers with a designated electrical circuit to be used with a reciprocating wear test. This research considers the effect of tin and copper layer thickness, including the lack of a tin layer, on the tribological behavior. Among coatings tested, a thin coating of copper with no tin resulted in the least wear. A thicker coating of copper significantly increased the wear due to the high roughness of the sample with a thick copper coating. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) results indicated that adhesive wear occurred during sliding. Adhered particles led to two-body abrasive wear and when the adhered particles break away three-body abrasive wear is produced.

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