Why We Need Metal Plating For The Microwave/RF Industry

Wireless technologies continues to evolve. As a result, the need for well designed high-performing microwave subsystems has increased as well. This is where silver plating for microwave/RF industry comes into play.

The subsystem needed for this industry are comprised of various RF and microwave components such as switches, filters, amplifiers, and mixers. These subsystems are dependent on devices that need to be equipped with soldered or brazed electrical contacts.

Silver Plating For Microwave/RF IndustryIn order to achieve this, it is essential that the part or device be subjected to numerous specialized manufacturing processes. One of these processes is known as microwave electronic plating,

Microwave electronic plating ensures reliability and longevity of the part or device and can provides a range of other benefits such as reducing the possibility of corrosion, increasing conductivity, lower surface friction and can also provide aesthetic benefits.

Silver Plating For Microwave RF Components 

Silver plating has been used specifically in the microwave/RF industries for several decades but is also used in virtually every industry.

The benefits of silver plating include high electrical and thermal conductivity, excellent lubricity, low contact resistance, low melting points. Additionally, silver is an affordable alternative to other precious metals such as gold or platinum making silver plating microwave components much more coast effective choice.

The most important attribute with silver plating in regards to microwave, is its superior electrical conductivity. A silver plated part can easily carry an extremely high current load while reducing loss at the highest microwave frequencies. This is especially important for attaining reduced levels of passive intermodulation.

Other Benefits And Considerations For Silver Plating For Microwave/RF Industry

In addition to the benefits and attributes listed above that make silver plating for Microwave/RF industry an excellent choice, it also can reduce intermodulation interference which results in improved signal transmissions. It also assists in reducing RF signal loss which in turn improves the “skin effect”

skin ef·fect


the tendency of a high-frequency alternating current to flow through only the outer layer of a conductor.

There is one potential drawback to using silver plating in microwave components and that is its tendency to develop an oxide film on the surface of the component. This happens if the substrate is exposed to other substances such as sulfur, ozone or hydrogen sulfide.

This caveat is remedied by a metal finishing technique called passivation. Passivation is a process where a metal oxide coating is applied to inhibit oxidization. Additionally, electroplating a microwave/RF component with 100% silver as opposed to an alloy contain a percentage of silver can also remedy the oxidization rate.

Silver can also tarnish over time, however, there are numerous post-treatment processes available that can significantly reduce the impact of tarnishing as well making silver plating for microwave/RF components the best choice for this industries needs. 

Mid Atlantic Finishing Corp. is located in Capitol Heights Maryland and services the entire United States. MAF offers the following metal plating services nationwide:

Gold Plating Services, Silver Plating Services, Tin Plating Services, Tin-Lead Plating Services, Electroless Nickel Plating Services, Bright Nickel Plating Services, Sulfamate Nickel Plating, Copper Plating Services, Chemical Film Plating Services, and Precision Masking Services.

MAF is committed to the delivery of quality products to every segment of our customer base, a fundamental element of our Company’s Purpose and Mission.

MAF is committed to full compliance with all the requirements of NADCAP AC 7004; AC 7108.