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Metals 2012, 2(4), 450-477; doi:10.3390/met2040450

Corrosion Protection of Electrically Conductive Surfaces

Precision Engineering Laboratory, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, Liebigstrasse 87, 32657 Lemgo, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 June 2012 / Revised: 10 September 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012


The basic function of the electrically conductive surface of electrical contacts is electrical conduction. The electrical conductivity of contact materials can be largely reduced by corrosion and in order to avoid corrosion, protective coatings must be used. Another phenomenon that leads to increasing contact resistance is fretting corrosion. Fretting corrosion is the degradation mechanism of surface material, which causes increasing contact resistance. Fretting corrosion occurs when there is a relative movement between electrical contacts with surfaces of ignoble metal. Avoiding fretting corrosion is therefore extremely challenging in electronic devices with pluggable electrical connections. Gold is one of the most commonly used noble plating materials for high performance electrical contacts because of its high corrosion resistance and its good and stable electrical behavior. The authors have investigated different ways to minimize the consumption of gold for electrical contacts and to improve the performance of gold plating. Other plating materials often used for corrosion protection of electrically conductive surfaces are tin, nickel, silver and palladium. This paper will deal with properties and new research results of different plating materials in addition to other means used for corrosion protection of electrically conductive surfaces and the testing of corrosion resistance of electrically conductive surfaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: corrosion; fretting; wear; plating materials; passivation; gold; nanoparticles; electrical contacts corrosion; fretting; wear; plating materials; passivation; gold; nanoparticles; electrical contacts

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Song, J.; Wang, L.; Zibart, A.; Koch, C. Corrosion Protection of Electrically Conductive Surfaces. Metals 2012, 2, 450-477.

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