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Electroplating is a process that uses electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations so that they can form a thin coherent metal coating on an electrode. By using this method, the surface properties of a product or material(such as abrasion resistance, corrosion protection and lubricity)can be modified to meet different physical and chemical demands. For example, chromium plating is plated on many objects such as car parts, bath taps, kitchen gas burners, wheel rims to prolong the life of these objects due to the fact that chromium is corrosion-resistant. Electroplating is also used in making expensive jewelry, like 14K or 18K gold-plated jewelry. Copper is another popular electroplating option because it is abundant in nature and relatively inexpensive. And due to its natural electrical conductivity, copper is usually chosen as the metal for the manufacture of circuit boards and other electronic components. It also provides excellent protection against corrosion, since it is less hazardous to the environment than many other plated metals.
Fig.1 A picture of electroplating process.Fig.2 Examples of electroplating application.
Electroplating can change the conductivity, hardness, resistance, brittleness, luster and appearance of objects. It is significant to select suitable coating material to improve the service life and performance of products. If the electroplated coating on the surface of the metal products fails, the internal material may be easily corroded when exposed to the environment and further causes the material to fail. Every year, a large number of materials will be invalidated due to the failure of the electroplated coating.
Sharp edges, inside corners, deep narrow grooves, scratches and cracks, threads, inside diameters differences are all the factors that can cause electroplating problems. Poor adhesion is another major problem that can negatively affect the performance and longevity of an electroplated coating, resulting in the flaking of electroplated coating and failure of materials or products. Many factors can cause the flaking of electroplated coating, such as inadequate surface activation, excessive coating thickness and current interruptions during electroplating. Many tests can be performed to indicate the presence of flaking in a plated part, such as bend test and heat-quench test.
We offer professional testing for your electroplating characterizations in the following industries:
Electronic and electrical industries
Other related products or materials
Testing laboratories of Alfa Chemistry possess many professional equipment for ISO and ASTM method testing. Here are some examples:
Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (SEM-EDS)
Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)
Thermal Gravity Analysis (TGA)
Universal Testing Machine (UTM)
X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
Alfa Chemistry is professional in solving electroplating problems for many industries. Our research and testing services can provide you with accurate and reliable tests results within the time constraints. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns or would like us to perform any electroplating testing. Check our instruments list to see our capabilities.