Industries That Most Often Need Plated Ceramics

When many people think of ceramics, the first thing that likely comes to mind are items such as pottery, vases and works of art. However, ceramic materials also play a crucial role in the manufacturing of some types of industrial products. These substances exhibit a variety of characteristics and properties that are beneficial to manufacturers, such as their inherent stiffness, ability to withstand high temperatures and excellent protection against corrosion.

While ceramics deliver exceptional value, they often require additional treatment to prepare them for the manufacturing process and serve the needs of the end user. Electroplating is a preferred process for purposes such as making a ceramic surface electrically conductive and increasing its ability to withstand stress without cracking. The electroplating technique for ceramics involves the application of a base coat via electroless plating to promote adhesion, which is followed by an electroplated top coat of a metal such as gold, silver or rhodium.

Examples of Industrial Applications That Require Plating onto Ceramics

Industries That Most Often Need Plated Ceramics:

  • Automotive: The catalytic converters that reduce harmful emissions in automotive exhaust systems feature a monolithic ceramic substrate that serves as the catalytically active layer. The ceramic material typically receives an electroplated coating of a noble metal from the platinum group such as palladium, rhodium or platinum.
  • Medical: Manufacturers of orthopedic bone implants use bioceramics, which are ceramic materials that remain inert while inside the human body. Electroplating these implants with metals such as gold and titanium add strength, enhance biocompatibility and increase corrosion resistance.
  • Electronics: Many electrical and electronic products and devices consist of some parts and components that contain ceramic materials. Examples include semiconductors, insulators, capacitors, televisions and radios. Electroplating these items with metal serves purposes such as promoting electrical conductivity and providing thermal protection.
  • Military: Vehicles such as tanks and personnel carriers use ceramic armor for protection due to its attenuative properties. An electroplated coating enhances the strength of the material.
  • Aerospace: Some aircraft parts and components contain ceramic materials. Electroplating the ceramic substrate with a lightweight metal such as titanium adds strength and increases corrosion resistance without negatively impacting the aerodynamics of the product.
  • Construction: The electroplating of sludge is a common practice when manufacturing ceramic bricks that serve as building materials in various construction projects.

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Contact SPC to Learn More About Plating Onto Ceramics

If you think your company could benefit from plating onto ceramics, SPC can help. We’ll use our more than 90 years of metal finishing expertise to develop a customized electroplating process designed for your unique applications. Contact us for more information and to receive a no-obligation quote for your project today.