ECSS-Q-70-20A Determination of the susceptibility of silver-plated copper wire and cable to “red-plague” corrosion (19 December 2000)

This Standard has been cancelled and replaced by ECSS-Q-ST-70-20C (31 July 2008).


Silver-plated copper conductors are suitable for general spacecraft use, but it is essential that the plating is of uniform thickness of at least 2 µm. Localized damage due to wire or cable fabrication processes (e.g. stranding, braiding, application of insulation jackets) can result in spots in the plating where the thickness is less that 1 µm. Wire strands supporting silver platings less than 1 µm thick are susceptible to red-plague corrosion.

The deleterious effects to be anticipated as a result of testing wires and cables to the requirements of this Standard, which is accelerated by means of oxygen, high humidity and elevated temperature, include corrosion of all defective silver-plated conductor materials and shielding braid or the strands of internal conductors.

Silver-plated copper wires or cables that are tested and successfully pass the acceptance criteria as defined in this Standard are considered not to suffer from degradation by red-plague corrosion during ten-year controlled storage periods and normal spacecraft service lifetimes. Note: The first PDF document is over 5 Mb in size. The second PDF document is less than 1 Mb, but does not include the annex.