NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Photo of the Month Archives

April 2003
ZINC Whiskers Growing on the Underside of Computer Room "Access" Floor Tiles

See the Presentation: "Zinc Whisker Awareness: Could Zinc Whiskers be Impacting Your Electronics?"
See also the Photo Gallery for more images of Zinc Whiskers on Raised Floor Structures

ZINC Whiskers growing from an access-type floor tile used in a raised floor computer room.  These zinc whiskers (some greater than 2 mm) were found growing on the zinc electroplated steel underside of floor tiles installed in a >20 year old computer room floor.  Reportedly, such whiskers were shed as debris during removal of floor tiles and subsequently distributed about the room via the air cooling system.  Some whiskers were deposited inside of computer servers and routers leading to catastrophic short circuits.

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/QSS Group, Inc.

Last Updated:

April 20, 2005

This website provides information about tin whiskers and related research. The independent research performed during the past 50+ years is so vast that it is impractical to cover all aspects of tin whiskers in this one resource. Therefore, the absence of information in this website about a particular aspect of tin whiskers should NOT be construed as evidence of absence.

This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. For technical references posted herein, copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.