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Contact Considerations
Battery Contact Considerations

Dimensional:  ANSI and IEC industry standard dimensions should be used when designing a battery compartment to avoid battery fit problems.

Mechanical Properties:  The material must have enough ductility, should be strong to avoid deformation, should not relax over time, and should resist wear.

Electrical Conductivity:  The better the conductivity of the connector the lower the contact resistance will be.

Environmental Stability:  It is particular important that the contact material does not corrode, or cause corrosion of the materials that it is in contact with. 

Cost:  No material is perfect.  There are often trade-offs between the aforementioned material considerations. 

Practical solutions often involve coating a substrate to get an optimum combination of properties.  That is, the coating primarily provides the electrical and environmental properties; whereas, the substrate gives most of the mechanical properties, with a possible cost reduction if a relatively cheap material is used.

Plating and Substrates

1. Gold Plating  - Provides the most reliable metal-to-metal contact under all environmental conditions.

2. Nickel (Solid)  - Provides excellent resistance to environmental corrosion and is second only to gold plating as a contact material. Solid nickel can be easily drawn or formed.

3.Nickel Clad Stainless  - Performs almost as well as solid nickel with excellent resistance to corrosion.

4. Nickel-Plated Stainless  - A widely used material. Non-plated stainless steel is not recommended due to the adverse impact of passive films, which develop on the surface and result in poor electrical contact.

5. Inconnel Alloy  - Provides good electrical conductivity and good corrosion resistance. However, soldering may be difficult unless an active flux is used.

6. Nickel-Plated Cold-Rolled Steel  - An economical contact material that provides a good contact surface for welding and soldering.

The connectors used with conventional cylindrical cells are primarily Ni-plated

The Ni-plating must be adherent, continuous, non-porous, and resistant to wear. The suggested plating thickness is 200 micro-inches.

Avoid Sn-plating for connectors due to possible galvanic corrosion and fretting wear/corrosion.

















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