Electroplating of furniture: Most of the time, engineers choose a surface treatment with little knowledge of how it is applied—knowing how the electroplating process works might help you get better outcomes.
Tips for designing for electroplating
Engineers should take into account the following essential aspects while designing for electroplating:
- Parts that will be electroplated must be held during the procedure. This serves a dual purpose: it holds the component in place while also making electrical contact. Often, extra tooling holes must be added to the design of a component, specifically for jig contacts, so that the electroplating may be continuous across all other surfaces. At the same time, the part is still held firmly. There are many jig designs available, as well as conventional metric thread sizes. Wires can also be used to hold parts in place.
- The shape of electroplating components can result in airlocks, which prevent air from escaping. This can prevent anodised coating development, restrict coating thickness, and prevent dyeing. Another difficulty induced by component shape is chemical trapping in voids during processing. When the chemical seeps out of the holes after processing, it can create significant-quality concerns, including corrosion or discolouration. Therefore, electroplating chemical manufacturers advocate including drainage holes in the component design to minimise airlocks and cavities.
- The original state of the component will have a significant impact on the look of the coated part. Scratches, pits, and blemishes on the base material cannot be hidden by electroplating. Before submitting components for electroplating, electroplating chemical manufacturers recommend that mechanical finishing be completed. Foreign elements inserted into base material might cause issues. According to plating chemical manufacturers, mixing various alloys in an anodised assembly should be avoided.
- Small cavities are created by incomplete welds, which offer a danger of chemical entrapment. The entrapped air might cause the component to float in processing tanks when welds entirely cover a big void. According to the plating chemical manufacturers, any weld flux should be manually removed before shipping goods for electroplating.
- Because electroplating is a deposition technique on a surface base material, changes in the dimensions of plated objects are simple to compute. An anodised coating grows from the original surface and extends into the base material. The anodised coating allows for about 50% ingress and 50% growth. As a result, manufacturers of electroplating chemicals can assess the size of a feature after it has been anodised.
Knowing some of the complexities of plating will help with the design and manufacture of the electroplated items. This will boost production, save costs, enhance final plating outcomes, and help designers achieve their goals.