2008 saw the beginning of the EU process which took four years to put in to place, preventing incandescent light bulbs from being sold. This was because they performed inadequately and were not eco-friendly due to the high amount of electricity they consumed. The LED has therefore taken its place on our supermarket shelves, as they are proven to be much more efficient.
The electronic and automotive industries, as well as most British households and road engineers for road lighting applications, are using LED lights. The LED substrate can be silver plated either conventionally by rack or less conventionally by reel-to-reel plating procedures. Plating differs depending on the thickness, and ranges from 20 to 150 A/dm², normally.
How are LED lights so bright? This is due to a low free-cyanide silver process which contains brightener additives. This creates high luminosity. These LEDs are much more eco-friendly, cost effective and use a fraction of the amount of electricity of an incandescent light bulb.
Heat Treatment gets the Deep Treatment
The silver deposits used to plate the LEDs were initially heated for 60 minutes at 200° and then for 120 minutes at the lower temperature of 170°C but it was quickly identified that significant reflectivity was lost during this. So it was decided that a post-dip was going to be used in order to prevent the reflectivity loss, in the form of an aqueous treatment post heat treatment. This seems to have worked, having been tested on multiple different types of nickel, at higher temperatures and with the nickel being treated for shorter lengths of time (up to 1 minute), as the GAM measurements do not diminish dramatically at all. Thus, proving the effectiveness of the combination of plating, heat treatment and the post-dip aqueous treatment as a trio.