Author Topic: Corrosion Resistant Contacts - What to get?  (Read 1800 times)

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Offline Zekromtor

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Corrosion Resistant Contacts - What to get?
« on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 16:49:29 »
I'm looking into making my own switches to satisfy my oddball tastes, and I'm having trouble sourcing the right material for the oh-so-important contacts. Gold plating is the standard for electrical contacts, but after doing a bit of research, it appears it's not so simple. If you're gold plating copper you need to plate with nickel first and I'm sure there are a host of other metallurgical factors at play so I'd like to just source some material to use that I can trust.

What can you recommend to use that will give me superior protection against corrosion? Flat, thin springy metal would be idea, but I'd be happy with wire if it was quality. I can design the switch around the needs of the connectors.

Offline Tactile

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Re: Corrosion Resistant Contacts - What to get?
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 12 January 2017, 17:35:37 »
I think I'd try using automotive distributor points. These are made to work in a very harsh environment and also last a long time. The contacts are already installed on spring arms which you can cut into shape and there are obviously a lot of different ones  to try in order to find just the right size/shape.

As to plating, look for a musical instrument repair shop. Those folks regularly do small part plating for repair/restoration of woodwind and brass instruments.

Offline Wingklip

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Re: Corrosion Resistant Contacts - What to get?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 14 January 2017, 15:27:28 »
You could try bearing material like graphite. In reality though gold contacts would likely wear out pretty fast so I wouldn't really say it worth the cost. After all if the contact is sliding or hammering most of the oxide would easily break off at every keystroke.
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