Electroplating Review, Specification and Application

Finishing Knowledge | Electroplating Services

Electroplating is a finishing process which a metallic coating is deposited onto a part. The electroplating process is facilitated by applying a negative charge onto the part object and immersing it into a salt solution of the metal to be deposited. The metallic ions of the salt solutions are charged positive by applying a positive charge to the solution, and are drawn to the negatively charged part. When they reach the part, the negatively charged part will  "reduce" the positively charged ions onto metallic part.

Electroplating is also called electrodedeposition. The electroplated plating metal is most normally a single metallic element, not an alloy. However, some alloys can be electrodeposited . Electroplating is used in many industries for function, corrosion control and/or decorative purposes. Chrome-plating of steel parts on automobiles and motorcycles is a common application of electroplating . 

Other examples of electroplating applications are:

  • Steel parts such as camshafts, crankshafts, and hand tools resists wear better when they are electroplated with chromium.

  • Steel or aluminum parts in light fixtures are often electroplated with nickel and followed by chromium or brass.

  • Common steel bolts, nuts, and washers are electroplated with a coating of zinc.

  • Electroplating may deposit silver, copper or brass onto electrical connectors.

Electroplating Caution:

Not properly applying electroplating process and acid cleaning of springs, without proper baking treatment, can cause spring steels to become brittle, called "Hydrogen embrittlement "  Nonferrous springs are immune do not share the same problem. In general,  All electroplated parts 1200 Mpa or higher should be baked at 190C for three hours or more within four hours after electroplating, to ensure Hydrogen embrittlement relief.


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