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Contact Materials

Silver Nickel
Overview
Silver nickel contact materials are typically used in low and medium power applications.

Switches, mini-relays, and low power contactors are common applications for silver nickel. There is some use of silver nickel in AC circuit breakers as well. Contact resistances are relatively low and remain stable over time when compared to other silver/copper alloys. As the nickel content increases, the material’s resistance to arc erosion improves, although contact resistance will increase as well. One disadvantage of silver nickel is its diminishing arc erosion properties over 100 amps.

Availability

Silver nickels are produced through powder metallurgy processes. Compositions for these materials range from 5% to 30% nickel. Silver nickel alloys with lower concentrations of nickel can be manufactured into strip and wire products for further fabrication into contact rivets, clad products, and discrete contacts. Alloys with higher nickel concentrations are produced as discrete contacts, through unit compaction processes. Discrete contacts are often supplied with braze alloy flushed to the brazing face. 

Note
*The asterisks (*) in this table represent the fully annealed condition. The compositions listed are generally considered the industry standards. The listed values represent the typical properties of these materials. Modifications to meet special applications may be possible.

Composition Hardness Density Conductivity
(weight %) (R'well) (g/cc) (IACS %)
WN51 Ag95/Ni5 F 32* 10.3 94
WN101 Ag90/Ni10 F 35* 10.2 87
WN151 Ag85/Ni15 F 40* 10.1 80
SN15PSR Ag85/Ni15 F 50* 10.0 68
SN30PSR Ag70/Ni30 F 42* 9.6 55

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