Electroplating is a popular finishing technique for many metal products. The electroplating process can provide protection against corrosion, increase the strength of the base metal, and help eliminate any brittleness that might compromise the quality of a metal product.
In order for the benefits of electroplating to be fully realized, it's essential that certain factors are taken into consideration during the product design phase.
Here are three tips that you can use to more effectively design products that will have an electroplated finish.
1. Allow for Edge and Corner Buildup
You must make allowances for edge and corner material buildup when designing a product that will be electroplated. Electroplating has an irregular plating pattern. This means that the plating material will not coat the base metal evenly.
Specifically, more plating material will build up around the edges and corners of a product.
By allowing for this excess buildup in your product design, you can ensure that the product meets your exact specifications once the electroplating process has been completed.
2. Make Holes Large Enough
Holes within your product can pose a unique challenge when it comes to electroplating.
The electroplating process relies on an electric current that covers the surface of a metal product. A thin layer of the plating material is attracted to this current, which helps to deposit the plating material onto the base.
Holes that are too small for an electric current to effectively reach will not be plated. Be sure that you are familiar with the limitations of your electroplating equipment so that you can make all of the holes in your products large enough to accommodate electroplating.
3. Account for Added Thickness
Because electroplating requires that a thin layer of protective material be deposited onto the base of your product, the dimensions of your product will change. The thickness of the electroplating material can vary, depending on your specific needs.
Take the time to calculate the final thickness of the electroplating material so that you can adjust your product design to take this added thickness into consideration.
Using electroplating as a guide during the design phase will help you create products that can easily and quickly be finished using electroplating techniques.
Be sure that you are thinking about where excess plating material will accumulate on your product, how big any holes in your product may be, and how the thickness of the plating material will affect the final dimensions of your product.
Contact a professional for more information about electroplating metal finishing.
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