Electroplating Applications Help
Which metal is right for my electroplating application?
We have some thoughts on that. Call us and we’ll work with you to build the right specification. In the meantime, here’s some basic info.
Gold plating. Nothing else has that color. Also, gold doesn’t oxidize so its’ electrical properties stay constant over time. We add cobalt to increase the hardness and wear resistance. Lots of applications in electrical switches/contacts/connector pins, etc. We follow Mil Spec G-45204 Rev. C.
Palladium plating. Call it White Gold. White color. Harder than cobalt gold. Non-oxidizing. Less expensive than gold. A lower cost, white colored alternative in electrical contact applications. Mil Spec P-45209
Rhodium plating. Super hard. Super wear resistance. Non-oxidizer. White color. Electrical contact applications involving severe duty. Mil Spec R-46085 Rev. A
Silver plating. No other metal has as good electrical conductivity as silver. It’s rather soft and therefore can wear in sliding contact. Silver is a fast oxidizer, which can interfere with electrical conductivity at contact interfaces. This metal excels in radio frequency (RF) conductivity applications such as antennas, radio chassis, and cellular phone gear. To achieve RF conductivity and control oxidation, we suggest either a thin layer of gold (we call that a "flash" of gold), or paint, over silver.
Copper plating. Copper is frequently used as an undercoat to silver, gold, and palladium. It adheres to the precious metals very well and also adheres to many base metals far better than the precious metals do. As an undercoat, copper also provides good corrosion resistance for the base metal. Copper can be soldered in electrical assembly and Mil Spec C-14550
Electroless Nickel plating. Nickel is generally used as a semi-bright white corrosion resistant finish. Electroless nickel plates with unusually uniform dimensional build up on parts so that you don’t get thick regions at outside corners and thin regions at inside corners and in cavities. Also, E-Nickel is hard and offers good wear resistance. The corrosion resistance improves with increasing phosphorous content. We offer both mid-phos and high-phos E-Nickel solutions. E-Nickel plates very well to many types of aluminum and therefore serves as an excellent base for precious metals, which generally don’t adhere well to aluminum. Mil Spec C-26074
Teflon Electroless Nickel (ENPETF) plating. This is an electroless nickel solution containing a dispersion of 10 to 20% Teflon. This produces a dark brown appearance, which is hard, ductile and has super low sliding friction properties. ENPETF is great for high cycle mechanical sliding contact applications.
Sulfamate Nickel plating. The sulfamate addition causes a dull, gray appearance and increases ductility. Sulfamate nickel maintains adhesion in high cycle bending applications where a more brittle surface will flake and break away from the base metal. As an undercoat, sulfamate nickel will increase the bending failure tolerance of the more brittle precious metals. Sulfamate nickel is very solderable, it is sulfur free (which is good because…), and it is more corrosion resistant than tin.