Industry News

Impact's SilverMaxPhase Coating, a Gold Plating Replacement for Electronics is Granted Patent

Published on 2014-07-11. Author : SpecialChem

A patent for Silver MaxPhase coating for electrical contacts has been granted to Swedish PVD technology supplier Impact Coatings AB. The coating material can replace electroplated gold as a conduct finish in electronics.

The electronics industry uses gold for critical contact surfaces, e.g. for connectors to a value well exceeding EUR 1 billion annually. Gold is traditionally chosen for its good corrosion properties and low contact resistance. But gold is an expensive noble metal and the price is unpredictable, strongly affecting manufacturing profit margins and in the enf, component prices. Plating of gold also involves environmental and health risks, due to highly toxic cyanide used in the plating process. In addition to the risks, costs to conform to environmental and health legislation are increasing.

Silver max phase is low cost metal alloy with an inherent anti-tarnish behavior to prevent corrosion on the surface. This leads to contact properties similar to gold, even superior electrical conductivity, and allows replacement of the costly plating for many electrical contacts. Impact Coatings initially developed the contact finish in co-operation with mobile phone manufactures, but the material can be used for a wide range of applications. The silver max phase Coating is applied using PVD (physical vapor deposition), a vacuum coating technology that is much more eco -friendly than plating, and doesn't pose any threat to people in and around manufacturing plants. PVD is already commonly used in electronics manufacturing, i.e. in the semi-conductor industry.

Impact Coatings have developed a complete volume manufacturing solution for coating of SilverMaxPhase for connectors including cost-efficient reel-to-reel PVD coating equipment.

About Impact Coatings

Impact Coatings support industries around the world to develop a more efficient way to produce PVD-coated components. Its solution is to integrate PVD-processing into the production line, helping customers create true Lean Production flows. The key to Lean PVD is its deposition systems, from the very beginning designed to be integrated into production flows. This stands in strong contrast to traditional, batch loaded, box coater PVD systems.

Source: Impact Coatings

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