Corrosion effects on the electrical performance of silver metal contacts

Panayota Vassiliou (Department of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Constantine T. Dervos (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece)

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Publication date: 1 April 1999


In this work, commercial silver metal contacts welded on top of silver plated brass or brass substrates have been exposed to air rich in NaCl. Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive analysis of the exposed contact surfaces were performed to identify the corrosion by‐products on top of the silver contacts, suspending wafers, and welding materials. Surface corrosion products were mainly found to consist of small spherules of Cu‐Zn or Ag‐Cu compounds which cover the surface of the contact proper with low adhesion properties. They mainly originate from the underplating wafer or welding materials. Electrical characterization of the contacting materials was based on dc temperature overheat tests, current switching cycle tests, and energy storage during ac current excitation. The experimental results display that the operating environment is indeed a very significant parameter determining the overall performance of the electrical contacts. New design rules as well as material selection properties may have to be systematically considered to allow for electrochemical induced degradation in saline operating environments.



Vassiliou, P. and Dervos, C.T. (1999), "Corrosion effects on the electrical performance of silver metal contacts", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 46 No. 2, pp. 85-94.

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Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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