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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1999

Panayota Vassiliou and Constantine T. Dervos

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0003-5599

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