Tin Plating: Non-Toxic, Good Corrosion Resistance & Excellent Solderability

What Is Tin Plating?

Tin plating is the process of electrolytically depositing a thin layer of tin onto a base part. Tin is a commonly used plating material because it:

  • is non-toxic.
  • has good corrosion resistance.
  • has excellent solderability.
  • can range from matte to bright as deposited.
  • can be reflowed (fused) to produce a high luster.

Matte Tin Plated Part
Matte Tin Plated Part

Used To Plate Iron Or Steel Parts

Tin is often used to plate iron or steel parts to prevent rust and make them safe for food handling and storage applications. (Example: tin cans.) Tin is very soft and ductile, so parts that are plated with tin can be stamped, bent, and formed into various shapes without damaging the tin layer. Often the tin acts as a lubricant during these operations.

Acid Tin Plating Baths

Acid baths can produce matte deposits or when combined with brightening agents can produce bright plated surfaces.

Pure Tin & The Tin Whiskers Phenomenon

Pure tin had been used in the electronics industry for many years to prevent oxidation of contacts and connectors, but it was found that pure tin, particularly bright tin, can grow tin whiskers capable of shorting out electronic equipment .

Taming Tin Whiskers

One solution to mitigate tin whisker growth was to add lead to the tin, but with new RoHS requirements to remove lead from consumer and electronic components, other strategies were required to prevent the growth of tin whiskers. Performing a tin reflow (fusing) after plating can significantly reduce the potential for tin whisker growth as can the use of Hot Tin Dipping.

Tin Plating Specifications

Hi-Tech Plating produces tin in accordance with ASTM-B-545 and MIL-T-10727 ensuring the highest quality results. While MIL-T-10727 has now been withdrawn, it is still in widespread use on many blueprints. Hi-Tech Plating is ISO 9001:2000/AS9100 Rev B and NADCAP certified.

Contact Hi-Tech Plating Today

Hi-Tech Plating will work with you to ensure that the right type of plating is selected for your application. Put our expertise - and our top quality and service - to work for you today.