Galvanic surfaces differ from chemical surfaces in that the layout must include an electrical connection to all copper surfaces to be plated. Subsequent mechanical or etching removal of the leads is possible, but is technically complex and can only be carried out with restrictions from the design point of view.
As an alternative to electroless nickel/thick gold, the surface for gold wire bonding can be electroplated. The reliability problems with soldering on high gold layer thicknesses correspond to those of chem. Thick gold. The storage time is more than 12 months.
Hard gold alloyed with cobalt, carbon or nickel (hardness 60-180 HV) is used for insertion connectors (0.8 – 2 µm), sliding contacts (2 – 5 µm) and for long-term stable tip contacts. This surface is not intended for soldering, although practiced for some applications.
As an alternative to hard gold, tip and sliding contacts can be provided with carbon lacquer at a lower cost, provided that suitable mating contacts are used (see information on lacquers and foils).
Special technology: Galvanic silver
Analogous to silver-plated plug contacts, which are often found in high-current applications, plug connectors can also be silver-plated in a special process. Plug contacts are fundamentally more reliable if both sides have the same metallization.
Special technology: Galvanic tin
Surfaces can be electroplated with pure tin. This is only used in special applications.
Special technology: Galvanic tin/lead solder deposit
The galvanic deposition of SnPb as solder deposit saves the application of solder paste, which is a potential source of errors during assembly, especially with small components. The uniform solder layer is also particularly advantageous.
This surface is now only very rarely practiced.
For further questions regarding electroplated surfaces, please contact our technology manager Dr. Lehnberger: