An electrochemical technique that deposits a thin layer of gold on the surface of another metal is known as gold plating. Gold ions, which are positively charged, are drawn through a gold bath solution by an electric current, attaching them to the negatively charged piece of metal. To improve the look of old or fading jewellery, gold plating is often used.
Luigi Brugnatelli, an Italian chemist, created the current process of gold plating in 1805. Since then, everyone has been able to join the golden aesthetic with more inexpensive alternatives to genuine gold jewellery. Gold plating is a simple procedure, but make sure your plater follows recommended practices for the best plating results before starting.
Gold plating- a step by step guide
- Oils and grime must be removed from the surface of the metal to be plated, and the item must be polished. Stripping, polishing, sandblasting, tumbling, and other methods of surface preparation are available. Solvents, abrasive materials, alkaline cleansers, acid etch, water, or a mix of these can be used to clean the surface. A high-rpm rough wheel polishing and acid or non-acid ultrasonic bath are common cleaning procedures. Here are two reasons below.
- To improve compliance.
(Dust and dirt interfere with the plated metal on the gemstones.)
- Protects the plated tank from contaminants.
- After the surface is prepared and the visual inspection is complete, electro cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning and steaming are generally performed. This second deeper cleaning process can give excellent plating results if the metal must be free of oils and stains. Steam cleaning removes all remaining oil during the polishing process. Pay particular attention to complex jewellery with many corners.
- Rinse the piece thoroughly with water to remove the detergent.
- The strike layer, also known as the flash layer, attaches a thin layer of high-quality nickel plating to the base metal. Applying a buffer layer between the surfaces under the plating is sometimes necessary to improve the bond between the surfaces under the plating. In addition, the primary metal can contaminate the tank with gold with costume accessories, so plate other metals before gold plating. It is also used at this stage when basic metals such as copper are known to move atomically out of the gold layer to create post-plated discolouration points. This impressive step creates a barrier between the reactive non-metal and the plated metal. This will increase the life of the bright plating.
- Rinse the pieces again thoroughly with water to remove the detergent.
- If a basecoat under gold is used, it is generally nickel. However, multiple layers of plating may be applied to one particular part. For example, gold-plated products are generally substrates with copper, nickel, and gold layers deposited on top of them.
- Immerse the piece in the plating solution, carefully controlling the time, temperature, and voltage to attract gold ions and the final metal that appears on the surface. Different metals require different voltages and temperatures. The item being plated is suspended from the cathode bar, which is the pole through which the negative charge passes. Jewels connected to the cathode bar are also negatively charged. When a gem sinks into a tank, the gem, which is charged additionally, attracts positively charged ions present in the solution. The actively charged metal ions are submerged in the solution bath. When you get off the bus, the cathode bar is plated with metal jewellery. The plating thickness can be controlled by adjusting the submerging time of the plating bath.
- After washing the fragments with water, they are hung to dry.
- For drying, if possible, the pieces are hung so that they do not come into contact with each other.
- In some cases, it is necessary to repeat the immersion step in the selected plating metal. To improve the bonding between the plating and the surface underneath it, it is sometimes necessary to apply a buffer layer between them. After that step, you need to rinse and dry it.
Gold plating services with Smart Microns
Smart Microns, since 1998, is an innovator in the plating of precious metals such as gold and silver in the electroplating industry, especially in the electrical and electronic industries. As an ISO accredited company, we aim to provide the highest quality at the lowest possible price by using our technologies to the advantage of each other. We offer customised solutions to all kinds of plating, cleaning and polishing needs.
We work with some prominent governmental and non-governmental organisations in the aerospace hardware, research and energy sectors. 24 kt gold plating service using innovative NTGD (Nano Tech Gold Deposition) technology has created golden monuments of more than 4800 gods worldwide. We are an international company of 24kt Gold Plating, providing economical and reliable metal plating and coatings in various industrial and commercial fields.