This is a picture of a copper wire that used to have tin plating and nickel plated pad. The wire was running 120V at 60Hz. The connection was placed in a non-hermetical container where chlorides in the atmosphere were high. Over time the chlorides attacked the exposed copper and undermined the tin plating on the copper wires. The resistance in the wire increased, the copper arced due to this increased resistance and the socket assembly failure to corrosion.
There are a number of places that have high concentrations of environmental contaminants: swimming pools, steel plants, paper mills, coal plants, parking garages, etching, and plating plants. Even countries or areas have higher than normal pollutants indigenous to that area. Electronic circuits cannot tolerate most of these chemicals; some migrate with voltage, others with voltage and humidity, others with nothing but the chemical itself. This analysis was performed on an SEM-EDS
If your company is experiencing some unknown failures in the field, then investigate the cause of the failure using our expertise of both electronics and chemical methods of analysis to find the cause and save your product and retain your customer.
Gideon Analytical Labs can solve many different kinds of problems based on its instrumentation and experience. Use us the next time you are having a problem.