LUMA Metall supplies wires to the electronics industry. The wire supplied is mainly gold plated molybdenum, gold plated brass and gold plated copper wire. All these materials are rather soft and flexible, which is of the essence for some of the electronics applications it is used for.
Gold plated wire is used to provide a corrosion-resistant electrically conductive layer on the core wire. This is common in electrical connectors and printed circuit boards. Furthermore, the gold surface improves solderability and weldability.
In the case of using copper wire as core wire, copper atoms have a tendency of diffusing through the gold coat, which causes tarnishing of the surface and creates oxides and/or sulphides. Therefore; LUMA offers a nickel and gold plated quality. A nickel strike is added before performing the gold plating. This prevents the copper atoms from reaching through the gold coat and also improves the wear resistance.
LUMA wire is used in “fuzz buttons”, elastomeric connectors and wire bonding. These types of products are used in for example mobile phones and computer work stations.
“Fuzz buttons” are a type of discrete signal contacts, normally produced from one fine single wire formed into a dense cylinder. The wire has a high level of strength and conductivity. For this application LUMA mainly supplies gold plated molybdenum wire. Gold plated wire is used due to its conductivity and oxidation resistance. Adding a thin nickel strike before plating enhances the gold surface quality.
“Fuzz buttons” are used in both military and commercial applications, some areas being probes, aircrafts, computers and automotives. They are common in satellite and space applications due to its good performance in challenging environments of, for example, extreme vibration and shock.
Different types of wires are used; most commonly gold plated beryllium copper and gold plated molybdenum wires due to its high level of structural stability at extreme temperatures. Gold plated tungsten wire is used on states/environments operating at extremely high current or space related temperature ranges.
Elastomeric connectors, also known as Zebra connectors, are common in shock and anti-vibration applications. They are also used in harsh environments and if the aim is to receive high reliable connections. This type of connector can be found in mobile phones, radar systems, displays and memory cards.
The design of the elastomeric connector is striped; one layer in an insulated material and the other layer is a conductive wire for example gold plated copper wire or gold plated brass wire. To even further increase the quality of the gold surface, a thin nickel strike is applied onto the core wire before gold plating.
As micro-electronics and the miniaturization of products are increasing, reliability remains important. Elastomeric connectors offer a high performance even with their small size.
Wire bonding is a common interconnect technology, providing electrical paths for power and signals. Gold plated copper wire is a rather new alternative for the wire bonding industry. Previously, the most common wire used has been solid gold wire. However; the use of pure copper wire has increased due to the high price on gold. As copper wire has a tendency to corrode, a gold plated copper wire has proven to be an alternative in order to prevent corrosion.