Metal finishing looks a lot different today than it did just a few decades ago. Modern electroplating is considered a form of metal finishing that is widely used by many industries including military, medical, aerospace, RF microwave, automotive, and electronics.
Before we can begin electroplating, all parts are cleaned. Then it is time for a process consisting of chemical baths that prepare materials to create the most reliable bond. It results in strong adhesion throughout the electrodeposition process.
There are certain things an engineer should note before shopping for electroplating.
- Tolerance for critical part dimensions must be chosen with the thickness of plating in mind. Also, the fit for assembly should be considered.
- Knowing what environmental elements the finished pieces will be exposed to will allow individuals to determine the needed thickness of a component.
- Individuals must also know the required characteristics and intended use, such as low friction, corrosion resistance, conductivity, and wear. Thinking about these things will help to choose the types of metals used for each specific finished part.
Electroplating enhances and alters the fundamental properties of metallic pieces. Manufacturers need abrasion resistance in their metal parts, while other manufacturers may need improved EMI/RFI shielding, temperature, and higher lubricity.
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