What is PCB Button Plating?

PCB Assembly 
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Editorial Team - PCB Directory

Apr 18, 2023

PCB Button Plating refers to the process of applying a thin layer of metal (typically gold or silver) onto the surface of the buttons or contacts of a printed circuit board (PCB). The purpose of plating is to improve the electrical conductivity and durability of the buttons or contacts, as well as to protect them from corrosion and wear.

The manufacturing process of a rigid printed circuit board (PCB) involves etching the inner layer cores, laminating them together, drilling holes, and electroplating the surface with copper. This results in a copper foil with multiple layers of copper deposits on top of it. However, there are numerous cases where we require Flex PCBs for applications instead. Flex PCBs can’t have stacks of copper plated over each other as it reduces their flexibility and makes them prone to fracture. Hence, comes the process of PCB button plating.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything from the concept of Button Plating to how important they’re in the production of Flex PCBs. Stay ‘etched.’

But first, what is a Flex PCB?

A flexible printed circuit board (flex PCB) is a type of printed circuit board that is designed to be flexible and bendable. It is made from a thin, flexible substrate material such as polyimide or polyester, which allows it to bend and conform to different shapes and contours.

Flex PCBs can be manufactured using a similar process as rigid PCBs but with some differences. Instead of using a rigid substrate, a flexible material is used, and the circuitry is often printed using a specialized ink or conductive paste that is applied to the substrate using a printing process.

Process of PCB Button Plating

The plating process involves applying a thin layer of metal onto the surface of the button or contacts through a chemical or electrochemical reaction. The metal is deposited onto the surface of the button or contact, forming a thin and uniform layer that adheres tightly to the surface.

The plated buttons or contacts are commonly used in electronic devices where a reliable and durable connection is required, such as in switches, keyboards, and other user interfaces. The plating process can also be used for other components of the PCB, such as the traces and pads, to improve their electrical properties and reliability.

Where is Button Plating required?

Button plating is a common process used in the production of various electronic devices. It is often required in applications where a user interface is needed, such as in remote controls, game controllers, keyboards, and other electronic devices that require input from the user. In these applications, button plating is used to create the conductive contacts that allow the user to input commands or make selections.

One example of how button plating can improve the durability and conductivity of electronic devices is a remote control. The buttons on the remote control are pressed frequently, and over time, the contacts inside the buttons can wear down, causing them to become less conductive and less reliable. This can result in the remote-control malfunctioning or not working at all.

By applying a thin layer of metal through button plating, the contacts inside the buttons can become more durable and conductive, improving their performance and extending their lifespan. This means that the remote control will continue to function properly even with frequent use, making it a more reliable and long-lasting electronic device.

Button plating is also commonly used in industrial and automotive applications, where durable and reliable electrical connections are necessary. In harsh environments where high vibration or extreme temperatures are a concern, button plating can provide a stable and long-lasting connection that is less prone to failure than other types of electrical contacts. Additionally, button plating can be used in medical devices, where precise control and user feedback are critical, as well as in aerospace and defense applications where high reliability and ruggedness are required. Overall, button plating is a versatile and widely-used process that provides a reliable and cost-effective way to create conductive contacts in a wide range of electronic devices and applications.


PCB button plating is a crucial process that enhances the electrical conductivity and durability of buttons or contacts in various electronic devices. It is particularly essential in applications where a user interface is required, such as remote controls, game controllers, and keyboards. Additionally, button plating is used in industrial and automotive applications, medical devices, and aerospace and defense applications. The process ensures that electrical connections are stable, long-lasting, and less prone to failure in harsh environments. With its versatility and cost-effectiveness, button plating is a widely-used process that provides reliable and durable conductive contacts in a range of electronic devices and applications.

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