Palladium and Nickel Palladium Plating

 

Xmultiple's Engineering Department


What is palladium plating?

Palladium coatings are useful for many different purposes. From ASTM B679 ˇV 98(2004)e1, ˇ§Palladium is the lightest and least noble of the platinum group metals. It has a specific gravity of 12.0, which is substantially less than gold (19.3) and platinum (21.5). This yields a greater volume or thickness of coating and, consequently, some saving of metal weight accompanied by a small sacrifice in corrosion resistance and reflectivity. The hardness range of electrodeposited palladium compares favorably with the other electroplated noble metals and their alloys.ˇ¨ As we see from the ASTM specification, palladium coatings offer corrosion resistance and reflectivity at a lower weight than gold or platinum. Palladium coatings are harder than ˇ§hard goldˇ¨ or cobalt hardened gold coatings in general. Palladiumˇ¦s non-oxidizing properties make it useful for electrical and electronic connectors. Palladium coatings can be applied to most types of materials including metals and non-conductive plastics, ceramics and other materials. Palladium coatings are more ductile and less porous than hard gold. Some customers prefer a flash of gold below the palladium topcoat to improve solderability.

Palladium coatings typically have a minimum thickness of 50uˇ¨ or 1.3 microns on functional surfaces. Palladium coatings are harder, more corrosion resistant and less porous compared to hard gold. Palladium is a precious metal and it costs more than many other metals such as copper, nickel, tin or silver. Palladium coatings appear white or gray in color. Palladium coatings are softer and less wear resistant compared to rhodium. Silver and copper are more electrically conductive, and silver is also better for soldering and thermocompression bonding compared to palladium.

 

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