Rockwell Collins Gets $1M Defense Contract For Reducing Growth Of "Tin Whiskers"

See the VIDEO of how microscopic metal fibers can form on lead-free metal coatings and cause short circuits in electronics
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Rockwell Collins has been awarded a $1 million U.S. Department of Defense contract for research into coatings that can reduce a costly form of failure in high-performance electronics such as satellite control processors.


The company will lead a team developing materials and processes to generate coatings that control the growth of "tin whiskers" — microscopic metal fibers that can form on lead-free metal coatings and cause short circuits in electronics.


The transition to lead-free alloys and coatings has led to greater failure rates due to tin whiskers. It's a problem blamed for billions of dollars in losses to high performance electronics in space orbiting satellites, missiles and other equipment.


John Borghese, vice president of the Rockwell Collins Advance Technology Center, said the company's selection recognizes its continued leadership in research and development of materials and processes required for lead-free electronics in high-performance systems.


Team members include Plasma Ruggedized Solutions and the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering.


The research program is valued at about $1 million, Rockwell Collins spokesman Dave Gosch said.