Gleco offers tin plating for those customers seeking a non-toxic, highly conductive, and crack-resistant finish. This soft, silver-white metal can be molded and stretched into a wide range of shapes, delivering everything from a dull finish to a bright shiny silver finish.
The primary users of tin plating include the electronics industry, the food processing industry, the construction industry, and the energy industry (particularly solar).
Gleco offers ASTM-B-545, MIL-T-10727, and AMS-2408 Tin plating.
The Tin Plating Process
Tin can be electrodeposited onto nearly any type of metal using the following process:
- Cleaning: All oil, grease, and surface contaminants are removed from the part to be plated.
- Bath preparation: Deciding on the ideal solution is critical to achieving the desired result.
- Electrodeposition: The part is lowered into the bath, serving as the cathode (negatively charged electrode), and the positive electrical current is introduced.
- Post-treatment: Additional applications, such as passivation or heat treating, may be applied during this optional final step.
Over the years, there have been several improvements in the overall tin plating process. These include pre-plating, using less current density, eliminating contaminates, baking parts, reflowing the tin coating using hot coils or lamps, and reducing or eliminating organics added to the tin plating bath.
Tin also has several alloys that can be added to achieve particular results, including cobalt, lead, nickel, and zinc. Nickel and cobalt increase hardness and reduce friction. Lead improves solderability. And zinc increases corrosion protection.
Benefits of Tin Plating
Tin plating offers several advantages, including:
- Lower cost
- Aesthetic appeal
- Quality shielding
- Clean contact solderability
- Corrosion resistance
Typical Tin Plating Applications
Tin plating can be used with several materials, including aluminum, brass, copper, steel, stainless steel, and die-cast zinc. It is used for:
- Printed circuit boards
- Food prep and cookware
- Battery terminals
- Aerospace housings
- Telecommunications equipment
- Circuit breakers
- Hardware and fasteners