ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY PLATING SOLUTIONS
Solutions We've Pioneered
ProPlate’s dedicated new product development team supports new medical device projects from concept through commercialization through our proven process roadmap.
ProPlate® has a library of solutions for a wide range of parts and industries. We are always pleased to take on new challenging projects.
Below are a few examples of Energy & Technology Plating Solutions we have pioneered.
Gold Plated Compressor Bearing Seals
Client: Oil and Gas Industry OEM and re-seller
OEM designed a replacement bearing seal to protect bearings located within a compressor. The original seal contained lead or babbitt, but it was prone to corrosion and had to be replaced each year. The compressor environment is highly corrosive from constant exposure to sulfuric acid. Gold plating is a highly corrosion-resistant alternative to lead or babbitt. The cost of replacing a single babbitt-based seal was greater than $325,000, which included the downtime to rebuild the compressor.
Gold plating at the .007234” level of thickness was prone to roughness and an uneven level of precious metal coverage. The size of the seal posed additional handling and masking issues that further challenged the plating process. Along with the productivity deficiencies, which took over 70 hours of plating bath time at this level of thickness, it was challenging to measure the thickness of gold that created a potential cost impact for both the customer and ProPlate®.
ProPlate® designed a unique process to selectively mask seals and gold plate to .007234” thickness without roughness and coverage issues. The life of the seals increased from 1 year to 6-10 years. An estimated $10,000,000 of lost opportunity could be eliminated by $60,000 in gold-plated seals. This solution provided a cost savings impact of over $1,000,000 in uptime over six years.
- Corrosion Resistance
- Increase Part Life
- Cost Savings
ProPlate® partners with industry-leading technology companies who share our core values worldwide; Innovative, Collaborative, Critical Thinking, Driven, Quality Minded, and Reputable.
Gold Plated Marine Bellows
Client: Marine Test Instrumentation OEM
OEM designed a pressure sensing bellows out of nickel to be used in deep ocean exploration. Due to the corrosive nature of saltwater and the installed anti-corrosion devices, the bellows are at risk of hydrogen gas formation on its outer surface, which then diffuses through the bellows to its interior, resulting in gas over-pressure and bellows rupture. In vetting out solutions to prevent hydrogen diffusion, gold was discovered to be the best choice material.
Long Marine Bellows require gold plating throughout a narrow cavity. The shape of the bellows includes accordion-shaped ridges with many small areas making cleaning and plating very difficult because trapped fluid within the bellows canal causes blistering and voids in the plating process. Additionally, there is a need for an electrical charge to be carried throughout the narrow cavity.
ProPlate® designed a two-stage plating process to address the plating of both the inside and outside of the Marine Bellows. A unique plating fixture was built to hold Marine Bellows in position for gold plating of the cavity. An anode apparatus was designed to funnel and circulate bath chemistry into the cavity within this unique fixture. It was also used to extend electricity throughout the cavity. A custom cleaning tool was created to quickly remove materials from the inside cavity of the Marine Bellows. ProPlate’s engineered solution provided even coverage necessary for corrosion resistance protection.
- Consistent Gold Coverage
- Corrosion Resistant
- Electrical Conductivity
ProPlate® collaborates with value driven companies around the world to provide innovative engineered metallization solutions and to improve people’s lives.
Gold Plated FPSO Slip Rings
Client: Precision Motion Control Products OEM
FPSO Slip Rings
Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) swivels permit the continuous delivery of electrical power and signals, hydraulic fluids, and fiber optic signals while allowing the vessel to weather-vane about its mooring point. Typically, they are composed of electrical slip rings/roller rings or swivels and are used in various Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Systems.
FPSO swivels meet the demanding requirements of offshore operators worldwide. In order to ensure a long life and high performance, a thick layer of gold is applied to these rings. A fabricator approached ProPlate® for the OEM that could find no one willing to accommodate their needs to develop these parts. These rings are large, 48” in diameter. The size and fragility of the part, combined with the need for a thick uniform layer of gold, made for an engineering challenge.
ProPlate® worked closely with the engineers at the OEM and fabricator to determine gold plating requirements for corrosion resistance, wear-ability, and conductivity. After a complete analysis of the manufacturing process and expectations of the plating, a custom bath was constructed. This gold bath was dedicated to this specific part to ensure quality and uniformity. Custom tooling was also developed to plate the rings consistently and within specification. The fabricator was able to meet the OEM need for a very large part with unique requirements.
- Increased Part Life
- Consistent Coverage
- Enhanced Performance
Contact us to request information about our plating and metal finishing services
We Are Dedicated to Partnering With Our Customers
Professional Plating, Inc. is dedicated to solving our customers’ toughest plating-related challenges by working with them on the front end of the design and engineering process. We engineer custom solutions designed specifically for your unique requirements. ProPlate® has pioneered selective precious metal plating innovations and continuously strives to improve your part’s application and performance while driving down costs.