Due to its aesthetic appeal, natural polish, and inexpensive cost compared to 9-carat alloys, gold plating is a favourite in the decorative and jewellery industries. When compared to other metals, gold is the least prone to oxidise – it doesn’t even oxidise in water. It’s also one of the most conductive and malleable materials, making it a preferred plating medium.
What is Gold Plating?
Modern gold plating, also known as gold electroplating service, uses a chemical technique to fuse multiple metal layers into a solid item with a layer of gold on top. Gold electroplating service has been used professionally since the 1840s, and it was greatly improved during World Wars I and II.
Before beginning the gold electroplating service, the part is polished and cleaned as well as possible. If the surface is unclean, oily, scratched, or otherwise damaged, gold plating will appear uneven and smudged.
The plating metal, usually gold or silver, is used to make a metal salt in gold electroplating service. When positively charged metal ions react with an acid or a non-metal, metal salts are generated. When an acid and a base react to neutralise each other, these salts are created. The salt is then dissolved in water and combined to create a “bath” for your component.
An electric current is applied to the component you’re plating, which is immersed in this bath. As it passes through the bath, the current is directed to the component, which dissolves the metal salts. Gold molecules are carried by the current and deposit themselves on your component.
The thickness of the plating is usually determined by how long the component is left in its bath. When you have gold plating done, you are benefiting from decades of clean and polished methods.
What can gold plating be applied to?
As long as the metal has a metal conducting surface, gold plating can be put to it. When copper is gold plated, a nickel coating is frequently placed on the substrate as a mechanical backing to increase overall wear resistance and decrease gold pores.
What is the gold plating process?
Gold plating is a thin layer of gold deposited to a surface using the gold electroplating service, which comprises stripping, polishing, sandblasting, tumbling, and a range of liquid chemical cleaners to clean the substrate’s surface. This increases the layer’s stickiness and keeps impurities out of the plating tank.
To eliminate any remaining oil or grime, a second deep clean is performed.
To eliminate any cleaning agents, it is rinsed.
If necessary, a copper or nickel base layer is added.
The substrate is hung from a cathode bar and submerged in a plating solution (a pole with a negative electrical charge). An electric charge attracts the positively charged ions in the gold plating solution. The length of time the plating spends in the tank determines its thickness.
Rinse and dry the gold-plated component.
What is gold plating used for?
Due to its low cost and similar aesthetic effect, gold plating is mainly utilised for jewellery. It’s also common on signs, antiques, and bathroom accessories. Gold plating is used in the electronics sector to provide a corrosion-resistant and conductive layer on copper for electrical connectors and printed circuit boards.
Items usually gold plated:
Connectors for electrical devices
Printed circuit boards (provides a corrosion-resistant layer on top of the copper, with a layer of nickel in between)
Advantages of gold plating:
Gold plating lowers the cost significantly while maintaining the same aesthetic attributes as pure or filled gold.
Because the gold electroplating service is quite affordable, the gold layer can be re-plated if it becomes tarnished or damaged.
Disadvantages of gold plating:
Gold-plated products, such as jewellery, may tarnish and exhibit wear with time.
The object is less valuable than pure gold if it contains less gold.
Gold electroplating service are pricey for one-off items in general due to labour costs.
To withstand the stresses of space travel, most space vehicle parts are plated in pure gold or composed of gold alloys. Gold is a noble metal that makes an excellent metal coating for surfaces that are exposed to extreme heat and humidity. It provides the greatest non-corrosive and heat-resistant surfaces, which has led to its usage in the aerospace industry. It has a solid conductive property that has allowed it to enter the electrical and electronics industries.
Because gold is a precious metal, it is not an inexpensive option for industrial use. Hence industrial gold plating is costly. This is why Smart Microns provides a zero-waste gold electroplating service with the lowest gold-to-surface-area ratio possible.
The 24kt gold plating thickness we utilise is between 0.3 and 15 microns, thanks to our cutting-edge NanoTech Gold Deposition (NTGD) technology. Because of this coverage, it is very cost-effective for covering big surfaces, especially those that will not be handled directly. Because devotee donations fund most buildings, Smart microns have become quite popular in the Golden Temple-Architecture sector.