The Importance of Clean Contacts: Cleaning, Protecting, & Treating Contact Oxidation

Cleaning, protecting, deoxidizing, and maintaining contacts in switches, pots, and other connection points is essential in every application. Corroded, dirty, sulfurized, or oxidized contacts will produce noise, signal attenuation, and also unwanted resistance within a circuit which may produce heat in a high-power connection since the contaminated connection acts like a series resistor. Clean contacts are also very important for small signals such as in radio frequency or pre-amplifiers since any noise created will then be amplified many times more.

Another important connection where maintaining the contact surface area is crucial would be in balance connectors for lithium batteries or in other sensitive battery chemistries where precise cell voltage readings is crucial during the charging process such as in radio control hobbies or other battery systems. Since the charger uses the balance connector to balance each cell to a specific (milli)voltage, any type of contact degradation may impose improperly charged cells destroying the battery, chemical leakage or fire.

There is a difference between contact Cleaners, Deoxidizers, Lubricants, and Shields. A cleaner will clean the contact; a deoxidizer will remove and prevent oxygen from occurring on the contact; a lubricant will protect, extend life, and provide smoother operation; and a shield protects contacts from more extreme environments. Some products have a mixture of these for less specified general use. It is important to review the product specific datasheet before using these products for proper application.

Since oxygen is considered an insulator, it can create noise, static, or overall signal attenuation. Some products may feature deox, but the potency may vary between products depending on its intended purpose. Deox is especially important for audio signal, antenna, or other small voltage signal connections.

Please see These Deoxidizer Options, notice there are different percentage levels of deox, and some specially formulated for gold or carbon-based contacts. Some of these options feature lubricant, which can be used as a preventative for reducing wear such as in switches, potentiometers, and fader slide controls. 2220-SK-AV35-ND and 2220-K-2C-ND are kits with various essential DeoxIT products.

Which DeoxIT® product do I Use?:

  • Use DeoxIT® Fader F-Series to lubricate and protect conductive plastic and carbon-based controls.
  • Use DeoxIT® D-Series contact cleaner on surfaces that have been in service or have visual signs of oxidation. Contains 20% active cleaner.
  • Use DeoxIT® Gold G-Series conditioner on new surfaces, and gold plated surfaces. Ideal for preventing dendrite/fretting corrosion. Protects both surface and base metals. Ideal for critical applications. Contains >1% active cleaner.
  • Use DeoxIT® Shield S-Series to protect surfaces from severe environments (humidity, salts, pollutants, sulfur, etc.). Use on clean surface. Contains 0% active cleaner.

DeoxIT Fader F-Series
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Lubricates & Protects Conductive Plastic Faders & Controls for newly manufactured components, or clean conductive plastic surfaces.

DeoxIT Fader F-Series, is also effective on conductive membrane switches and components. Oil, grease, and acids build up on membrane surfaces due to repeated finger contact, leading to device malfunction. These contaminants are displaced above the DeoxIT Fader layer preventing contact with the plastic membrane. Applying DeoxIT Fader provides improved performance and long-lasting protection.

  • Lubricates faders, potentiometers & other mechanisms with sliding surfaces
  • Maintains optimum signal quality
  • Reduces wear & abrasion
  • Improves/Maintains damping & tactile feel
  • Cleaner audio & video

DeoxIT Deoxidizer D-Series
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Strongest deoxidizer & cleaner in the DeoxIT line, bring old systems back to life! Improves & Protects Metal-to-Metal Connections & Contacts. Fast acting solution that removes oxidation, improves conductivity, lubricates & protects.

DeoxIT D-Series contact/connector treatment removes oxides and sulfides that form on metal surfaces. This restores the contact’s integrity and leaves a thin microscopic layer that protects the metal. Special additives improve conductivity and prevent dissolved oxides from re-attaching, keeping them in suspension and allowing them to be easily dispersed by the mechanical action of the contact.

  • Removes/displaces oxidation & corrosion
  • Reduces intermittent connections
  • Improves signal quality & data transfer speeds
  • Reduces wear and abrasion
  • Actively displaces moisture & contaminates
  • Lubricates, and seals connections
  • Reduces arcing and RFI
  • Ideal for connections under vibration

Where to Apply DeoxIT D-Series:

  • ALL Metal Connections
  • Batteries, Light Bulbs
  • Switches and Relays
  • Jacks and Plugs
  • Harnesses, Grounding Blocks
  • RCA Jacks, XLRs, USB, HDMI, Ethernet, etc.
  • Rechargeable Devices

DeoxIT Gold G-Series
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Improves & Protects Gold Plated Connections, Contacts & Critical Applications for newly manufactured components, or those pre-treated with DeoxIT D-Series contact treatment.

DeoxIT Gold G-Series is a unique formulation which conditions, seals, and protects gold plated metal connectors and contacts. DeoxIT Gold is ideal for gold and all nonferrous metal surfaces. It deoxidizes minor amounts of surface contamination, penetrates plated surfaces, and molecularly bonds to the base metal, sealing and protection all surfaces.

  • Reduces noise and distortion
  • Improves clarity and dentition
  • Faster & reliable data transfers
  • Reduces wear & abrasion
  • Prevents fretting / dendrite corrosion
  • Stabilizes connections between
    similar and dissimilar metals
  • Ideal for connections under vibration
  • Reduces arcing, RFI and intermittents

Where to Apply DeoxIT G-Series:

  • Computer connections
  • Audio/video connections
  • Low voltage devices
  • Switches, RCA jacks, HDMI, Ethernet, etc.
  • Nonferrous metal surfaces
  • Test equipment, probes and sockets
  • High performance and critical applications

DeoxIT Shield S-Series
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Contact/Connector Sealant & Protectant for Severe Environments for newly manufactured components, or those pre-treated with DeoxIT D-Series contact treatment.

  • Maintains connection integrity
  • Superior lubrication and protection in harsh environments (humidity, salts, pollutants, sulfur, etc.)
  • Prevents data errors, lockups, and intermittents
  • Reduces arcing, RFI, wear, and abrasion
  • Prevents oxidation and corrosion

Product Usage Selection Table




See also:
All DigiKey Chemicals, Cleaners
Caig Store Magazine
Common JST Connectors in RC applications
XT30, XT60, XT90 Connector Comparison
TE Plasti-Grip Terminal Connector Oxidation Condition
Oxidization of SMT Pads Can Be Avoided

Summary

2220-DN5S-2N-ND
2220-D100P-ND
2220-D100S-2-ND
2220-S100L-2DB-ND
2220-G100P-ND
2220-G100L-2DB-ND
2220-DN5S-6N-ND
2220-D100L-25C-ND
2220-GN5S-2N-ND
2220-G100S-2-ND
2220-GN5S-6N-ND
2220-D100L-B2C-ND
2220-D100L-16BX-ND
2220-DCC-V511-ND
2220-G100L-16BX-ND
2220-D100L-CPK-ND
2220-DDW-V611-ND
2220-SN5S-2N-ND
2220-SN5S-6N-ND
2220-GX5S-6N-ND
DN5S-2N
D100P
D100S-2
S100L-2DB
G100P
G100L-2DB
DN5S-6N
D100L-25C
GN5S-2N
G100S-2
GN5S-6N
D100L-B2C
D100L-16BX
DCC-V511
G100L-16BX
D100L-CPK
DDW-V611
SN5S-2N
SN5S-6N
GX5S-6N
lithium polymer
lithium-polymer
lipo
li-po
lithium ion
lithium-ion
lion
li-on
cell balancing
fix noisy pot
scratchy
volume knob
faders

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