Nowadays, metal has innumerable applications, and due to which they have become such an important resource that it is impossible to imagine what the world would be like without them. Our lives have been accustomed to make use of metal in different forms. For instance, we use iron rods in construction houses, make use of stainless steel in making utensils, and various different metals are used to design complex machinery.
Each and every metal has a unique set of properties and characteristic features. Some provide strength and some flexibility. But what if you want to have both properties in one metal? – Alloys! Alloys are formed by mixing different metals. Alloys are formed to get the best features of both the metals that are being mixed during the process. Alloys are becoming popular because they are more resistant to rust or corrosion as compared to other metals.
Now, here comes the role of electroplating. With the help of electroplating services, manufacturing industries make use of the good properties of precious and rare metals so as to enhance their functionality.
Electroplating is popular for providing a finishing look to the metals and improving their physical properties. The electroplating process is used in a wide range of industries for various applications. Besides the popularity of the electroplating process, very few industry outsiders are familiar with the process, what it is, and how it works. So, let’s get to know what electroplating is all about and what are its benefits.
What Do You Mean By Electroplating?
Electroplating is also known as electrodeposition. You might have got the idea of the process by the name itself. The electroplating process refers to depositing a thin layer of the metal on the surface of another metal using electrolysis. The metal on which the thin layer is deposited is often called as the substrate. Electroplating is commonly used to change the physical properties of an object (in fact add some more properties to it). Electroplating of metals gives objects increased wear resistance, corrosion protection, aesthetic appeal, as well as increased thickness.
Through the use of the stated process, some low-cost metals are coated using precious metals not only to enhance their appearance but to raise the value as well.
What Are The Benefits Of Electroplating?
1. Electroplating Helps In Creating A Protective Barrier
By coating your component in a less reactive metal, electroplating makes it more resistant to tarnishing and corrosion. It can also increase heat resistance and makes the piece stronger against impacts and shocks if the underlying metal is brittle.
2. Electroplating Helps In Reducing Friction
With a plating of nickel, you can make your components slide more easily across adjacent surfaces, without heating or scraping. This means less wear and tear, so they won’t need to be replaced as often.
3. Electroplating Adds Properties to Metals
Electroplating makes the metal more desirable since it’s used in a vast range of industries. If you need your component to be magnetic or more conductive to electricity, the right plating material can add these properties. This technique is often used in manufacturing computers and electronics. Electroplating is typically used to refurbish old automobile parts, like bumpers, tire rims, and grills, making them look brand-new.
Manufacturers make use of silver electroplating on brass and copper connectors in order to enhance their conductivity. In the telecommunications industry, palladium and gold plating are used for switchgear.
4. Electroplating Aids In Increasing Adhesion
Sometimes, electroplating is used to provide an intermediate step between the base material and the outer coating. This helps the outer coating stick more firmly to the material.
5. Electroplating Improves The Thickness Of The Metals
If you need a thick coating of material for your product, electroplating with the right metal can help. The thicker the coating, the more durable and resistant to wear and tear it is, so it will last longer.
Understanding The Electroplating Process
When we talk about electroplating two metals, one of those metals is positively charged. The other is negatively charged. Once the electrical current starts flowing, molecules from the positively charged metal move to the negatively charged metal. This means that the object to be plated must be able to conduct an electrical charge. If you need to plate an item that does not conduct electricity, such as plastic or wood then it proves to be troublesome. However, it can still be accomplished if the base material is scrupulously cleaned and coated with a thin layer of inexpensive metal that does conduct electricity. Once the layer of conducting material has been applied, the electroplating process can proceed normally.
Electroplating can offer a number of important features and benefits that can help you improve the quality of your manufacturing processes and enhance your competitive position in the marketplace.