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A Thin Film Lubricant for Connector Contacts

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3 Author(s)
Spergel, J. ; U. S. Army Electronics Labs. ; Godwin, E. ; Steinberg, G.

A thin film lubricant has been developed for gold plated contacts. This film is Octadecylamine-hydrochloride (ODA·HCL), and it exhibits excellent adherence to gold surfaces. The friction between solid gold surfaces and gold plated surfaces was reduced by a factor of approximately 4 to 1. The lubricating properties of this film have been adequately demonstrated under loads ranging from 20 to 300 grams while providing metal-to-metal electrical contact. The stability of this film has been demonstrated in exposure tests performed in the laboratory as well as direct exposure to industrial, marine and smog atmospheres in the United States. In all instances, the thin film maintained its lubricating properties and its low electrical resistance characteristics. The adherence of the film to the gold surface is believed to involve only physical adsorption primarily by van der Waals forces, however, this phenomena is still being studied. An interim batch method of coating contacts was developed and indicates the feasibility of a production technique of applying reliable coatings to contacts. Octadecylamine-hydrochloride film was found to be superior to other types of lubricants tried on gold plated surfaces and offers a potential of considerable improvement in gold plated connector contacts in a wide variety of applications.

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Parts, Materials and Packaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 1 )