Reflow Tin Plating – Reduce Tin Whisker Formation & Adhere to RoHS Directives

Since the early 20th century, tin whiskers have been causing short circuits and arcing that may result in premature device failure or overall product reliability issues in electrical devices that have been electroplated with pure tin finishes. This is because pure tin finishes develop intermetallic formation under the deposit as they age. The addition of lead into tin plating chemistries has provided a very effective reduction of tin whisker formation for over half a century; however, the European RoHS directive that is being adopted across the world has required the elimination of lead from nearly all electronic products. This has driven a demand for Reflow Tin Plating – a whisker resistant pure tin finish for electronics components

Precision’s Reflow Plating Process

We have refined the reflow tin plating process by incorporating highly developed reflow equipment along with in-line reflow monitoring to produce a consistent and reliable finish. Reflow plating the pure tin deposit significantly reduces the whisker formation while converting the matte tin finish to a smooth bright finish. This is done by heating the plated deposit to a temperature slightly above the melting point and then quickly cooling the deposit producing a stress free, mirror bright finish. Precision offers reflow tin or tin/lead either overall or selective on pre-plate and stamped parts in reel-to-reel applications. It is also possible to combine reflow plating in one zone on a part with precious metal or un-reflowed tin or tin/lead in another zone on the same part.

Advantages of Tin Reflow Plating

• Slower intermetallic formation
• Much lower likelihood of whisker formation with age
• Dense and porosity-free deposit.
• Reduced surface oxidation
• Improved solderability
• Offers electronic components an improved insertion force
• Improved insertion force
• Uniform distribution
• Excellent formability before stamping

Precision’s Reflow Plating Process

Reflowed tin offers a number of benefits and Precision Plating is proud of our work with this plating process. We want to talk to you about your unique reflow project, contact us today.

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