Updated: February 21st, 2019

In the latest installment in our Connector Basics series, Ed Bock of APEX Electrical Interconnection Consultants looks at the ability of a contact system to operate in spite of external contamination and contact design considerations for long-term reliability.

 

ReliabilityFor those critical electrical contact applications where the consequences of failure are severe and long-term reliability is paramount, reliance is customarily placed on noble metal finishes. Gold is by far the noble-metal finish of choice; at the proper thickness and with an appropriate underplate, gold will form little or no tarnish film. A key issue with respect to the ability of a contact system to operate successfully in spite of external contamination factors is the presence/entrapment of non-conducting material