Nanocrystalline Silver Alloy Contact Finishes in Electronic Applications

Dr. Bob reviews two recently published papers to draw conclusions on the possible use of nanocrystalline silver alloy contact finishes in electronic applications. In my previous article, in which I mentioned two recent papers* on the nanocrystalline silver alloys of silver-tungsten (AgW) and silver-palladium (AgPd) and their use as contact finishes, I highlighted the potential benefits these alloysRead More

Nanocrystalline Silver Contact Platings

New silver alloys address the issues of durability and conductivity through a fundamental difference in crystalline structure. Dr. Bob takes a closer look at nanocrystalline silver contact platings.   Two papers* were published last year that introduced nanocrystalline silver alloy contact platings – one a silver-palladium alloy and the other silver-tungsten. Both papers cite theRead More

Dr. Bob on Gold Flash Contact Finishes (and Max Peel)

To honor his former colleague Max Peel, who passed away in April, Dr. Bob discusses gold flash contact finishes and the warning that is Peel’s Law. This article will eventually be about gold flash contact finishes, but it begins with a few words about my colleague Max Peel. Max passed away on April 16 ofRead More

Corrosion and Contact Resistance

Dr. Bob follows up his recent article on connector contact lubricants with a look at connector corrosion and contact resistance. While I was making the final edits to my recent Connector Supplier article on connector contact lubricants, I looked at the figure in that article, which showed the structure of the contact interface on a microscale,Read More

Connector Contact Lubricants

Connector contact lubricants can reduce mating forces and contact wear, and there are lubricants to do just that. But the real goal is to get more than just friction/wear reduction from a lubricant. For many of us the first thing that comes to mind when the word “lubricant” comes up is “slippery stuff,” motor oil,Read More

Vibration: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

October 2013 – In a follow-up to Dr. Bob’s article on connector wear in the last issue, his colleague Max Peel discusses the challenges of vibration in both connector and end-system designs. In the case of vibration testing, EIA requirements generally include a visual for structural integrity and monitoring for a 1.0 microsecond interruption. Occasionally low-level contact resistance or contact resistance at rated current measurements are included. This is the area for review, and change is necessary but somewhat complex.

Dr. Bob on Connector Wear Mechanisms

September 2013 – Wear issues are best addressed in the design and manufacture of the connector system. Dr. Bob explains what causes wear in a connector and how the science behind the process works, then makes recommendations to help protect against connector wear in your next design.

Porosity – The (w)Hole Story

April 2, 2013 – Dr. Bob returns with part two of our feature on porosity. He responds to his cohort, Max Peel — is this the moment they will agree on everything?

Porosity: Real World Concerns

March 5, 2013 – Pore corrosion is time-dependent and porosity has caused field problems in as little as a few weeks or as long as years down the line, depending on the application environment and performance requirements. Max Peel of Contech Research explains the causes and concerns of porosity, and his cohort Dr. Bob returns next month with part two of this tutorial.

Nickel Underplates: Then and Now

August 7, 2012 – Nickel is the underplate material of choice and has been such since the late ’70s. Here’s a look at its history — and at its pros and cons.


Stress Relaxation II – Effects on Performance

Stress Relaxation II Effects on Performance The February feature, Stress Relaxation I: Mechanisms, Materials and Temperature, described the mechanism of stress relaxation as repositioning of atoms to reduce localized stresses and the resulting loss in contact force, and reduction in mechanical stability. Now, let’s see how that repositioning and force reduction can affect connector performanceRead More

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