Copper Plating (Electroplating) Services per MIL-C-14550 and ASTM B734
Advanced Plating Technologies provides extensive expertise in functional and heavy build copper plating services to MIL-C-14550 and ASTM B734. Advanced Plating Technologies offers both traditional alkaline cyanide copper plating services as well as non-cyanide alkaline copper plating and high-speed acid copper plating services for a wide range of engineering applications. Our precision barrel, rack and vibratory copper plating services are currently employed in numerous industries including the ammunition, HVAC, power distribution, heat treatment, electronic, telecommunication and fastener industries.
Advanced Plating Technologies copper plating services can be utilized as a final plate or as an underplate to subsequent deposits such as our tin plating, gold plating, silver plating and nickel plating deposits. APT also provides an unmatched capability in heavy build copper plating services with plating thicknesses up to 0.020 inches per side. Applications of heavy build copper plating services include the eddy current drives, lead, tungsten and frangible core bullets (reference Copper Bullet Plating in our Solutions in Surface Finishing section), braze fittings, coinage and heat treatment applications for a stop-off prior to carburizing or nitriding.
Advanced Plating Technologies offers a proprietary tarnish inhibit of our copper plating services to maintain a clean copper deposit. Unlike traditional “bright dips,” our monatomic inhibit minimizes oxidation and enhances subsequent brazing or soldering applications while ensuring low contact resistance of the copper deposit. This system can also be applied to raw copper components as well to enhance the appearance and functionality of copper deposits. An inhibited copper substrate or deposit will pass 24-hour high humidity testing, maximizing the shelf life and storage of products finished with our copper plating services. In addition, sealed nitrogen packaging can be provided for extended storage of copper deposits without the threat of surface oxidation or discoloration.
Copper is a soft, ductile, lustrous metal with a pink hue that exhibits very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is very soft and malleable but can have considerable strength when alloyed with elements such as beryllium, chromium or tellurium. Most commonly copper is alloyed with zinc to form brass or with tin to form bronze alloys.
Copper readily forms compounds with elements found in the atmosphere including oxygen, carbon and sulfur. Based upon the oxidation state, available moisture and pH of the environment, the compounds formed can have distinctive blue or green hues (acidic environments) as opposed to dark brown appearance (alkaline environments). An evident example of this phenomenon is the green copper patina (hydrated copper sulfate and carbonate) visible on the Statue of Liberty due to the acidic rain of New York City.
Copper is one of the few metals to occur naturally as an uncompounded mineral. Due to this fact, copper’s use can be traced back as far as 10,000 years ago, to some of the oldest civilizations on record. It is theorized that only gold and meteoritic iron have been utilized by civilizations longer than copper.
For plating applications, copper is commonly used as an underplating to enhance adhesion of deposits, improve electrical properties, impair migration of alloying elements into the final plated deposit, or to improve corrosion resistance of the overall deposit. As a final deposit, copper plating services are used for enhancing the brazing, thermal or electrical conductivity of substrate materials, as a high temperature lubricant, as a heat treatment stop-off, or for jacketing of projectiles. Copper can be plated matte to bright and with a wide range of deposit hardness and ductility.
The two most common copper plating services certified by Advanced Plating Technologies are MIL-C-14550 and ASTM B734. APT also can certify our copper plating services to AMS 2418 as well as most company-specific copper plating specifications. A summary of copper plating services per the MIL and ASTM specs is as follows:
Copper Plating Services to MIL-C-14550
Class 0 – 0.001-0.005 inches minimum deposit thickness
Class 1 – 0.001 inch minimum deposit thickness
Class 2 – 0.0005 inch minimum deposit thickness
Class 3 – 0.0002 inch minimum deposit thickness
Class 4 – 0.0001 inch minimum deposit thickness
Intended Uses per Section 6.1 of MIL-C-14550
Class 0 – for heat treatment stop-off shield
Class 1 – for carburizing shield, decarburizing shield and printed circuit board plated through holes or as specified on the engineering drawing.
Class 2 – for undercoating for nickel and other metals
Class 3 – to prevent basis metal migration into tin layer to poison solderability
Class 4 – 0.0001 inch same as 0.0002 inch
Copper Plating Services to ASTM B734
Class 25 – 25um minimum coating thickness
Class 20 – 20um minimum coating thickness
Class 12 – 12um minimum coating thickness
Class 5 – 5um minimum coating thickness
Class x – Thickness as specified [um]
Advanced Plating Technologies provides expertise in copper plating services and heavy build copper plating services to fulfill even the most demanding functional requirement. From prototyping and PPAP qualification to full production processing, it is APT’s dedicated effort to exceed your expectations. The following points highlight why Advanced Plating Technologies is a leader in copper plating services:
- Diversity of Substrates: Advanced Plating Technologies provides copper plating services on nearly any metallic substrate including hardened and alloyed steels, stainless steels, beryllium copper, chromium copper, tellurium copper, brass alloys, Inconels, Hastalloys, Monels, ductile & cast iron and metalized plastics.
- High Production Commercial Applications: Advanced Plating Technologies offers high capacity rack and barrel lines to ensure competitive pricing and short lead times on high-volume applications of copper plating services.
- RoHS and REACH Compliance: Advanced Plating Technologies is at the forefront of environmental compliance and can certify our copper plating services as needed to the current RoHS, ELV and REACH regulations.
- Competitive Pricing: Advanced Plating Technologies has been providing quality copper plating services for over sixty years. Competitive pricing in copper plating services is paramount to gaining and maintaining our customers in today’s competitive global marketplace.
- Reliable Lead Times: With inventory a term of the past, dependable turn-around is a core company value to provide the service our customers need in copper plating services.
- Value Added: Advanced Plating Technologies prides itself in meeting the customer’s needs. Whether it’s custom engineering packaging, vacuum or nitrogen sealed packaging to enhance storage, Kanban inventory management, light subassembly or multiple finishing combinations – APT will work with you to ensure we meet your needs in copper plating services.
- Extensive In-House Analytical and Quality Lab Services: SPC is employed in all wet-lab work surrounding our copper plating services to ensure baths are analyzed and adjusted at optimum frequencies to ensure operation between critical upper and lower control points. Our quality lab employs the latest in x-ray, coulometric and spectrophotometer technologies to inspect your parts and will work to your requirements to provide testing as needed. Our quality lab can certify salt spray performance to ASTM B117, adhesion to ASTM B571 and solderability to ASTM B678. Mounted cross sections of parts are also available.