Electroplating is an ideal way to combine the characteristics of multiple materials into a single object. This metal finishing process utilizes an aqueous bath and an electric current to adhere a thin layer of metal to the surface of a base material. Electroplating is essential for industrial applications, including to improve lubricity and prevent oxidization.
Sharretts Plating Company has been a premier provider of industrial electroplating services since 1925. We offer a range of coating options, plating methods and base materials for our customers.
Reliable Plating Methods
Depending on your specific requirements and intended applications, there are numerous ways to capture the benefits of electroplating. Our company utilizes environmentally-friendly, RoHS-compliant practices for our metal plating services. At SPC, we use the following plating methods:
- Barrel plating: Ideal for large numbers of small parts, this method uses a barrel-shaped cage to suspend and agitate pieces in the bath for high-efficiency plating. Due to the amount of contact involved, this method will not produce the finest finish and is not suited for engineering-grade components.
- Vibratory plating: Like barrel plating, vibratory plating can treat numerous parts in a single batch. However, this method is much gentler and better suited to delicate parts. Pieces are placed in a submerged basket with metal contacts to convey the current. The vibrations ensure consistent contact with the metal and result in a uniform plating.
- Rack plating: This method is suited to products with strict finish and dimension requirements. Rack plating uses specially designed racks to hold parts in a specific orientation for consistent plating thickness and adherence to tolerances. SPC builds all of its own racks for optimal results.
High-Quality Coating Options
In addition to plating services, SPC provides consultations to help clients select the best plating method and material for specific applications. We offer a wide array of industrial coatings to achieve the best results from the plated workpiece. Coating options include:
- Copper: Highly conductive and buildable to significant thickness, copper is a versatile, naturally occurring chemical element often used in semiconductors and other electronics. While frequently applied to other metals as a coating, copper's uses extend to non-metallic substrates to metalize products like 3D-printed plastics.
- Electroless copper: This alternate plating method also applies copper particles to surfaces, but it does so without the use of an electric current. SPC offers autocatalytic plating with copper for a uniform, durable and corrosion-resistant finish, enhancing the performance of materials without conductivity.
- Nickel: Resistant to wear, heat and corrosion, nickel offers excellent protection on its own or alloyed with other metals such as tungsten or manganese.
- Electroless nickel: Electroless nickel plating can use low to high phosphorous treatments, alloys with boron and other composite mixes, expanding options for industries seeking larger batches of components at a time.
- Tin: Tin offers a cost-effective protection solution in corrosive environments. Example applications of tin plating include electronics, fasteners and food processing equipment.
- Silver: Electroplating with silver offers high conductivity and defense against chemicals and acids
- Gold: Regarded as one of the most effective and cost-efficient plating materials, gold provides excellent corrosion resistance and heat protection in applications such as aerospace and dentistry.
- Platinum: Platinum's characteristics of extreme heat resistance, adhesion promotion, hydrogen absorption and conductivity make it a popular coating option for the medical, automotive and energy industries.
- Palladium: As part of the platinum family, palladium has a low density and high relative hardness for a soft metal, which can be enhanced by alloying with nickel. Palladium plating is utilized in electronics, dentistry and automotive manufacturing.
- Rhodium: Rhodium coatings provide extreme hardness and high electrical conductivity. With its high density, it creates thicker coatings for components.
- Ruthenium: Ruthenium is often alloyed with other platinum-group metals for additional hardness and thinner coatings, particularly in protecting electrical contacts from corrosion and wear.
- Alloys: Combining metals into an alloy can combine their key characteristics to maximize electroplating benefits. SPC can perform plating with a number of alloys, including palladium-nickel, a substance with low surface-contact resistance and minimal susceptibility to cracking.
For all applicable coatings, SPC meets the ASTM, MIL-Standards, and SAE-AMS specifications.
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Base Materials for Any Application
Some materials such as refractory metals and ceramics offer highly desirable characteristics, but require a coating to be useful in specific instances. Regardless of your application, you need a company you can trust to provide electroplating services and deliver a high-quality product.
SPC offers reliable methods for electroplating onto a wide variety of materials to achieve consistent results. Our capabilities include coating steel and aluminum as well as challenging refractory metals such as molybdenum. We can even electroplate onto unconventional materials such as glass and plastics.
For more information about our specific services and the benefits of electroplating onto various substrates, view our list of viable base materials.
Why Choose SPC for Your Electroplating Needs?
At SPC, we go beyond the limitations of most traditional plating shops that offer only a handful of coatings and substrates. SPC specializes in highly advanced, precision electroplating, and we are one of the few companies operating today that can achieve premium plating results on tungsten and exotic materials.
SPC also provides industry-leading consultation services to help companies determine their electroplating needs. We'll even consult on the development of an in-house setup for those who prefer to finish their products on-site. In addition, we will run your products through a battery of tests to ensure a satisfactory result.
We do not process jewelry, personal handguns, hardware or provide hexavalent chromate/passivate. Also, we do not provide purely cosmetic or decorative finishes.
Request a Quote Today
Whether you need industrial plating now or you're still in the evaluation phase, SPC is here for you. Our clients include companies in demanding industries such as telecommunications, automation, and aerospace and defense. To learn more about our high-quality finishes and consulting services, contact us today to request a free quote.
LEARN WHAT OUR MANY SATISFIED CUSTOMERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT Us
"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.