There are specific facts every engineer needs to know about electroplating and plated wire. Over the years, metal finishing has scientifically been proven to be a necessary component in technological development. Many important industries benefit from electroplating, including military and aerospace. Electroplating is known as an electrochemical process in which metal ions—in a solution—are bound with a metal substrate by electrodeposition. Material selection is vital for plating, and so we offer many options, including 521 alloy.
What should engineers and designers both consider before electroplating?
- Electroplating involves chemical and electrical reactions at the part’s surface. Proper exposure to plating chemistry is essential for the overall performance of finished products. If parts nest, it will result in a flawed adhesion and coverage on the finished part’s surface.
- When determining the tolerance of critical part dimensions, plating thickness should be used to designate final numbers.
- The environment that final parts will be used in also figures into determining plating thickness. Thicker plating is used in situations where corrosive elements are present and the cycle of wear demands are high.
- Electroplating requires currents to initiate reactions on the surface of the part. Because currents are needed, the geometry of the piece directly influences current distribution (commonly referred to as current density) across the surface of the part. Plating tends to build up on features like threads, corners, and bends.
- Plating gives final pieces additional characteristics, like low friction, high corrosion resistance, and extra strength. Knowing the application of the product will help guide the plating process.