Gleco offers QQ-S-365, ASTM B700, AMS 2410, AMS 2411 & AMS 2412 silver plating for customers needing a conductive, corrosion, and wear-resistant, matte-white finish. Silver plating finishes are offered based on grade, hardness, and type, resulting in several specific configurations:
- Type I: Matte
- Type II: Semi-Bright
- Type III: Bright
- Hardness A
- Hardness B
- Hardness C
- Hardness D
- Grade A: With Chromate
- Grade B: Without Chromate
Silver has the highest thermal and electrical conductivity of all metals (above copper and gold). Silver is one of the most common connector finishes, particularly in automotive connector applications. It offers results similar to gold plating but is cheaper.
Although generally considered a precious metal, silver is more properly classified as a semi-precious metal because it readily tarnishes when exposed to air or water containing an oxidant and source of sulfur. To inhibit tarnishing, the surface of silver-plated metals is often treated with chromate. This protects the final finish and delays the tarnishing of the silver.
The Silver Plating Process
Silver is electrodeposited according to the following process:
- Cleaning is performed to remove any surface contaminants (e.g., oil, grease, etc.).
- The solution is prepared according to the substrate and desired result.
- The part is lowered into the plating solution for the silver electrodeposition.
- Additional treatments, such as passivation or heat treating, are applied (based on need).
Silver plating can be used to finish several metal substrates, including:
- Aluminum alloys and castings
- Stainless steel
- Zinc die cast
Benefits of Silver Plating
Silver plating is used for its numerous benefits, including:
- Antibacterial properties
- High solderability
- Corrosion and wear resistance
- Electrical and thermal conductivity
Another key consideration in the use of silver plating is its cost. It offers results similar to gold plating but is much cheaper.
Typical Silver Plating Applications
Silver plating is used by the aerospace, energy, electronics, medical, military, oil and gas, medical, semiconductor, and transportation (electric vehicle (EV)) industries to deposit silver solutions onto:
- Microwave components
- Stamped switch contacts
- Connectors (particularly automotive)