Selecting your Final Surface Finish

What is your approach for selecting the best solderable finish for your application?

The selection of your surface finish could be the most important material decision made for the electronic assembly.  

Your surface finish selection influences the process yield, the amount of rework necessary, field failure rate, the ability to test, the scrap rate and, of course, the cost.   

The selection process should be completed with a holistic approach that considers all important aspects of the assembly, not just the cost of the surface finish.


  • Cost Sensitivity
  • Volume of product
  • SnPb or LF process
  • Shock/Drop a concern?
  • Cosmetics a concern?
  • User Environment (corrosion a concern)?
  • Fine pitch assembly (<.05 mm)
  • Wave solder required (PCB > .062”)
  • High yield ICT is important

The surface finish you select will have a large influence on quality, reliability and cost.  It is a complex decision that impacts many areas of the business.  Select a surface finish that is optimal for the business, not just one function. 

Know that there are engineering “tricks” to improve on the weak areas of each finish.

Most importantly, stay current in this field because new developments continue to be made. 

Mike Carano with OMG is a great resource.   Please contact us if we can provide more detailed information on final finishes.  We are here to help!

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