Corrosion failure analysis of hearing aid battery-spring contacts

Visweswara Chakravarthy Gudla, Rajan Ambat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Reliability of low power electrical contacts such as those in hearing aid battery-spring systems is a very critical aspect for the overall performance of the device. These systems are exposed to certain harsh environments like high humidity and elevated temperatures, and often in combination with high levels of salt from human perspiration and environmental pollutants. In addition, the design aspects of such systems often call for multi-material combinations of substrate and coatings for catering to various requirements such as electrical conductivity and wear resistance, which in turn enhance the susceptibility of these systems to galvanic corrosion. In this study, traditional behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid systems, which failed during service were analysed. Failure analysis was performed on the dome type battery-spring contact systems. The morphology of the contact areas was observed using scanning electron microscopy, and the compositional analysis of the corrosion products and contaminants was performed using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Wear track morphology was observed on the contact points, and the top coating on the dome was worn out exposing the substrate spring material. The obtained results were correlated to the underlying corrosion mechanism and the failure mode is presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)980-987
    Number of pages8
    JournalEngineering Failure Analysis
    Volume79
    Early online date1 Jun 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

    Keywords

    • Chloride
    • Coating failures
    • Corrosion
    • Environmental interaction
    • Failure analysis

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