Silver is a white colored, semi-precious metal, which, due to its property of high electrical conductivity, is often used in the electronics and semiconductor industries.
Due to silver’s conductivity, the microwave and satellite industries use it to carry high-frequency signals and reduce the amount of heat generated compared with copper. Another benefit is the reduction in “skin depth” generated when using silver compared to other less conductive materials.
Silver is also the best heat conductor of all metal plating materials and offers great solderability. Unlike copper, oxidized silver retains a conductive surface. Copper oxide builds resistance that is much higher than silver oxide.
Silver’s lubricity and high-temperature resistance allow engine manufacturers to use silver in the place of lubricants. It is used on bearing surfaces and anti-galling applications. Some applications might be bearings or gear teeth that are exposed to high temperatures in jet engines, or auxiliary power units where lubricants fail.
Hardness varies from about 90 Brinell to 135 Brinell hardness numbers depending on process and plating conditions. Solderability is excellent but decreases with age. Plating silver offers the best electrical conductivity, though this conductivity diminishes with time and oxidation.
Silver acts as an economically beneficial metal plating that may be put to good use for a lower price compared to other precious metals like gold or platinum.
Valence Surface Technologies has two types of silver plating available:
Matte silver plating is used in areas requiring low electrical resistance and good solderability.
Semi-bright silver plating is used where low electrical resistance isn’t a primary requirement, and in some areas where a decorative finish is desired. Semi-bright silver is more resistant to fingerprinting during assembly operations than matte silver, and it has good solderability.
Silver Plate Process