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Expand Your Knowledge Horizon About The Hard Gold Pcb

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By Author: Ryan
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PCBs are the framework of a type of PCB with gold plating known as a gold plated circuit board. A common practice is PCB gold plating in today’s electronic Industry. The use of this PCB is demanded by some applications due to the type of environment it will be used. In the PCB industry, the use of gold in plating PCBs is common. For Gold plated PCBs like the Hard Gold PCB, there has been an increasing demand over time. This article depicts everything about the gold plated circuits especially the hard gold.

What is PCB Gold Plating?

The method of depositing gold onto a circuit board’s surface through plating is simply PCB gold plating. In SMT placement, there has been difficult as IC pins and IC became denser. In PCB production, Plating is a crucial stage. Various materials types such as gold, nickel, copper, and tin are used. However, a gold-plated circuit board is unique. Due to its conductive properties, Gold is useful for plating circuit boards.

Gold has other properties apart from its conductive nature. For PCB plating, these make it ideal. On PCBs with membrane switches, ...
... Experts use gold contact surfaces. You can attach gold particles to the PCBs as the gold plating has strong adhesion. Using electrochemical plating to deposit gold onto metal, gold plating is a surface finishing method.

Process of PCB Gold Plating in Soft and Hard Gold PCB

Two categories are involved in the plating process in the PCB industry; electrolytic plating and electroless plating.


Depositing a dense metal or alloy on the PCB’s surface is involved in this process. An external current is used in this process to coat the metal. During this process, the anode goes through an oxidation reaction, the electrons are discharged and the metal atoms convert into cation then.

Electroless plating

To create a metal plating layer, this is a process whereby a metal atom is deposited on a substrate’s surface. On the external source of power in the aqueous solution, Electroless plating doesn’t depend. An external current is not required in this plating process. In the electroless plating layer, there is a uniform thickness.

Considering Factors When Plating Gold in Soft and Hard Gold PCB


The process of gold plating is porous. With the thickness of the coating, this has a significant relationship. When above 0.76 μm, the porosity is low. When it is below 0.38 μm, Porosity rapidly rises. A crucial factor to consider is Porosity.

Nickel layer

You need to consider this crucial factor. On the diffusion between gold and copper, Nickel plating has a blocking impact. A significant role in precious metal plating is played by nickel under the layer. Also, a hindrance that blocks the substrates and pores is served by nickel. The possibility of pinhole corrosion is minimized by this. A hard layer is offered by Nickel under this metal plating.


The lifespan of the plated surface is determined by two major characteristics of the surface treatment. These two characteristics are friction and hardness coefficient. As the friction coefficient minimizes, the life of the surface treatment increases. The wearing resistance of gold is enhanced by the Electroplated gold.

Hard Gold PCB

A layer of gold with additional hardeners is present in hard gold PCB to enhance durability. For plating a circuit board, hard gold is an ideal durable material. For high-wear areas like edge connectors, gold is used during the fabrication of a circuit board. Metal contacts made from gold are featured by most circuit boards.

An example of a surface finish for PCBs is Hard gold. It isn’t ideal for solder-able areas due to the poor solderability and high cost of hard gold. For use in applications, hard gold PCBs are ideal where friction is required.

The under layers’ Effect for Hard Gold PCB

When used with other metals, Gold is more useful. A layer of nickel on the substrate is featured by a gold-plated board. Under the gold plating layer, the nickel is often placed. Using an underlayer for gold plating offers numerous advantages. An additional protection layer against any form of corrosion is served by an underlayer. In some areas of the gold plating, corrosion may pass through the pores sometimes.

Metals like zinc and copper are prevented from oxidizing by the underlayer. They may oxidize when such metals diffuse into the gold. Also, more thickness is added by the under layers to the plating. The durability of the plating is improved by this additional thickness. To enhance the durability of the plating, cobalt or nickel can be added to the gold.

Hard Gold PCB Application

For use in some applications, hard gold PCBs are ideal. In industrial intelligent machines, this type of circuit board is used commonly. You find them in educational robots, AI, and entertainment. This type of PCB is featured by all types of electronics devices. For instance, this type of PCB is featured by computers, mobile phones, and other devices. Electrical connectivity can be sustained by hard gold PCB. For several types of applications, this makes it a suitable choice.

Telecommunication system

For use in the telecommunication system, hard gold PCBs are ideal. In satellite, GPS, and mobile phones systems, these circuit boards are available.

Computer system

In the computer system, Gold plated circuit boards are used commonly. On desktop and laptops computers, these boards are available. In computer systems, data transfer and Signal integrity are major aspects.

Consumer Electronics

Hard gold PCBs don’t usually rust or corrode. Making them withstand high temperatures, Gold exhibits great conductive properties. Hard gold PCBs are featured by consumer electronics like smartwatches, TVs, and smartphones feature.

Industrial systems

In mechanized equipment, you will find hard gold plated circuit boards. This type of PCB is featured by computerized industrial machines because of its properties. it is ideal in this application as this board is wearing and corrosion-resistant.


As we can see, gold is present in most electronic devices. With great properties, Gold is a precious metal. In the electronic industry, one of the most common boards is Gold plated circuit boards. For use in most applications, these boards are ideal. Including electroplating and immersion plating, there are various processes of gold plating. The two major categories of gold plating are hard gold PCB and Soft gold plating. Expand your knowledge horizon about the hard gold PCB.

More About the Author

High Quality PCB Co., Limited is a leading PCB(Printed Circuit Board) Manufacturer in China since 1995. Dedicated to the technologies innovation, being engaged in IC Substrates, High-Density Interconnect PCB, Multi-layer PCB, Rigid Flexible PCB, Flexible, Radiofrequency PCB.

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