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Board to board connectors - Header Pin Plating and Materials

GradConn - board to board connectors - header pin plating and materials

This page shows the basics of materials and plating for board to board pin headers. 

Base material is normally brass or phosphor bronze.  

  • Brass:
    • Lowest cost
    • Good spring properties and strength.
    • Reasonably good conductor. 
  • Phosphor Bronze:
    • Good strength and conductivity.
    • Superior elasticity.
    • Excellent fatigue resistance.


  • Base pins underplated with nickel. 
  • Final plating added for improved conductivity, high temperature protection and resistance to corrosion and wear.
  • Finish plating is available in variants of gold or tin:
    • Gold:
      • Excellent corrosion resistance and durability.
      • Excellent conductivity and low electrical resistance. 
      • General Rule: Use thicker gold for applications above 100 mating cycles and less than 1A. 
    • Tin:
      • Excellent solderability and conductivity.
      • Low durability and can form an oxide film. 
    • GradConn commercial notes:
      • Various levels of gold thickness available, see drawings for details, see example BB02-HE
      • ‚ÄčOptions for gold in contact area and tin in solder area.  This is known as selective plating,  depending on application this type of plating is used where customers seek the best solderabily in PCB area (tin) and best material in mating area (gold).  
      • Gold flash is standard, this is the most economical and carries the lowest MOQ. 
      • Tin is available in bright or matt. 

See GradConn's whole range of board to board connectors here.

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