Hey Swen: My best guess, and IMHO: Copper prongs on plugs would be to "soft", and would be an additional cost factor in mfg. Brass was/is used, also brass plating, and nickle plating on whatever base metal the mfg uses.
Im'm not a metalurgist, but I don't think there is a problem with any of the dissimilar metals you mentioned.
Also, you stated that you have seen "rusted" attachment plugs, I can't recall ever coming across any. I'm not doubting your comment, but are the ones you found a "factory" plug, or an aftermarket plug?; and are they from the USA?? John
Re: Why plugs with galvanized or copper-plated steel pins instead of solid brass or CU?#18585 12/11/0204:18 PM12/11/0204:18 PM
I was referring normally to replacement (aftermarket) caps.
Most factory molded plugs are made of what seems to be nickel-plated brass (it definitely isn't steel because it's not magnetic). On a side note, I have a small GE alarm clock (probably 1960s or 70s vintage) where the blades on the plug are aluminium!!
The rusted prongs on cord caps I've run across are American.
Joe Tedesco once posted a picture of a stump of lamp cord with one of those round rubber replacement caps and the pins were visibly rusted.
I haven't been able to find the picture (perhaps it was deleted). Maybe Joe can repost it?
Don't have a digital camera, or I would take a pic of one or two of such old ones I've removed that I still have lying around at home.
Re: Why plugs with galvanized or copper-plated steel pins instead of solid brass or CU?#18586 12/12/0205:01 PM12/12/0205:01 PM