Selection of an appropriate finish system for a given connector application requires consideration of a number of connector and application requirements. Connector requirements include the number of mating cycles the connector must support over the lifetime of the application, the mating force and pin count required and the current capacity.
Application requirements include the thermal environment (both temperature and variation in temperature), harshness/corrosion, mechanical (vibration/shock) and the intended lifetime in the field. Consider each of the finishes discussed in this section in terms of these requirements. Please note that the following comments should be considered as “guidelines” rather than “rules” because there are many parameters that can be balanced against each other. The discussion will begin with non-noble finishes because, as the lowest cost finish systems, they merit first consideration.