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Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer Application Notes

App. Note 33 - Tin-plated Contacts

What problems are sometimes encountered in tin-plated contacts?

On occasion, our customers have encountered problems with tin-plated contacts These are usually of the "header" type where one or more square male contacts spaced either on 0.10 or 0.156 inch centers are used to connect either stacked P boards, or mate with wiring harnesses. Quite often the problem occurs only when ever several conditions exist. A typical example would be that encountered where design engineers were encouraged to use a connector from a "standard-parts" list a part of a inventory-limiting cost-effectiveness program. Often, an engineer will employ a connector with a current rating grossly in excess of the actual currents involved in the circuit, reasoning, that while it may be over-design, the selection of a very-low current connector is not warranted.

Many engineers fail to realize that it is often more difficult to design a connector t function properly when carrying signals in the range of from 5 picoamps through 1 microamps than it is to design a connector to carry an amp. of signal current. While the connector may function properly in both the evaluation stages and the initial months of field use, they often encounter problems within the second six months in the field. Contaminant films which would be of little problem for a higher current flow will cause conditions ranging from zero-crossing distortion in AC signals through thin-film rectification and/or intermittence.

Sometimes the design of the connector is such that manufacturing processes can, when combined with storage and/or transportation conditions, produce a synergistic effect that will result in field failure. Some tin-plated connectors have a small dimple formed on the inside of the female contact in order to increase the pressure at the actual point of contact with the male pin. If the forming process involves stretching of the tin plating rather than the use of a coining technique (wherein the tin flows under pressure), micro-cracking may take place in the tin coating. At the lattice structure of tin changes with temperature-induced-phase changes, stresses can be set-up that will induce the plating to "spall" or flake off the substrate.

This might not occur in any significant amount under normal conditions, but we have encountered cases where so simple a thing as the storage or shipping of completed wiring harnesses in craft-paper based corrugated cardboard containers (which contain sulfides) can induce sufficient corrosion in the substrate exposed by the cracks such that the rate of spelling is increased to the point of causing connector failure within a year of being placed in service.

Can the use of Stabilants solve the problem?

Under most circumstances, the use of Stabilants can increase the MTBF in the field to the point where the equipment's erratic connector may only have to be serviced once in its lifetime, but this could be changed by exposure to especially corrosive environments. Increases in MTBF of l Ox are routine in these cases.

The service group can confirm the existence of this tin-spalling condition by having a connector's contact pair examined by electron microscope. Not only are the flakes of plating usually quite readily apparent, but the pattern of corrosion on the exposed substrate will sometimes show where the original cracking of the tin-plating occurred, revealing the stress placed on the plating by the manufacturing process.

Effective use of Stabilants require that the female connector be treated with sufficient material that the residue of this "metallic- dandruff" be purged from the contact area. Even though the substrate material is exposed, the connectors will generally be serviceable upon treatment.

One caveat. As many of these connectors use insulation-piercing designs as part of the female contact, the service engineer should make sure that the connector problem is not caused by migration of plasticizers from the wire's insulation into the contact between the bared wire and the insulation-piercing part of the contact. Under some circumstances this junction, rather than the actual male-female contact pair, can be the source of trouble, and should be treated with Stabilant 22A or Stabilant22E.

Revision 2


Stabilants are a product of Dayton Wright research & development and are made in Canada

NSCM/Cage Code - NATO Supply Code 38948

15 mL of S22A has NATO Part # 5999-21-900-6937


The Stabilants are patented in Canada - 1987; US Patent number 4696832. World-wide patents pending. Because the patents cover contacts treated with the material, a Point-of-sale License is granted with each sale of the material.

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS ARE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST


Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trade Marks of D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd.

Copyright 2003 - D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd. This note may be reproduced or copied, provided its content is not altered. The term "contact enhancer", 1983 Wright Electroacoustics.


NOTICE: This Application Note is based on customer-supplied information, and D.W. Electrochemicals is publishing it for information purposes only. In the event of a conflict between the instructions supplied by the manufacturer of the equipment on which the Stabilant material was used, and the service procedure employed by our customer, we recommend that the manufacturer be contacted to make sure that warranties will not be voided by the procedures.

While to our knowledge the information is accurate, prospective users of the material should determine the suitability of the Stabilant materials for their application by running their own tests. Neither D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or any consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.

Stabilant, Stabilant 22, and product type variations thereof are Trade Marks of D.W Electrochemicals Ltd.

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Stabilant
Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.
Stabilant 22
APPLICATION NOTES
1. Electronic Equipment
2. Computer cards
3. Schadow switches
4. Mic connectors
5. RTS & Dual plug patch bays
6. Biomedical Electronics
7. Computing & Peripherals
8. Cable TV
9. Robotics
10. Environmental Impact
11. Recording studios
12. Broadcast equipment
13. Mobile Radio
14. Educational computing
15. Stereo systems
16. Aid to IC insertion
17. Navigational equipment
18. Card edge conn. problems
19. Complex process control
20. Automotive service
21. Gold plating/solder alloy
22. Very high humidity
23. High current thermal runaway
24. Car stereo systems
25. Plastic element pots.
26. Farm machinery & trucks
27. Model & hobby
28. RF case seals
29. Outdoor environments
30. Computer crashes
31. Relays & switches
32. Silicone problems
33. Tin-plated contacts
34. Solder flux & resin residue
35. Post application color tinting
36. Aircraft connectors w/ flurosilicones
37. Avoiding unsafe solvents
38. S22 R&D Design Goals
39. Stabilant use on PLCC's
40. Sensor problem solution
41. Repair of flood damage
42. Marine electrical & electronics
43. All Cameras & Video Equipment
44. SCSI removable SCA drives, caddies & connections
45. Home Theater & Computer Connectors

Some of these application notes are repetitive of material in other application notes. We realize this. But some were written as a reference to a contact problem in a particular field or application.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
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Stabilant 22
REVIEWS
Over the years, Stabilant 22 has been highly parsed in publications that target a wide range of electronics applications including:
* Andrew Marshall's Audio Ideas Guide
* BYTE Magazine (7 articles)
* Windows Magazine
* Q.S.T. Amateur Radio
* Model Railroads (2 articles)
* Motor Magazine
Stabilant 22
TECHNICAL NOTES
1. MSDS - Stabilant 22
2. General Information
4. MSDS - Stabilant 22A
5. MSDS - Stabilant 22E
9. MSDS - Stabilant 22L
20. Military Applications
21. Elastomer Compatibility
22. Effectiveness of Stabilants
24. Connector Harmonic Distortion
39. Signal rise time

There are gaps in the sequence numbers below because some Technical Note s were written by the manufacturer for specific companies and are confidential.

NOTICE: This data has been supplied for information purposes only. While to our knowledge it is accurate, users should determine the suitability of the material for their application by running their own tests. Neither R.A.L. Audio Services, D.W. Electrochemicals Ltd., their distributors, or their dealers assume any responsibility or liability for damages to equipment and/or consequent damages, howsoever caused, based on the use of this information.
Stabilant
Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

Stabilant 22 Contact Enhancer

We carry the complete line of Stabilant products. Looking for something not listed here? Please contact us.

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