Plating Requirements for Soldering Applications

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Surfaces to be soldered without the use of flux must be coated prior to soldering. The most common solderable metallic coatings that are used in the electronics assembly industry are gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and nickel, copper, tin and tin-lead. Vacuum deposition, sputtering, thick film or plating processes may apply these metallic coatings. Plating is probably the most commonly used of these processes. It is very important that plated deposits for soldering applications be free of porosity defects and chemical contaminants that adversely affect solderability. It is therefore necessary that stringent detailed plating requirements be imposed so that assembly level solderability problems can be avoided.

Plating deposits designed for the following applications are not necessarily solderable:
1. Corrosion protection
2. Wear resistance
3. Abrasion resistance
4. Decorative finish
5. Dry lubrication
6. Masking for heat treatment stop-off shield
7. Barrier between base material and an outside deposit


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