Tin/Lead Plating FAQ’s
Selective Plating provides coil-to-coil tin/lead plating in matte finish. Our tin/lead plating conforms to ASTM B579 and MIL-P-81728 (obsolete) requirements.
What is tin/lead plating?
Tin Lead plating consists of the simultaneous deposition of an alloy layer of tin and lead onto a base part. Tin-lead alloys are the easiest alloys that can be electroplated because they deposit at similar rates.
Tin/lead plating provides a soft, ductile and corrosion resistant surface. It is often used in electronic applications for its low melting temperature, solderability, conductivity, corrosion resistance and ductility.
What is “commercial coat” tin/lead plating?
Commercial coat refers to a thickness specification of 20-80 micro-inches (0.000020-0.000080”). See our Products/Services page Guidelines for more about recommended tin plating thickness specifications.
Is Selective’s tin/lead plating RoHS compliant?
No. For RoHS compliance a “pure” tin deposit is required. See our information on RoHS-compliant tin elsewhere on this site.
How does Selective certify tin plating thickness?
Tin/lead plating thickness is certified with each customer order with a certification document. Measurements are made according to ASTM B571 using X-ray fluorescence. Each coil processed is tested for conformance to the customer-supplied thickness requirement.
How does Selective certify tin/lead plating solderability?
Tin/lead plating solderability is measured according to methods outlines in ASTM B678. Testing can be done with our without artificial steam aging. Each coil processed is tested for conformance.
How does Selective certify tin/lead plating adhesion?
Tin/lead plating adhesion is measured using two tests as outlined in ASTM B571. Both the Bend Test and Scribe-Grid test are used. Each coil processed is tested for conformance.
What is the shelf life of tin/lead plating?
The “shelf life” of the solderability of tin/lead plating is affected by two main factors: storage conditions and plating specification. Storage conditions with elevated temperatures and high humidity will cause faster oxidation of the surface of the plating. A thin deposit will obviously be sacrificed to the elements faster than a thick one. So a heavier deposit will generally enjoy longer shelf life for solderability.
Tin/lead plating will form an inter-metallic layer with the base metal. This is desirable for adhesion purposes. Over time, this process continues and reduces the thickness of the pure tin layer from the underside of the deposit. This is especially true of zinc in brass alloys. The use of ASTM-specified under-plating will control this effect.
Can Selective certify the origin of the tin and lead used in its processes?
There is a legitimate concern that the metal ore may originally be mined in certain “areas of conflict” that are undesirable countries with which to do business. Selective does not purchase any metal originally mined or subsequently processed in any of these parts of the world.
A letter is available certifying this fact from our tin and lead metal supplier. You can download a PDF copy of it directly from our website by clicking on the Material Origin link on the Quality page.
Can Selective supply MSDS sheets for plated metal?
Yes. Selective offers MSDS sheets from our metal suppliers. Also, an MSDS sheet for each metal as plated is available. Go to the MSDS link on our Quality page.