Anecdote: Tin Whiskers on Bus Bars

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Anecdote:  Tin Whiskers on Tin-Plated Copper Bus Bars Suspected to Have Produced Metal Vapor Arc Failures

This anecdote describes the observations of tin whisker formation on tin-plated copper bus bars installed in power distribution equipment at a large paper mill in Sweden.  The tin whiskers are suspected to have contributed to the formation of metal vapor arcs within the equipment resulting in significant damage and downtime on at least three separate occasions (1997, 2000, 2009) at this mill.

Read More About this Anecdote Here:

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Bus Bar-Tin Whiskers 018.jpg (1202946 bytes) Bus Bar-Tin Whiskers 029.jpg (807840 bytes) Bus Bar-Tin Whiskers 081.jpg (1518559 bytes)
Sweden-area2-w1_SE.jpg (107901 bytes) Sweden-area3-w2_SE.jpg (507088 bytes) Sweden-area8-w1_SE.jpg (222355 bytes)

SEM Photos Courtesy of Lyudmyla Panashchenko

Acknowledgment to
Mr. Anders Johansson for sharing this experience and the bus bar sample with engineers at NASA Goddard to enable the analysis herein. 

Responsible NASA Officials:

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

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

Last Updated:

August 3, 2009

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