Gold plating is crucial for everyone working in the aerospace sector since it gives its applications usefulness, practicality, and aesthetics. You wouldn’t imagine mankind would send gold into space because it is a valuable commodity. However, some of gold’s special properties are also precious in the space programme. Let us find out how gold plating is important in the Aerospace industry.
If the gold layer does not dissolve into the solder, sluggish intermetallic reactions can continue within the solid nation because the tin and gold atoms cross-migrate. As a result, intermetallics have low electrical conductivity and low strength.
Soft, pure gold plating is used in the semiconductor industry. The gold layer is easily soldered and wire bonded. Its Knoop hardness ranges between 60 and 85. The plating baths have to be kept free of contamination.
Gold, applied by evaporated methods or electroplating, has been specified by NASA to thermally control spacecraft instruments, due to its 99% reflectivity in infrared wavelengths.
Most often, the base metal for gold plating is copper or copper alloy. When gold is plated on copper, a barrier layer must be plated between copper and gold to prevent copper diffusion in gold and eventual migration on the gold surface.
Importance of gold plating in the Aerospace industry
It’s a component of spacesuits. The suits astronauts wear in orbit are coated with a tiny layer of gold to shield them from radiation and to reflect and deflect the sun’s scorching heat. In the aircraft sector, gold plays a spectacular role.
- If you require parts that will last for a long time without lubrication, maintenance, or repair, gold is the way to go. Because gold is a reliable conductor and connection, it is employed in aviation circuitry. Many pieces are also equipped with the gold-coated polyester film due to its reflective properties. This helps to deflect infrared radiation and keeps the temperature onboard the plane stable. The dark-coloured components of the aircraft would absorb more heat without this coating, resulting in a far faster rate of breakdown.
- Gold is also used to keep mechanical parts lubricated. Organic lubricants become unstable in space, resulting in a breakdown. This is due to the severe radiation experienced outside of the Earth’s protective atmosphere once again. Because of its malleability, gold may be made into a very thin layer that coats and protects important moving parts while also acting as a lubricant. This is because the gold molecules lubricate each other by sliding past each other under frictional forces. It’s a unique way to use gold that you won’t find in many other places.
- Gold is far too valuable to be used on the spur of the moment. It is only employed on purpose and when less expensive alternatives are unavailable. However, compared to the billions of dollars spent on space flight, it is a minor outlay. Wouldn’t you want to take the “gold standard” with you if you’re travelling to the moon or beyond?
- Gold plating can considerably improve mechanics on a surface level. Hardness is increased by gold, which improves wear, temperature, abrasion, and corrosion resistance on specific types of equipment.
- Gold plating improves the robustness of the products while also improving their electrical capabilities. Gold plated electrical components benefit from improved solderability, conductibility, contact resistance, and insulation.
Selecting the best gold plating services for your needs is simple with Smart Microns. Our compliances can be used in almost any business that needs metal finishing services, including AS 9100:2009, for enterprises that provide products and services to the aerospace industry.