• Industrial Metal Plating – What Are Its Benefits

      4:18 am By Harry

      Over the centuries, almost all industries have been benefited with consistently evolving industrial metal plating procedures. While both conductive and non-conductive metal objects are the key components for various manufacturing processes, it is plating that provides a thin layer of metal like copper, zinc, nickel, gold, or silver as a barrier on the base metal substrates to protect them from varied atmospheric conditions like corrosion.

      Contextually, metal plating offers plenty of benefits from hardening to improved conductivity, solderability, wear-ability, paint adhesive ability and so on. Plating can be accomplished through electroplating, whereas electric charge is essential and through electroless plating or autocatalytic process; that doesn’t require electrical support.

      Industrial Metal Plating -Benefits

      Improved corrosion resistance

      Natural oxidation that speeds up rusting is the biggest opponent for steel, cast iron, and aluminum, the three largest consumed metals in industrial applications. Even though pure aluminum is quite anti-corrosive, but when alloyed, they equally become vulnerable to oxide, rust, and wear. Depending on the criticality of the setting, with various kinds of less reactive metal plating, the high impact of corrosion can be effectively lessened.

      Decorative appeal

      Not only jewelry but right from constructional industry to home appliances, lighting accessories, furnishing industry to assembly component manufacturers ( like nuts, screw, bolts, fasteners) these days look for aesthetically appealing product finishes attracting prospective customers. Based on the applications and product cost, a thin layer of precious metals like gold or silver to cost-effective zinc plating can increase the visual look those objects to a great extent.

      Enhanced strength

      Metal plating means is a consistent solution to make brittle metal substances like copper, gold makes more durable and robust to let them resist to possible damages. Plated surfaces with nickel, cadmium or chrome are less prone to damage when collided, dropped that typically increase their durability.

      Increased conductivity

      Even though the largest part of metals is conductive, however, an efficient way to enhance their conductive property is now possible with metal plating. For example, plating with gold or silver can amazingly improve the conductivity of a base material that becomes helpful for industries like electronics, automobile, communication or aeronautic and so on.

      Higher lubricity

      Friction among metal parts is a common scenario in workshops as well as in various industrial applications. With appropriate choice of metal plating like cadmium, various industries are benefited to successfully lessen friction that causes unwanted galling and thus, increase efficiently of mechanisms.

      Enhanced adhesiveness

      Various plating process comes handy to increase the adhesiveness of metal substrates enabling them to work as a great undercoat. That helps in adding paints and thus provides a uniform metal surface. In addition, increased adhesiveness of metal surface helps greatly by increasing the integrity of when it comes to critical applications.

      Increased solderability

      The need for solderability is immense in various industrial applications. Whether we talk about electronics, electrical, aviation, engineering or the decorative world, better solderability with plating is vastly demanding.

      Heat resistance

      Simply consider your home appliances that come with copper plating because that can stand high temperature without any hassle. Similarly, in various applications metal plating offers the easiest way to resist heat.

    • Benefits of Chromic Acid Anodizing on Metals

      4:41 am By Harry

      Chromic acid anodizing extensively known as type I anodize produces the thinnest anodic film in the midst of all three major anodizing types with a coating range from 0.00005” to 0.0002”. Nonetheless, once this thinnest coat is properly sealed, it enjoys the ability to afford equal corrosion protection equivalent to the thicker Type II and Type III or hardcoat group of anodizing. With a less acidic nature opposed to type II, chromic acid anodizing is top preferred in critical components and applications as a safer solution to boast higher integrity when applied to places like delicate closures or welded ridges.

      How Chromic Acid Anodize Differs from Its Counterparts?

      The thinner layer of chromic anodize appears grayer in color, and due to natural thinness, it is less likely to absorb many colors when dyed. Even though with least dying possibility, it’s not chosen when it comes to decorative finishes. Nevertheless, it can be effectively dyed black for using as a non-reflective coating of structural parts widely demanding in structural industry, housing, and optical applications. Equally, it’s to be noted that black dyed chromic is not as blackish as produced from sulfuric anodizing while it looks light grayer in appearance. Importantly, to let chromic anodize accept black dye, the setting temperature of chromic acid needs to get raised and needs scheduling accordingly. It is less porous and softer than type II and Type III and ideally preferred in aerospace, precision machining, and constructional industry.

      Benefits of Chromic Acid Anodize

      Excellent for parts of tight tolerance

      One of the unique attributes of chromic acid anodizing is that once applies; it won’t change dimensions of structural parts of high tolerance. The coatings have negligible or no impact over the fatigue force of finished metal parts that are relatively thin, fragile or complex. This makes it much preferred to plating specialist groups for anodizing components with holes, gaps, alcoves, and crevices to have superior integrity in finishing.

      Color

      A chromic acid anodizing boasts an appearance which varies among opaque shiny to dark grayer depending on the kind of alloy used in the application. With a thinner coat, it offers the higher possibility of corrosion resistance as well as an exclusive base for painting.

      Good for Bonding: With thin layers, chromic acid anodizing performs great for bonding needs;

      Non-Conductive: with skinny film, chromic acid anodizing has high demand in aerospace to electrical and electronic due to non-conductive.

      Excellent for welded and assembly parts: When it comes to critical applications having joined, welded parts and assembled or bonded structural materials, type I or chromic acid anodizing works many betters as opposed to others.

      Chromic Acid Anodize – Major application areas

      • Aerospace applications

      • Precision machined elements

      • Welded parts and assemblies

      • Prime or paint base

      • Structural finishes

    • Cadmium Plating Process – The Various Kinds of Substances Used in Metal Plating

      5:24 am By Harry

      Cadmium is a byproduct of zinc, and in 1920 it got recognition as an outstanding plating solution to produce a highly protective metal surface that can work even in extreme weather conditions including salty environments. The uniqueness of cadmium is that even being extremely malleable that makes them versatile for metallic coating, once electroplated they boast extremely robust as a protective layer.

      Also, called as Cad, it can be plated successfully on metals like steel, malleable, iron, cast iron, copper, and powdered metal and playing the role of a ‘sacrificial coating’ before the base metal. Industries like aerospace, defense, automotive, mining, engineering, electrical, and off-shore are the major users of cadmium plating for various applications.

      Key Advantages

      • Extremely high corrosion resistance even in an aquatic environment

      • Astonishing luster equivalent to silver plating or gold plating (with chromate conversion coatings)

      • Commendable lubricity

      • Highly malleable

      • Solder-ability

      • Aesthetic with color option

      The Cadmium Plating Process

      Among the most popular methods followed by plating companies for cadmium plating, two are barrel plating and electroplating. Another method called vacuum deposition process is also in demand.

      Preprocess treatment

      The essentiality of pre-processing treatment for cadmium plating is no different from all other metal plating procedures. In order to attain the best coating outcome, thorough cleaning of the substrates before plating is crucial. Without having treatment, the contaminants including dust particles, debris, and oily matters can hinder the integrity level of metal finishing which is unwanted. In general, in the cleaning phase for cad plating, a chemical solution treatment is provided at high boiling level whereas the heat works great on the cool surface of metal bodies to eliminate contaminants. Once well treated, the materials are ready to get plated.

      Barrel Plating

      Also called as mechanical plating, barrel coating involves submerging the metal items as well as cadmium powder, essential chemical and glass beads to spin gently within the barrel. The process is ideal and economical for small and volume plating of metal parts like fasteners, crews, nuts, and bolts irrespective of their shapes. This coats metal components with cadmium in a mechanical process.

      Electroplating

      Similar to all other electroplating procedures, cad plating typically needs acid bath and backup of electrical charge. The key substance required for cad plating include cadmium salts while substrates should be dipped within the salt solution before passing the electrical charge through it. Commonly large and delicate metal objects are chosen or cadmium electroplating.

      Vacuum Deposition

      The vacuum deposition method of cad cadmium plating is carried out through heating the object being plated by heating it in a vacuum. During the process, condensed atoms of cadmium get deposited on the surface of the metal producing a superfine, high-quality film of cadmium. The cad ions contribute a lot to enhance the properties of the coating. This kind of plating is mostly used for plating rotor parts used in helicopters, aircraft, and others.

    • What are the Advantages of Electroless Nickel Plating?

      5:42 am By Harry

      The revolutionary approach of electroless nickel plating has come up as a far superior alternative of traditional electro-nickel plating to users with its great metallurgical properties. When it comes to electroless plating, instead of depending on electric charge based coating procedure, a plating company undergo an auto-catalytic layer depositing method with nickel-phosphorous alloy. The uniformity of coating that electroless nickel plating (EN) can produce is experienced far smoother and dependable by major industrial users all over the world. Remarkably, in the auto-catalytic plating procedure, phosphorous performs in the major role of a superior catalyst and helps in addressing any kind of surface with irregularity like gaps, cubs, holes, groupings which appears tricky in traditional nickel plating. By altering the percentage of the prosperous mix, the alloy can render customized coating advantage with exclusive metallurgical benefits.

      In the plating process, usually, a solution of nickel salt and hypophosphite is used for bathing the base material while various other chemical compounds might be used in the solution to control pH levels and for stabilizing the session. Significantly, electroless nickel plating can be successfully applied on both conductive as well as non-conductive materials, like plastics, fibers and other synthetic material where electroplating nickel plating often fails.

      Electroless Nickel Plating and its Benefits

      Flawless Smooth Coating

      One of the great benefits of electroless nickel finishing that has made it increasingly popular to industrial users is that it offers consistently smooth and steady coating on metal substrates, irrespective of its surface complexity or geometrical design. Electroless nickel plating can effectively reach the buried surfaces including holes, sections, and cuttings, like a ball bearing pieces. Thanks to the newest concept that doesn’t need extra surface finishing steps to make up the exposed areas, which has been a common pain in electroplating procedure. In consideration of accuracy level of metal finishing those industries like medical devices, automobile, or aviation need today, it’s none, but electroless plating can only deliver the desired level of coating finishing.

      Superior Corrosion Resistance

      The auto-catalytic process of electroless nickel plating has been established to be an exceptionally stable barrier to protect metal substrates from all possible oxidation, rusting, and wear. It’s the PH concentration used in the plating plays the major role of being an extremely defending layer to environmental deterioration that worries major industries that aviation, defense services, off-shore, engineering, and others. Moreover, by changing the percentage of phosphorous in the alloy, industrial users can get a custom defensive coat of nickel finishing as per application need. Even with 100% nickel used in the plating solution, electroplating cannot produce the class of anti-corrosion property that electroless can do.

      Customized Coating Density

      One unique attribute of electroless nickel plating is that, depending on the nature of the industrial application, users can get custom-made plating density available in low, medium, and high standards. Just by changing the amount of phosphorous mix in the plating solution, a specialized plating company can not only change the endurance of the coating but its innate property too.

      o Low phosphorous- With minimal ph mix, you can get even thickness all over the metal body well protected against rusting, tarnishing and deterioration;

      o Medium phosphorous- medium phosphorus mixed electroless plating generates high-class coating endurance, anti-corrode strength, and smoothness. Aside from the unique protective layer, the alloy is often demanded for brightening the substrate that adds to product visual.

      o High phosphorous – for applications that specially used in mining projects, or sits in high salty, alkaline environments, never forget to ask for high phosphorous auto-catalytic nickel plating.

      Brilliant Exterior Solidity

      In no way, you can overlook the great significance of coating solidity that typically protects the underlying object from potential peeling, abrasion and wear; common in exterior environments. No surprise that electroless nickel plating has emerged as a never before a solution to fetch you highly intense, long-lasting, strapping exterior coating of your products.

      The scope of Composite Coating

      Composite coating signifies using an alloy of two or more materials. The plating concept has been in high demand to major corporate sectors due to its high-class chemical properties of hardness, corrosion, and abrasion resistance. Notably, the high potential of auto-catalytic plating has been proved to meet extremely rigid coating standard demanded by offshore, mining, shipping and aviation nowadays. Phosphate mixed composite costing is ideally great to bear extreme climatic condition, intense UV rays, heat, and thus providing a shield of safety, security, and endurance.

    • CNC Machining Services – Three Tips to Choose the Right Company

      7:26 am By Harry

      CNC machining has revolutionized the metal fabrication process in the past few decades. Manufacturing industry relies heavily on the CNC machining for the mass production of metal parts. That’s why choosing the right CNC machining company is very important for the success of a manufacturing business.

      Here are the three tips to choose the right CNC machining company:

      Licensing and Experience

      The first and foremost thing you need to ensure is the company you are interested in must have a valid license to operate in your state. State and local government authorities are responsible for the licensure of CNC machining services companies in your area. Regulating authorities follow strict rules and guidelines for the licensure of CNC machining shops. A valid license ensures that the company has trained and skilled staff, and complies with industry norms in the manufacturing process.

      And once you have checked the certification and license of the company, ask questions about the experience of your CNC machining shop. When it comes to the mass production of high precision metal components, there is no substitute for experience. Find a company that has a team of experienced engineers, quality analysts, and machine operators. When you hire an experienced CNC machining company, you don’t have to worry about the quality of metal components and unnecessary delays in delivery of the project.

      Equipment and Technology

      A CNC machining company is as good as their engineers, machine operators, and equipment used for production. Type of technology your CNC machine shop is using has a great impact on the quality of metal components and cost of production. Ask your shop management about equipment and technology they are using for fabrication.

      Modern CNC machines are highly efficient and have less defect rate. Also, if you want to make changes in the design of metal parts, modern CNC machines have various software capabilities that allow you to modify the design. Make sure your CNC machine shop uses up-to-date modern technology. Better technology makes manufacturing process highly efficient, cost-effective, and fast. Also, ask your shop management about the type of material they work with because different CNC machining companies work with different materials.

      Previous Work and Prototyping

      Almost every CNC machining company claims that they are the best in the industry. The best way to find out is to have a look at samples of their previous work. A good CNC company will be eager to show samples of metal components produced in their shop. When you see samples of previous work, you will get a fair idea of their attention to detail and quality of the work.

      And before placing large orders, you can use prototyping. During the prototyping process, you can determine the company’s capability to communicate and understand your needs. If you are satisfied with the prototype, then you can hire the CNC machining services you are interested.

      These are the three tips you can keep in mind while choosing your CNC machining company.

      Why hire CNC machining services?

      Hiring a CNC machining company has enormous benefits. You don’t have to invest a substantial amount of money in purchasing, operating, housing, and maintaining the equipment. Operational costs of in-house production can be overwhelming for many businesses. On the other hand, outsourcing CNC machining work can get the job done at a fraction of the cost of in-house production.

      More importantly, it allows you to focus on the core activities of your business. Once you have chosen a right CNC machining company, you do not have to worry about managing the production process. Your CNC machine shop will be responsible for the quality control and delivering project in specified deadlines.

      In the end…

      Fabrication is the most important step in the manufacturing process. It has a direct impact on the success of your business. Therefore, it is necessary that you should spend some time on research before hiring CNC machining services for your manufacturing needs.

    • How the CNC Machine has Become Popular

      6:23 am By Harry

      A computer numerical control (CNC) machine is a high-precision, computer-controlled machine that you can program to carry out practically any kind of manufacturing task you require. These machines have revolutionized the modern manufacturing industry by facilitating cost-effective mass production that requires little supervision and produces superior products. You no longer need to rely on a variety of different machines for one or more of the production processes.

      Here are some of the reasons why a CNC machine shop has become so popular in the modern manufacturing sector:

      The CNC Machine Increases Work Efficiency

      Equipped with 2.5 axes to 5 axes machining, a single CNC machine can incorporate several complex components and undertake multiple work operations. You can program it to complete all essential tasks in the sequence you want, and the machine will follow these instructions without further supervision on your part. If the machine requires different tools to complete different tasks or different parts of the same task, it will change these tools itself when needed.

      The CNC Machine Ensures Work Consistency

      Once you have programmed the exact dimensions and other features of your product, the CNC machine will create as many copies of it as you require. All the copies will adhere precisely to the inputted details. They will be identical to each other, and they will remain identical whether the machine makes a dozen products or several hundred or even more. This kind of consistency in production is very important in manufacturing, and you wouldn’t get it with human-operated machines where there is always a margin for error.

      The CNC Machine Offers Reliability

      You won’t have to wonder how the final products are going to turn out. They are going to be exactly as you want and in the exact quantities, you want. If you want to change the products details, you must only enter an altered program into the CNC machine, and it will change the product as you require.

      The CNC Machine Affords Continual Production

      Current CNC machines are very powerful, and you can run them for 24 hours throughout the week and throughout the year without the machine faltering. As long as you carry out regular maintenance and servicing, the machine will work indefatigably. The continual work means higher production and, hopefully, more profit for the manufacturer. Such continual work wouldn’t be possible with human-operated machines that require a greater degree of human supervision.

      The CNC Machine is Cost-Effective

      CNC machines can be exorbitantly expensive, given their complex components and high-end microcomputers. Even so, in the long run, they end up saving you time, money, and labor.

      Instead of buying several different machines for your production process, you only need to invest in one CNC machine shop. You don’t need to hire several workers to operate the machine. Only a single person who knows how to code and operate the machine is enough, and, after programming the machine, this person does not need to supervise every step of the production process. The machine, as long as the operator has properly programmed it, manages everything on its own.

      Since you don’t have to rely on different machines and on different workers to operate these machines, there will be no work delays and work breaks. With the CNC machine, you can have continual production and at a much faster rate.

      As you see, a CNC machine is extraordinarily useful in the manufacturing sector. It controls lathes, mills, routers, and other tools, and you can use it to create a precisely-made part for almost any type of product, be it of wood, plastic, or metal. Want to make jewelry? Or furniture? Or a musical instrument? Or, maybe, even a boat? You can do it with a CNC machine, and you can program that with a single software.

      Some of the software that CNC machines use includes Fusion 360, Aspire, VCarve Pro, and MeshCam. You may experience a steep learning curve in regard to this software, especially if you are new to programming. It will be worth your while though in terms of future profits. With the growth of wireless control of computers, you can even work the CNC machine from a remote location of your choice.

    • What is Powder Coating and How Can I Use it

      8:58 am By Harry

      Powder coating is a method of covering a surface with an aesthetic-looking powder coat that will protect the surface from rust, corrosion, scratches, and any other damage. Metals are most commonly powder coated, but some powder coating services also undertake the coating of other materials such as wood, glass, composites, MDF, and plastic.

      The process involved in powder coating these materials is different than for metal as they can melt or burn when exposed to a high degree of heat. It is necessary therefore to impart these materials with a heat withstanding facility before the powder coating process.

      Understanding Powder Coating Process

      The first step in powder coating is to prepare the surface. In the case of metal, you should sandblast it in a dry environment to remove dirt, rust, oil, mill scale, and any old coatings. It is important that you only do this in a dry environment as the sandblasting process removes the metal’s surface oxidation and renders it vulnerable to quick rusting. This being the case, don’t delay in applying the zinc-based primer and in carrying out the powder application.

      Powder coating is best done for small parts that you can spray on quickly. Once you have primed the surface, heat the parts in an oven to melt the primer. Then remove for the powder coating. It is essential to deposit an even layer of polymer powder on the surface. You can do this with an electrostatic spray in a controlled setting. The sprayed-on powder doesn’t stick to the surface in the usual sense, but, in fact, attaches itself to the surface due to electrostatic attraction. That is, the powder carries a positive charge as soon as the spray fires it onto the surface and the surface already carries a negative charge, and this results in, as mentioned, an electrostatic attraction.

      Around 60 to 70 percent of the powder that you spray on the surface will attach itself to it. You can reclaim and recycle the powder that falls off. This means there is no wastage in the powder coating process.

      Also, you can make do with only one coat, and there is no question of spraying too thick or too thin. Since the powder attaches itself to the surface by electrostatic attraction, only a single layer of positively charged powder particles will attach to the surface, and the surface will repel all further particles even if they bear a positive charge. The single layer is at least ten times as thick as a layer of liquid paint and is sufficient protection for the surface.

      After spraying, place the powder coated parts in the oven for the curing process. Avoid touching the powder-coated surface or causing it to rub or bump against anything as this can disturb the powder layer.

      The hard polymer coat that then forms over the surface is made up of long, strong, and flexible molecular chains. Along with being around ten times thicker than a layer of wet paint, it is very durable and can withstand vibrations, jolts, and bumps without getting chipped or scratched.

      The coating also increases the surface’s resistance to corrosion, and it does not fade away over time. Better yet, powder coating is an inexpensive process, and you can get a variety of colorful, textural finishes. As soon as you remove the part from the oven, you can use it as per your requirement. You can do this within 20 minutes.

      The Benefits and Drawbacks of Powder Coating

      While spraying, it is necessary to wear a protective face mask and to avoid inhaling or getting the powder on your skin. Another issue is that the maintenance of the oven for the curing process can be expensive. Also, once you have cured a powder coated part, you cannot retouch its surface to change or improve it.

      On the plus side, powder coating is free from harmful chemical compounds like solvents and volatile organic compounds. You only need one layer, and it is durable and long-lasting. It is also inexpensive, easy to apply, and with no wastage. Powder coating, therefore, finds wide usage, and powder coating services remain in high demand in the military and industrial sectors.

    • How Electroless Nickel Plating Works

      9:00 am By Harry

      Electroless nickel plating is an alternative to traditional electroplating techniques. In addition, it can plate various surfaces such as copper which are rather difficult to plate with the traditional processes. It is more cost effective as it does not require electric power.

      Let’s Understand How Electroless Nickel Plating Works

      Electroless nickel plating is an autocatalytic process in which a nickel alloy deposits by catalytic reduction onto the surface that requires plating; a catalytic reduction is a chemical reaction.

      In this process, you immerse the surface requiring plating in a solution containing a nickel salt and reducing agents like sodium hypophosphite, which creates a nickel-phosphorous alloy, or sodium borohydride, which creates a nickel-boron alloy. The use of nickel-phosphorous alloy is more common. The reducing agent and the surface that needs plating to catalyze the ions in the solution and reduce these ions to nickel alloy atoms that then settle on the surface.

      The deposited nickel alloy further serves as a catalyst for continuing the process, which is why we know the process as autocatalytic.

      The plating solution also contains some other chemicals which stabilize the process. The choice of a reducing agent and its concentration in the solution is as important for effective plating as the concentration of nickel ions. You must manage the solution’s temperature, and pH as these can affect the plating quality.

      The surface that needs plating determines how effective the plating will be. For the plating to adhere to the surface, the surface must be evenly smooth and free of dirt, oils, and other pollutants. Clean the surface with chemical cleansers, remove weld spatter, round out sharp edges, and ground out corroded areas of the surface.

      Types of Electroless Nickel Plating

      The type of plating depends upon the plating’s microstructure, and this microstructure depends upon the phosphorous amount in the nickel salt and reducing agent solution. The amount of phosphorous also affects the melting point and magnetic properties of the nickel alloy plating. A higher phosphorus percentage decreases the melting point, making soldering easier, but, at the same time, the plating’s magnetic effects diminish and vice versa.

      Low-level solutions contain less than seven percent phosphorous. This creates a microcrystalline structure where each grain size is between two to six nanometers, and the plating is of uniform thickness even on inner surfaces. The deposited alloy has greater hardness. This plating is effective in resisting corrosion in alkaline environments.

      For plating decorative items, electronic goods, and other industrial products, use a medium-level solution containing four to ten percent of phosphorous. The mix of amorphous and microcrystalline structures gives a brighter finish to the surfaces.

      Solutions containing more than ten percent of phosphorous are high-level, and the microstructure of the plating is completely amorphous. Grain boundaries are sites at which corrosion is more likely to start. As there are no grain boundaries in an amorphous material, this type of plating offers higher corrosion resistance, especially in acidic environments.

      If you need a more hardened surface and corrosion resistance is not a priority, you can increase the electroless nickel plating’s hardness with heat treatment. This treatment creates microcracks in the plating which increase the possibility of surface corrosion.

      You can salvage worn products by electroless nickel plating. Apply several plating layers and if they exceed the original dimensions, remove some of the extra layers. The plating’s hardness makes this possible without damaging the product.

      Benefits of Electroless Nickel Plating

      The principal advantage of electroless nickel plating is that it facilitates the uniform plating of product surfaces and of shapes of varying complexities from tubes to spinnerets

      The hardness of the electroless nickel plating reduces wear and extends the life of the plated products.

      As this plating improves surface corrosion resistance, it is helpful in protecting surfaces from the corrosive effects of oxygen, carbon dioxide, various chemicals, and salt water. It is more economical to use electroless nickel plated products instead of expensive corrosion resistant alloys.

      A variety of conductive and non-conductive surfaces can be electroless nickel plated. The finish of the plating surface can have a matte look or varying levels of brightness. For these reasons, it has become a popular plating method across a broad range of industries from Oil and Gas to Food Processing.

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