Coating and plating are industrial methods of giving metal an external finish or second skin to make a metal component perform better or give it an extra dimension of durability.
Plating, sometimes called electroplating, involves passing an electrical current through a solution to deposit metal atoms on the component’s exterior. Coating generally deploys paint to give an object a finish similar to being powder-coated.
Coating often makes components look better; for example, you can often give them a coating of a particular colour. Practically, coating provides an external surface that gives protection against rust and corrosive substances.
Coating can also be used in the food sector to make non-stick pans, which can make them easier to clean. Coating can also add shine, make the item last longer and reduce friction; what’s more, it can play a role in electrical insulation and protect parts from the current.
Precision electroplating can give a component an extra layer of another metal, such as silver, gold or copper. This type of plating, which involves running a current through an electrolyte containing the plating substance, can enhance the component with extra properties. An example is when brass or copper connecting elements are silver-plated to increase conductivity.
Plating can also make components harder and reduce brittleness. It is extensively used in making jewellery, with gold and platinum plating increasing the value and desirability of many items.
Nickel plating can help to reduce friction between parts and reduce wear and tear. Electroless plating is another way of depositing an outer layer using a chemical reaction rather than an electrical current. Reducing friction on a range of components can also be achieved with electroless nickel coating. If you are thinking about the benefits of electroless nickel coating and want to know more, consult a company that specialises in this area, such as Poeton, to find out what they can offer.
If cost is an issue, tin is a relatively inexpensive substance that can be used for plating many kinds of hardware materials and electronic parts.
There are many options available in the world of coating and plating to make components more attractive, durable and functional. Think about how you would like to improve your components and talk to the experts to turn your vision into reality.