Friday, September 25, 2015

The Diverse World of Electroplating Chemicals

Electroplating Chemicals
Electroplating is the process of plating one metal onto another by hydrolysis, most commonly for decorative purposes or to prevent corrosion of a metal. There are also specific types of electroplating such as copper plating, silver plating, and chromium plating.

Types of Plating-
  • Copper Plating- this is the process in which a layer of coppers deposited on the item to be plated by using an electric current. Copper's excellent conductive properties makes it more effective than other materials for use with electrical components, which is the reason copper electroplating is widely used in the electronics industry.
  • Gold/Silver Plating- In this process of electroplating, a thin layer of gold or silver is deposited with specific techniques on a metal. Gold is mostly used in Electronics and Jewelery whereas, silver on the other hand, is used in cutlery, candlesticks and other such items.
  • Chromium Plating- Often referred to as simple chrome is a process of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal or plastic object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, ease cleaning procedures, or increase surface hardness.
  • Cadmium Electroplating - Another different kind of Electroplating is called Cadmium Electroplating. Even though it is under inspection because of the toxicity caused to the environment by the cadmium metal, it is still used in aerospace fasteners, military and aviation specs.
  • Another great use of Cadmium Plating, is that it can be used for corrosion resistance, has relatively low thickness, and for salt atmospheres, lubricity and solder ability.
  • Zinc Plating- Generally plated on iron and steel substances such metals are primarily used as a protection against corrosion thanks to it's sacrificial coating therefore providing galvanic protection to exposed surfaces. It is used extensively for nuts, bolts, screws, washers, springs, castings, and stamping. Since zinc is much cheaper than Cadmium, it is a more preferred method of plating.

Effects of Electroplating Chemicals

Electroplating changes the chemical, physical and mechanical properties of the piece we are working on. A Few examples of the same are as follows-

-An example of a chemical change is when nickel plating improves corrosion resistance.
-An example of a physical change is a change in the outward appearance.
-An example of a mechanical change is a change in tensile strength or surface hardness which is a required attribute in tooling industry.

Uses of Electroplating Chemicals

The main use of Electroplating, is that it increases the life of metals by preventing it from corrosion. Apart from this, this process is used in the case of making a wide variety of items, starting from jewelery to car parts to kitchen taps. It also plays an important role in the field of military and aviation specifications.