Light Metal Plating

Light Metal Plating

When any combination of lightweight, high-strength and finished appearance are important factors to a manufactured part or piece of equipment, the process of plating onto light metals was most likely involved in its fabrication. From critical parts used in the aerospace and automotive industries to surgical and orthopedic implants, the needs and uses for plating on light metals grows by the day.

In addition, due to advances in electroplating of light metals, both marine and defense applications can now require key components to be corrosive-resistant while adhering to strict weight specifications.

Whether it’s the need for quality, cost-effectiveness, confidentiality or all three, working with a trusted industry leader in light metals and their plating procedures is a must. That’s why, when you choose Sharretts Plating Company, you automatically get the expertise and innovation associated with over 90 years of supplying the very best in metal finishing solutions. From our production personnel to our most senior scientists and engineers, the entire team at SPC knows how to ensure your light metal plating service needs meet with success — on every level.

What Is a Light Metal?

Light metals are roughly defined by their low densities, or how many grams are found in a cubic centimeter of their pure forms. Traditional metals such as iron and copper have densities of roughly 8 and 9 g/cm3, respectively. In contrast, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium have significantly lower densities ranging from under 2 to 4.5 g/cm3. Since these three light metals are also some of the most sought-after commercially, let’s take a closer look at some of their properties and applications.

  • Aluminum: Known for its softness, durability and lightweight features, aluminum, and aluminum alloy-plated products can be found in everything from automobile and aircraft components to food and beverage packaging.
  • Magnesium: From high-performance wheel parts to heat-resistant engine blocks and cylinder walls, magnesium and magnesium alloys enjoy popular usage in the automotive industry. When properly combined, aluminum-magnesium alloys that are both lightweight and have reduced flammability meet many of the strictest requirements of the aerospace industry.
  • Titanium: With almost as much resistance to corrosion as platinum, titanium (and alloying with titanium) produces parts and equipment that can withstand the harmful effects of many corrosive acids and gases. This makes it useful in the chemical, defense, and aerospace industries. This same quality makes it an ideal metal for desalination equipment. Additionally, titanium is biocompatible, which means it can be used to make surgical implants that the body will not reject.

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For Light Metal Plating

SPC Delivers Superior Plating on Light Metal

Naturally, each of the light metals has specific characteristics that must be taken into account when carrying out electroplating or electroless nickel processes. That’s why working with SPC can give businesses the competitive advantage they’re looking for.

Since 1925, SPC has been an industry leader in supplying plating and metal finishing solutions that are both cost-effective and innovative. Let our know-how and experience help your next project.

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Contact SPC today with all your light metal plating questions and receive a free quote. Your information is always treated confidentially, and there’s no obligation.


"I would like to thank you for the help you have provided us in developing an electroless nickel plating technique on an unusual substrate. The sample platings you provided show that we should be able to reach our goals. I especially appreciate your willingness to take on an unusual job, with the uncertainties that that entails...We are looking forward to working with you in the future on our plating needs."

– Robert K.