Fretting corrosion is one of the important factors which limits the lifetime of electric contacts. In order to avoid fretting corrosion coatings of different precious metals are used. The wear resistance of the coating determines the lifetime of electrical contacts. The long term characteristics of gold coated electrical contacts with different additives and contact shapes are investigated and the results are analyzed. It is found out that the wear resistance of contact coating can be largely influenced by the amount of the additive in gold and by the design of the contact shape. Only the combination of an optimized contact shape with suitable coating materials leads to a long term stability of electric contacts.

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