What is Flash Gold
Flash gold is a rapid gold plating process that serves as a pre-process for hard gold plating. It involves the application of a dense but thinner gold plating layer on top of a nickel layer using a large current and a solution with a higher gold content. Flash gold plating facilitates the subsequent electroplating of a gold-cobalt alloy.
Flash gold is a cost-effective alternative to hard gold plating, as it eliminates the need for additional electroplating processes, resulting in shorter manufacturing times and reduced costs. Flash gold PCBs are widely available in the market as a more affordable option.
The thin gold layer applied during the process may not fully cover the nickel layer, which can lead to oxidation issues over time. This oxidation can negatively impact the solderability of the PCB, making it less reliable for long-term use.