LITESURF plating technology
TE Connectivity’s new, sustainable LITESURF plating offers ultra-low risk of whisker growth in automotive electronic components.
November 14, 2017
Bensheim, Germany – TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensor solutions, today announced the launch of its LITESURF plating technology designed to minimize the risk of whiskers that can short-circuit electronic components and cause potential system failure. TE’s new bismuth-based solution for press-fit applications can reduce the risk of whisker growth by a factor of over 1600 compared to traditional tin technology.
The increasing amount of electronics in vehicles has led component manufacturers to use press-fit technology for printed circuit board (PCB) connectivity. Plating is applied to the pins to assist with lubrication and protect against surface damage due to oxidization and other causes. Traditionally, plating solutions comprised of tin and lead (Pb), but with the global phase-out of harmful substances pin plating solutions primarily consist of tin (Sn).
Tin does have its limitations, including the risk of whisker growth which occurs when tin film is stressed such as during pin insertion into a PCB. Tin whiskers can grow long enough to bridge to other metal components and, in extreme cases, cause electronic components to short-circuit leading to potential system failure. As a result, automotive component manufacturers are seeking new alternatives.
“Automotive manufacturers recognize the benefits of reliable solder-free technologies such as press-fit, but want to eliminate risk from whisker growth,” said Frank Schabert, Senior Manager, R&D. “Our LITESURF plating technology is based on bismuth, a harmless substance with all the favorable characteristics of tin but with ultra-low whisker risk. It can easily replace tin on a production plating line with minimal process disruption.”
TE will be showcasing the new LITESURF plating technology at the Productronica Exhibition in Munich between 14 and 17 November, 2017.
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TE Connectivity Ltd. is a $13 billion global technology and manufacturing leader creating a safer, sustainable, productive, and connected future. For more than 75 years, our connectivity and sensor solutions, proven in the harshest environments, have enabled advancements in transportation, industrial applications, medical technology, energy, data communications, and the home. With 78,000 employees, including more than 7,000 engineers, working alongside customers in nearly 150 countries, TE ensures that EVERY CONNECTION COUNTS.