Electroplating is a form of metal plating which is used by many industries in a range of capacities which include the aerospace, automotive, army, space, medical, electronic and engineering sectors, to name but a few. It is useful due to the fact that it is so versatile and lends itself so because of its electrochemical process where metal ions in solution are bonded to metal substrates by means of electrodeposition.
Pre Electroplating, all parts must be thoroughly cleaned and then a process of chemical baths must be followed so that the parts can be prepared and activated so that the adhesion for the strong bond can take hold and become effective. This is key in the electrodeposition process. Many variables must be monitored closely during the electroplating bath process, such as the power supply which provides a direct flow of current to the parts in submerged. This enables ions to be attracted to the surface of the metallic part evenly. Every mole of electrons that are transferred to the part, allows one mole of metallic ions in the solution to adhere to the part during the bath process. A chemical reaction can subsequently occur where the reduction and oxidation of ions takes place.
Types of Electroplating
Specialist plating facilities are able to plate a large array of different base materials to protect various surfaces.
Base materials for electroplating include:
- Stainless Steel
- Nickel Silver
Surface finishes for electroplating include:
- Electroless Nickel
About Electroless Nickel Plating
Electroless nickel plating is a high quality but cost effective coating solution which can drastically extend the life expectancy of a stainless steel component. This is due to the metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel coating creating an even thickness across the components surface, despite its shape. This makes electroless nickel plating very popular in sectors such as the defence, health, automotive and aerospace industries.