The Tin Plating Process

Today, roughly half of all tin produced is used in soldering applications. Tin is also used in the production of pewter, bronze and phosphorous bronze. Tin salts are sometimes sprayed onto windshields and window glass to provide an electrically conductive coating. 


Tin is a popular choice for electroplating because it is an extremely cost-effective process. Because tin is so readily available, it is much less expensive than pricier metals such as gold, platinum or palladium. Tin also offers excellent solderability, as well as superior protection against corrosion. Basic tin plating processes include barrel plating, rack plating and vibratory plating. All of them are effective ways of making the deposition of an electrolytic tin solution onto the surface of a metal object.

Unisontek CNC Precision Metal Parts 108

Differences between matte and bright tin plating:

There are two major tin plating treatments that differ not only in their processes, but also their outcomes. The comparison is shown below:


Matte tin plating

Bright tin plating



Worse - whisker is easy to be shown due to impurity of organic materials



Worse - due to the whisker, solder short is likely to happen after a period of time.

Differences during soldering

Crystals are thicker

Brightener will be added, which makes the crystals much finer and shinier. But the organic materials will obstruct the process of soldering.

Stress residual

Tensile stress

Compressive inner stress


More expensive


Ratio of organic precipitate

Approx. 0.015%

Approx. 0.15%


Matt, not glossy

Glossy, pleasing to look at

Temperature tolerance

Able to resist high temperature after soldering

Second to matte tin plating.


Solder terminal or parts for SMT

Parts that require to be aesthemically good.

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