Plating is a widely used process for covering the surface of one material/workpiece with a different metal. Wire and part producers use plating because it provides several valuable benefits that include:
- Changing conductibility
- Inhibiting corrosion
- Improving wear
- Reducing friction
- Increasing heat resistance
- Hardening materials
- Boosting solderability
Plating changes the qualities and characteristics of materials to engineer and manufacturing specifications.
Electroplating is one of the most used methods of plating materials. The process requires an electrical current that dissolves all positively charge metal particles in a chemical solution. Positively charged ions become attracted to the material it will be plating (the negatively charged side of the circuit). Wire producers run reel to reel plating operations while parts to be plated are put in the solution and then dissolved metal particles become drawn to the surface of the material.
Electroless plating is called as such because the method uses no external electric power. Electroless plating uses a series of chemical reactions that induce a reduction of metal atoms. In other words, a solution of metal ions is mixed with a reducing agent that gets converted into a metal solid (when encountering a catalyzing metal).
Immersion plating requires the immersion of one metal into a different solution of metal ions (from noble metals). A nobler metal is considered chemically inert (silver, gold, and platinum).
For more information on plating options and how it can benefit your business, you should not hesitate to give us a call.