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Advantages and disadvantages of gold plating and silver plating

October 27, 2023

Compared with gold plating and silver plating processes, gold plating is more optimistic because gold plating is more durable and the corrosion resistance of silver plating is not as good as gold. Moreover, the silver layer will oxidize and slowly turn black over time, so no matter how good the process is, , loses its luster on the surface, and its viewing value will be greatly reduced.


The gold plating process must be very rigorous, especially the gold plating process of circuit boards. According to its process characteristics, gold plating can be divided into two types: gold plating without cyanide and gold plating with cyanide. Cyanide plating baths are divided into high cyanide and low cyanide plating baths. Sulfite gold plating solutions are most commonly used as cyanide-free plating solutions.


The silver-plated layer is easy to polish, has strong reflective ability and strong thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity and welding performance. Silver plating was first used for decoration. In the electronics industry, communication equipment and instrument manufacturing, silver plating is widely used to improve the outer layer of metal parts to improve the welding ability of metals.


The biggest advantage of gold plating over silver plating: gold is more stable. If silver is plated (no alloy, no protective layer), silver is easy to oxidize. What you can see is that the white and beautiful silverware at home will turn black over time, which is the oxide layer. After oxidation, impurities are added, which has a great impact. (PS: Things with better stability are more valuable, such as gold and diamonds, right) Also, sterling silver is softer and gold is more durable. In the long run, gold plating will be chosen, and gold has lower resistance and better solderability than silver, because the connection heat between terminals is relatively high, and the melting point of gold is higher than that of silver.


Electrical contacts need to be frequently plugged and unplugged or switched on and off. They require both wear resistance and good conductivity. They have very high requirements on the coating. Gold has higher chemical stability and hardness than silver (hard gold plating has higher hardness), and its electrical conductivity is higher than silver. It’s not much different, and the solderability is also very good. For the stability of electrical appliances, gold plating is better than silver plating.


Gold plating is more wear-resistant than silver plating, has good electrical conductivity, and has high hardness, so the electrical contact must be more stable.


Of course, compared to gold plating, the biggest advantage of silver plating is that it is cheap, and silver has the best conductivity among metals and is commonly used in the electrical industry.