industrial gold plating: The majority of the electronics we use in our daily lives include some gold. While this valuable metal is well-known for its lovely, gleaming appearance, it also serves a range of practical applications, making it a sought-after material in various industries.
The electronics industry, on the other hand, is the primary user of gold today. Even though gold is rarely seen, it is essential for maintaining the components of your equipment working effectively over time. However, due to the high cost of gold, electronic components are rarely fabricated entirely.
The thin layer of gold, which is frequently used in conjunction with nickel plating, protects the component from corrosion, heat, and wear while also ensuring a stable electrical connection.
WHAT IS INDUSTRIAL GOLD PLATING?
Many industrial gold plating methods have been developed and applied at Smart Microns. We employ electro-deposition, also known as electroplating, to apply the coating, which uses an electric current. Immersion plating, which does not require electricity, is also used.
We link the gold to the anode, or positively charged electrode, of an electrical circuit to plate an item with electro-deposition. Next, the substrate, or the material we’ll be plating, is also connected to the cathode or negatively charged electrode. After that, both portions are immersed in an electrolytic solution.
The anode is then given a DC. This causes the gold’s metal atoms to oxidise and dissolve in the solution. At the cathode, the dissolved ions are reduced and deposited on the substrate.
PROPERTIES OF INDUSTRIAL GOLD PLATING
While gold’s aesthetic appeal contributes to its worth, its utility makes it such a desirable element in the electronics industry. In addition, gold has several physical qualities that make it ideal for use in electronic components. For example, industrial gold plating is commonly used on connection points in electronic equipment because it improves conductivity and preserves the component, allowing the connection to last longer.
These attributes include:
The capacity of industrial gold plating to withstand corrosion, which affects so many other metals, is one of its most valuable characteristics. Gold is one of the least reactive metals, meaning it won’t rust or react with oxygen like other metals. Gold may tarnish slightly, but this isn’t harmful and can be eliminated by polishing. Electrical components require corrosion resistance because oxidation can lead to a less dependable electrical connection. Its anti-corrosive properties allow it to maintain the smooth surface needed for a secure bond.
Expanded Connection Area
Gold is also highly malleable and ductile. This means it may stretch out into thin wire and deform when pressure is applied, allowing it to spread out and cover a larger surface area. This expands the connection region, resulting in more stable communication. In addition, gold’s elasticity ensures that electronic devices continue to perform correctly even after repeated use.
Protection From Heat
Au plating is ideal for applications involving high temperatures because it protects other materials from heat damage. For example, the melting point of gold is 1062 degrees Celsius, or 1943 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a good heat conductor and an excellent conductor of electricity, and it will continue to perform well even under extreme temperatures. It’s convenient for electronics that get hot while they’re utilised. Making the plating layer thicker will boost its heat resistance in applications expected to entail frequent and high heat.
The reflective qualities of gold make it excellent for use in semiconductor components such as reflector rings and reflector arrays. Gold reflects more UV rays below 0.35 microns than other metals. It also reflects infrared radiation with wavelengths greater than 0.7 m, which aids in cooling electronics. Industrial Gold plating has become an essential feature of spacecraft and satellite design due to its reflecting qualities.
Resistance to Wear
The application of industrial gold plating to a piece of equipment can help it survive longer by protecting the component from wear and tear. Fretting degradation, which wears away material owing to frequent low amplitude relative motion, is not a problem with gold. This can result in corrosion, which can subsequently contribute to resistance. Gold does not corrode. Thus it will not be affected by fretting, thereby safeguarding the layer beneath it. Because gold is resistant to wear, your plating will endure a long time. It will ultimately wear off naturally, but you can easily re-plate the piece of equipment when it does.
USE CASES FOR INDUSTRIAL GOLD PLATING IN ELECTRONICS
Gold may be found in various electrical devices, such as cellphones, laptops, and desktop computers. A tonne of smartphones, or around 10,000 phones, includes about ten troy ounces of gold, or nearly three-fifths of a pound of gold. You might acquire about five troy ounces of gold from 200 laptops worth about $8000.
The capacity of gold to increase and maintain electrical connections makes it perfect for various electronic applications. Manufacturers can use it in any location where an electrical connection needs to be made more accessible and reliable. Au plating can be seen on the exterior of electronics, such as electrical connectors. The majority of gold in electronics, on the other hand, is found in the circuit boards of the gadgets.
Electronics companies use industrial gold plating to improve the circuit board’s conductivity and protect it from corrosion. Maintaining a secure connection within the circuit board is critical to the device’s continued functionality.
Another area where industrial gold plating is particularly useful in semiconductor components such as top chucks, reflector rings, and reflector arrays. Semiconductors, such as transistors, chips, and other control elements, are partially conductive, and plating can improve the electrical efficiency of a device. It also aids in the protection of these critical components from the elements.
Electroplating for semiconductor chips differs slightly from typical processes due to their tiny size and fragility. To avoid damaging any of the chip’s small wires, which would result in a damaged component, it must be handled with care. A malfunction can occur even if dust particles get inside the semiconductor.
As a result, the semiconductor plating room must have 0.01 per cent of the dust that ordinarily exists in the outside air. To remove any dust or other tiny particles, the electrolytic bath must be carefully filtered.
In reality, proper substrate preparation is required for all electronics plating techniques to avoid ionic and nonionic residue deposition. These residues can impair conductivity and even hinder the adequate adhesion of the metal layer. Although eliminating these residues in the past necessitated dangerous organic solvents, we now utilise environmentally benign, high-pressure water systems to prepare the surfaces of devices for electroplating.
CHOOSING GOLD FOR ELECTRICAL COMPONENT PLATING
When it comes to electronic metal plating, industrial gold plating is a great option. It provides corrosion, wears, and heat resistance and improved conductivity, which is essential for correctly operating electronic equipment.
When you engage with Smart Microns‘ plating experts, we’ll examine your project’s requirements and assist you in selecting the best materials and industrial gold plating procedures for the job. We have the abilities and knowledge to consistently create a practical solution, even for odd projects, thanks to our plating experience. So today, fill out the form on our website to receive a free quote.