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Gold connector uses the function of nickel base plate

Why is it usually recommended to use a nickel base plate in most gold-plated connectors or contacts, especially if the substrate is copper or copper alloy? In fact, it is mainly due to the fact that nickel has some key functions to make the connector more reliable. The following mainly introduce the four main functions of the nickel plated plate for the gold-plated connector.

Gold connector uses the function of nickel base plate

The nickel base plate can be used as a leveling agent to produce a surface finish with lower roughness, which reduces friction and improves the wear resistance of gold-plated connectors or contacts.

Nickel plating is a hard coating that provides the basis for subsequent gold plating. This prevents hard gold deposits from rupturing and improves the overall wear resistance of the gold-plated connectors or contacts used in dynamic cycling.

Alloying elements such as copper and zinc and lead can diffuse into the gold plating by solid diffusion, thereby forming weak intermetallic or eutectic at the gold/matrix interface. This consumes some effective gold and reduces the integrity and function of the deposit, and the nickel substrate also forms an effective barrier to prevent diffusion migration at the gold/substrate interface.

The nickel base plate works in conjunction with the final gold plated layer to isolate the substrate from the environment and acts as an effective corrosion inhibitor, which can help reduce the total gold thickness required to prevent gold from corroding the substrate through deposits. Moreover, nickel liners have excellent corrosion resistance, while high purity nickel provides the best welding base. Therefore, the type and thickness of nickel should be carefully considered in the overall design of gold-plated connectors and contacts.

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