Influence of Fretting Wear on Lifetime of Tin Plated Connectors

Hirosaka IKEDA  Tetsuya ITO  Shigeru SAWADA  Yasuhiro HATTORI  Yasushi SAITOH  Terutaka TAMAI  Kazuo IIDA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E92-C   No.9   pp.1215-1222
Publication Date: 2009/09/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E92.C.1215
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Electromechanical Devices and Components
fretting wear,  lifetime,  tin plate,  electric connector,  

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Due to the recent increase in electronic devices mounted on automobiles, a large number of connectors, especially low-cost tin plated connectors are being used. As a result, their contact reliability has become problematic. Furthermore, for the connectors which are subjected to fretting wear caused by heat cycle and vibrations, the contact resistance increases because of wear of tin and deposition of oxides, which generates problems of poor contact. This study is intended to analyze the change in contact resistance of tin plated connectors from the start of fretting wear to the end of their lifetime from the viewpoint of practical reliability, and to observe the trace and the characteristics of fretting wear microscopically. This study found that wear and oxidation of tin plated connectors start immediately with fretting wear, and thus accumulation of abrasion powder on fretting areas causes connectors to reach to the end of their useful lifetime quickly. Especially, it was demonstrated that amplitude of fretting has a considerable influence on a connector's lifetime. It is made clear that air-tightness, so-called "gas-tight" of tin in a fretting area influences fretting wear considerably.