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Amphenol Ltd’s Black Zinc Nickel Plating Finish Has Gained Full MIL-DTL-38999 Series III Class Z

8/11/2013

Amphenol Ltd launched a new RoHS compliant plating finish last year and has now announced MIL-DTL-38999, Series III, Class Z approval, the first UK connector manufacturer to achieve this success. QPL (qualified product listing) provides additional validation and certification over and above existing customer and programme approvals. In addition, Amphenol is the first corporation to provide multiple site qualifications with manufacturing in the UK and in the US.

Black Zinc Nickel plating is now offered on a wide variety of connectors and accessories including MIL-DTL-38999 and proprietary MIL-C-26482. This conductive and non-reflective finish is approved for 500hrs salt spray endurance and is fast becoming the new defence industry standard.

Until recently, Cadmium plating has been the industry preference for aeronautical and defence applications due to its exceptional environmental and electrical performance.  Despite an exemption in RoHS legislation allowing the use of Cadmium in military applications, for several years now manufacturers have sought to reduce its use but have had to accept compromised performance as a consequence.

With growing pressure for designers to meet with ecological and sustainability regulations, in 2012, Amphenol Ltd had made considerable investment at its site in Whitstable to offer an alternative solution of Black Zinc Nickel plating which complies with the highest levels of environmental and electrical performance requirements and which is now fully approved.

Electrically, the conductivity of Black Zinc Nickel plating ensures shell-to-shell continuity of less than 2.5mΩ, and less than 5mΩ after 500hrs salt spray exposure as specified within MIL-DTL-38999. This ensures that high levels of EMC screening can be maintained within sensitive systems in demanding situations.

Amphenol Ltd has tested their Black Zinc Nickel plating to show no significant galvanic reaction when mated to alternatively plated legacy product such as Cadmium, Zinc Cobalt or Electroless Nickel.  In addition, as one of the foremost manufacturers of both connectors and interconnect systems specifically for applications within military, aerospace and industrial markets, the company continues to offer a wide variety of alternative surface finishes.

Mil/Aero customers can expect high levels of service from the company’s UK-based team of engineers allowing rapid design-in and prototyping facilities. This is followed by the most stringent production which includes assembly and on-site electroplating.  Investment in the latest test facilities permits the completion of the manufacturing process to meet demanding applications.

Furthermore, Amphenol Ltd will soon be launching its new prototyping team as part of the major re-structuring programme with an investment of in excess of £2.3M.