Anecdote #2: Tin Whiskers on Waveguide

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Anecdote #2:  Tin Whiskers Growing on Ka Band Waveguide  
Click on the Thumbnails Below to see a Larger Version of the Picture

Tin Whiskers on a Tin-Plated Flange of a Ka Band Waveguide (documented in 2004)

The images below depict tin whiskers found growing from the tin-plated flange of a Ka band waveguide.  The high density of whiskers, some approaching 5-mm long, were found within several weeks of receipt of product by the waveguide user. In the end application whiskers of this size and density produced signal reflections and losses that affected the electrical performance of the waveguide.

Note:  The user's procurement requirements for this waveguide did not include tin as an optional surface finish.  Pure tin surface finish was supplied in error.

2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers01.jpg (30702 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers02.jpg (68019 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers03.jpg (50798 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers04.jpg (39518 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers05.jpg (35883 bytes)
2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers06.jpg (29381 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers07.jpg (26585 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers08.jpg (28939 bytes) 2004-waveguide-tin-whiskers09.jpg (67135 bytes)

Courtesy of I. Hernefjord

Responsible NASA Officials:

   Michael Sampson/NASA GSFC Code 306
   Dr. Henning Leidecker/NASA GSFC Code 562
Additional Researchers: 

   Jong Kadesch/Orbital Sciences Corp.
   Jay Brusse/Perot Systems

Last Updated:

June 9, 2008

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