Fretting is known to be a major cause of contact deterioration and failure, particularly in tin-plated contacts. During fretting the contact resistance generally increases slowly with time. Superimposed on this slow increase in contact resistance are rapid changes in contact resistance within fractions of a second, called intermittences or short duration discontinuities. Although intermittences have been reported by several authors, they are frequently overlooked in traditional fretting experiments and not much is known about their origin. The present study aims at filling this gap. A test apparatus has been built to measure the contact voltage-drop profile during an intermittence and fretting experiments on tin-plated copper contacts have been carried out. The results lead to a set of requirements for a model to explain intermittency phenomena
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