Copper busbars are used in any industry where the efficient conduction of electricity is of paramount importance. As more and more sectors require these crucial components, including power generation and distribution, electric vehicles, telecommunications, streaming services, internet providers, and more, businesses are always in need of a cost-effective solution that delivers exceptional results.
Tin plating is one of the most popular metal finishes for copper busbars, and in this article, we will explain by discussing the various qualities tin plating provides to busbar manufacturers.
What is the tin plating of busbars?
Benefits of Tin Plating for Copper Busbars
Tin plating offers several measurable benefits to its end users. With the increase in production of electric vehicles and renewables like solar panels, we have seen an increase in the demand for cost effective coating solutions and see tinning as one of the most viable options available for this use case. These are some of the popular benefits:
Dull tin plating flows effectively during the soldering process to help create more reliable and durable solder joints. This is of key importance when connecting elements of an electrical system with copper busbars.
Improved protection against corrosion
Tin is naturally resistant to corrosion, making it a good protective coating for copper busbars, particularly if they are employed in environments that have high humidity.
Enhanced electrical conductivity
Copper busbars are already highly conductive, but a layer of tin makes them even more so. Tin oxides offer greater conductivity than copper alone and are also relatively thin, making them easy to wipe away when installing sliding or lapping contacts, such as joined copper busbars.
When two metal surfaces come in contact with each other, they can experience wear and tear. This can cause small pieces of metal to break off, leading to decreased performance and efficiency, as well as increased friction. This phenomenon is known as galling. However, if bus bars are coated with tin, this can be prevented.
There are big cost savings to be had by opting for tin plating of your busbars as tin costs less than other finishes like gold and silver whilst giving you all the similar benefits these other precious metals.
Bright Tin Plating vs. Dull Tin Plating
Tin plating solutions come in two major varieties: bright and dull, each of which has its own unique advantages.