Proper specification of gold plating thickness for connector and contact applications is a key design consideration. Gold plating is an exceptional finish for connectors of that demand both high reliability and durability; however, the thickness of the gold plating will impact the durability and ultimate cycle life of the connector. Gold plated connectors have low contact resistance which is suitable for applications with low signal voltages and current in the millivolt and milliamp range. Because gold is a noble metal, it does not readily react with chemicals in most environments, meaning that gold plated connectors will retain their conductivity over time provide the thickness of the gold provides a sufficient barrier to the substrate from the environment. Continue reading
Silver Plating of Stainless Steel – Silver Properties:
Silver plating on stainless steel and other high temperature alloys such as Inconel®, Nitronic® and Hastelloy® is a common silver plating service for nuts, fasteners, slip-rings, thrust-washers, bushings and other bearing surfaces that benefit from the lubricity of silver at high temperatures allowing parts to exhibit anti-galling and anti-seizing properties. Silver is a unique precious metal that exhibits many desirable properties for utilization across a broad range of engineered applications. Of all metals, silver has the highest thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and optical reflectivity in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; silver has outstanding temperature resistance with a melting point of 962° C (1763° F). Additionally, silver is a soft, ductile metal with good embeddability that performs well under high torque and loads. Silver also provides excellent solderability and brazing characteristics for joining applications of stainless steel and other high temperature alloys. The unique combination of lubricity, high temperature resistance and thermal conductivity make silver plating on stainless steel and other high temperature alloys an outstanding combination for high temperature fastening or bearing applications where heat transfer high temperature lubricity are the principle design considerations.
Hard Gold Plating vs Soft Gold Plating – Which is Right for My Application?
When specifying gold plating services for an application, the question of hard gold plating versus soft gold plating is common design topic. Hard gold plating is a gold electrodeposit that has been alloyed with another element to alter the grain structure of the gold to achieve a harder deposit with a more refined grain structure. The most common alloying elements used in hard gold plating are cobalt, nickel or iron. Soft gold plating is the highest purity gold electrodeposit that essentially is pure gold without the addition of any alloying elements. Soft gold plating produces a more coarse grain structure that is free of any signficant codeposits.
Silver Tarnish and Its Properties
Silver plating is often used for cosmetic applications and is found on items such as silverware and jewelry. While silver provides value and an aesthetic appearance to these items, it is also used in multiple subsectors of manufacturing – Power Transmission, Oil & Gas, Medical, Telecommunications, Aerospace, Electronics and many more. The reasons silver plating is used is vast: ductility, electrical and thermal conductivity, solderability, high temperature lubcricity, as well as excellent optical reflectivity. Although there are many positive attributes to silver plating, silver tarnish is one is a common occurrence when the proper steps are not taken.
Choosing Types of Powder Coating for any Industry
By: B. Bondhus, Process & Estimating Engineer
Powder coating is a surface finishing option that applies a relatively thin film to provide excellent corrosion protection and chemical resistance in a highly cosmetic manner. While parts are often designed with specific colors, gloss, and textures – the types of powder coating are often overlooked, yet a critical component to every powder coating job.
Powder coatings are applied in a variety of types. Each resin system has specific attributes that are able to better suit needs of specific environments. Some of the most popular types of powder coating include: Epoxy Powder Coatings; Polyester Powder Coatings; Hybrid Powder Coatings.
Deposit Thickness in Surface Finishing
In ordering a surface coating system to enhance the performance of an article in service, the use of standard finishing specifications is the established procedure employed by most manufacturing entities. The specifications most commonly referenced are ASTM, MIL Specs, AMS and unique corporate specifications.
Surface finishing specifications identify a number of parameters which evaluate the ability of the surface coating to perform its intended function. The most common coating requirements used to qualify a coating system are:
By Matt Lindstedt, Technical Sales Manager
Electroless Nickel Plating: Superior Corrosion Protection
Raw metals other than precious metals can easily oxidize and corrode over time when exposed to various environmental conditions and corrosive applications. The proper design of any component must begin with a surface engineering evaluation to ensure that the product will function reliably over the intended service life. Even in relatively mild service applications, corrosion can result in functional issues and shortfalls. Electroless nickel plating can provide a robust solution to corrosive attack across a range of corrosive mechanisms including galvanic corrosion, chemical attack and erosion. Electroless nickel plating (EN) can be applied to a wide range of basis metals including steel, copper, brass and aluminum alloys. Electroless Nickel plating is currently utilized to promote corrosion protection performance across a diverse range of industries including heavy equipment, oil & gas, power transmission & distribution, automotive, marine and railway to name a few. Continue reading
By James Lindstedt, Manufacturing & Process Engineer
Rack Plating Introduction – A Metal Finishing Job Shop
Advanced Plating Technologies is a metal finishing job shop. What does that mean? A metal finishing job shop encounters the metal finishing demands of any industry that has a need for metal finishing. Metal finishing is a highly diverse industry serves the needs of a myriad of other industries. Although there is always common ground, every industry has its own unique set of needs and criteria for metal finishing. The conscientious metal finisher must be able to recognize these unique requirements, and reconcile them with the nuances of the plating methods and processes.
Rack Plating & Tooling
When quoting at a prospective job, some of the key factors to consider are:
- Part geometry
- End use
- Base material
- Part volume (EAU)
- Type Of Process (Electroless, Electrolytic, Immersion Only, etc)
By R. Savija
All specifications for electroplating, whether military, federal, ISO, ASTM or SAE-AMS specifications, have an initial section that contains essential information to be supplied by the purchaser to the electroplater. More times than not, much of this information is omitted from part prints and purchasing documents which opens the door to potential miscommunication and finishing shortfalls. This blog details some of the more common omissions that are discovered by Advanced Plating Technologies’ engineering staff during quoting or contract review of specifying a plating process.
Specification of the plating thickness and tolerance requirements:
Often a minimum/maximum thickness tolerance without a defined checkpoint cannot be realistically obtained with a traditional electroplating process. For example, a plating specification that lists a minimum plating thickness of 0.0003” and a maximum plating thickness of 0.0005” for all surfaces of an electroplated part would not be achievable on most part geometries due to the inherent variations in electrolytic plating distribution. Continue reading
Are you new to the metal finishing industry? Perhaps you’ve recently been promoted to a buyer of electroplated material/services within your organization’s supply chain department…a new supplier quality engineer overseeing metal finishing applications…a design engineer who has to address surface engineering as a key component of product design…or a student contemplating a career in metal surface finishing.
No matter what your informational needs are, the following three online resources are a great starting point, each providing a wealth of technical and training information and links related to metal surface finishing technology, environmental impact and regulatory compliance. Continue reading