Electrodeposited Tin Plating
Tin plating is the process of depositing a coating of solderable tin plating onto the surface of a material via an electrical current. Electroplating tin is an extremely cost-effective process. This is due to tin being so readily available and much less expensive than metals such as gold, platinum or palladium.
Tin is a soft, ductile, silvery-white metal that is not easily oxidized in air. It has good conductivity and corrosion resistance while enhancing solderability of substrates that are not otherwise easily soldered to.
Tin Plating & Whisker Development
Whisker development is a common problem in tin plating. We make a concerted effort to avoid this during our electrodeposition processes, utilizing low ASF (amps/ft2) and constant agitation of the chemical baths. Compatible underplatings, especially nickel, can help mitigate tin whisker growth, as well.
Tin Plating Benefits
Tin electrodeposits can produce a whitish-grey color that is preferable when a dull or matte appearance is desired. It can also produce a shiny, metallic look when a bit more luster is preferred. Tin offers a decent level of conductivity, making tin plating useful in the manufacturing of various electronic components. Tin is also FDA approved for use in the foodservice industry. Other electroplating tin benefits include:
- Good contact resistance
- Excellent solderability
- Highly effective for shielding
Tin Plating Vs Silver Plating
Tin electrodeposits are primarily used for functional purposes such as providing a level of protection or corrosion resistance to a range of items. Tin is extremely cost-effective and is commonly applied to a preliminary coating of copper. Silver, on the other hand, should be utilized when considering increasing a product’s lifecycle by replacing the coating material. Silver also has a much higher melting temperature and corrosion resistance than tin, but it is also much more expensive.
Electroplating Tin Applications
Solderable tin plating services are utilized for a wide range of purposes across a bevvy of industries, including:
- Military/defense – An effective military coating must address conductivity, insulation, hardness, ruggedness, oxygen deprivation and/or saturation, exposure to various chemical and caustic environments, or other factors.
- Medical – Our electroless nickel plating provides performance and extended working life for parts and components in all types of invasive and non-invasive medical instrumentation, tools, and equipment.
- Aerospace - To ensure operational safety and optimum performance of critical parts and components, we provide high precision, high-performance nickel electroplating finishing services that meet or exceed the aerospace industry’s stringent standards.
- Aviation - We provide the highest quality aircraft electroless nickel plating, with perfect uniformity and consistency across the entire surface of the treated part for proper corrosion resistance.
- Commercial – Our electroplating services for the commercial industry provide metal finishing and corrosion resistance for thousands of unique commercial parts.
Quality Control & Industry Standards for Tin Electrodeposits
We monitor and regularly test our tin plating chemical baths to ensure that ideal chemistry is maintained. Our tin platings meet a wide range of industry standards for tin electrodeposits, some of which include:
- ASTM B545
- And more
In addition, we maintain full documentation of all our electrodeposited tin plating, heat treating, and other aspects of the finishing process. This documentation helps us maintain our own high standards of quality, and is key to creating ideal platings for our customers' needs.