Critical Details Often Overlooked When Specifying a Plating Process

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:

Geometric TolerancesOften 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

Educational Resources for Metal Surface Finishing Professionals

image004Are 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

Application Considerations For Gold and Silver Wire Bonding Finishes

By E Probasco

GB3_2040_100dpi6x4Wire bonding is a method in which connections are made between components and/or the leads of a lead frame with extremely fine wires. The wires are typically aluminum or gold, but also include copper and silver. There are three common types of bonding, thermocompression, thermosonic, and ultrasonic. wirebond1Thermocompression uses force, time, and heat to join metals together, while thermosonic uses force, times, heat, and sonics, and ultrasonic bonding uses force, time, and sonics. In any of these instances the most important aspect of bonding is to form a good metallurgical bond with the wire and the metal substrate. Continue reading

APT’s Role of US Military Subcontractor Featured in Fifty Caliber Shooters Association Article

US Military Subcontractor ArticleAdvance Plating Technologies continues its role as trusted technical adviser to a number of diverse market sectors.

In our latest profile, The Fifty Caliber Shooters Association’s quarterly publication Very High Power discusses APT’s  role as a subcontractor to the US military, providing specialty plating of a new line of DDI ammunition.  Engineered finishes aiding positive  identification of ammunition types, and withstanding multiple load and unload cycles are key DDI design requirements achieved by Advanced Plating Technologies.

The article further discusses other APT engineered surface treatments used for corrosion prevention and metal on metal lubrication within the ammunition component industry. Read more…

Gold Plating of Micro Components Requires Specialized Techniques to Ensure Consistent Deposition and Part Cleanliness

By M. Lindstedt

Gold Plating - Interconnect Crimp Tubes

Gold Plated Interconnect Crimp Tubes

Gold plating of micro-components such as those used within the medical and interconnect industries presents unique plating challenges. Many micro-component surface treatments, whether being gold plated, silver plated or even passivated corrosion-resistant alloys require specialized process tooling and processing techniques to ensure plating finishes are uniform across all functional surfaces. The cleaning, processing, rinsing and drying processes must all be engineered around the characteristics of the micro component.

Prior to developing micro-compatible processes, plating techniques were limited to significantly larger components on a more macro-scale. Opportunities to expand services within the medical and interconnect industries was the business driver that pushed Advanced Plating Technologies (APT) to focus on process development for substantially smaller micro-components. Continue reading

Plating on Aluminum Substrates for Power Transmission/Distribution Applications

By M. Lindstedt

Copper as a Design Material in the Power Market

Plating of Aluminum is Key to the Power Market

Plating of Aluminum is Key to the Power Market

The power transmission and distribution industry has long utilized copper as the material of choice for designing and manufacturing critical grid components. Copper has excellent thermal and electrical properties that are desirable when transferring and switching very high power loads. In addition, various alloys of copper available provide the machinability and physical/mechanical properties required for most design applications. Copper not only offers outstanding conductivity but its mechanical properties can be enhanced with a range of alloying metals and heat treatments. Grades such as C101 (oxygen free), C110, C145 (tellurium) and C147 (sulfur bearing), C182 (chromium) and C172 (beryllium) are all cuprous alloys that have been utilized within the power transmission and distribution market for decades. All of these grades are readily plated with conductive metals including silver, tin and nickel to enhance the surface conductivity, reduce the formation of insulating oxides and offer enhanced joinability with methods such as brazing and soldering. Continue reading

Stainless Steel Passivation for Critical Applications

By S Patel

SpringsPassivation is a critical processing step in the manufacturing of stainless steel components to enhance the corrosion resistance and make stainless steel parts truly “stain-less.” Proper passivation of stainless steel components can make the difference between satisfactory field performance and premature corrosion failures.  If performed improperly, the passivation process can actually attack and etch the stainless surface or induce corrosion. Passivation is often misunderstood to be a scale removal or bright dipping process when in fact it is fully removed from either of these processes.  The information within the blog serves to detail some of the key principles of passivation of stainless steel offered by Advanced Plating Technologies. Continue reading

SILVER PLATING –An Engineering Finish Gaining in Popularity Within Various Industries

By E Probasco

silver-platingSilver plating offers a range of physical and electrical properties that make it extremely useful for industrial applications.  Due to the current increases in the cost of other precious metals such as gold, palladium and rhodium, silver is a cost-effective alternative precious metal for various electrical, thermal and mechanical applications.  For these reasons, silver has continued to grow as the finish of choice for various product designs and applications.

Silver has extremely high electrical and thermal conductivity – better than that of gold – which has solidified its use in high current power transmission and lower current power connector applications.  Silver also is an excellent high temperature lubricant and can be utilized for various high temperature anti-galling applications within the bearing or fastener industries. Continue reading

Stringent Process, Tooling and Inspection Requirements Essential for Medical Grade Gold Plating

By M.  Lindstedt

Gold Plating Services – Delicate and Micro Parts
Gold plating services within the medical, electronic or telecommunications markets often involves the application of gold deposits on very small or micro parts.  In these industries, there is an on-going emphasis on Swiss and micro machining of smaller and gold-bars1 smaller components to meet design requirements.  In turn, the metal finishing supplier needs to be able process increasing smaller parts when processing these components. The technique of gold plating delicate and micro parts involves more than just the gold plating process.  The metal finisher needs to be able to clean, rinse, dry and inspect the deposits on these difficult components as well.  As such, the job shop needs to utilize not only the proper process method but have adequate line and inspection equipment to properly plate delicate and micro parts in gold. Continue reading