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Advances in Tribology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 893145, 9 pages
Research Article

Correlation between Wear Resistance and Lifetime of Electrical Contacts

Precision Engineering Laboratory, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, Liebigstraße 87, 32657 Lemgo, Germany

Received 13 December 2011; Accepted 6 February 2012

Academic Editor: Dae Eun Kim

Copyright © 2012 Jian Song et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electrical contacts are usually plated in order to prevent corrosion. Platings of detachable electrical contacts experience wear because of the motion between contacts. Once the protecting platings have been worn out, electrical contacts will fail rapidly due to corrosion or fretting corrosion. Therefore the wear resistance of the platings is a very important parameter for the long lifetime of electrical contacts. Many measures which improve the wear resistance can diminish the conductivity of the platings. Due to the fact that platings of electrical contacts must have both a high wear resistance and a high electrical conductivity, the manufacturing of high performance platings of electrical contacts poses a great challenge. Our study shows firstly the correlation between the wear resistance of platings and lifetime of electrical contacts and then the measures, which improve the wear resistance without impairing the electrical performance of the contacts.