What is metal finishing?
The process of metal finishing changes the surface of an object to improve its appearance and/or durability. Common metal finishes include plating, paint, lacquer, ceramic coatings, and other surface treatments.
The metal finishing industry generally categorizes plating operations as electroplating and electroless plating.
What is electroplating
In electroplating, the object (substrate) being coated is placed in a liquid bath (the electrolyte) that contains ions of the metal selected. When this bath is electrified, the metal ions bind to the object, creating a perfectly adhered coating. We can control the thickness of the deposit by changing the amperage, and the time the object stays in the bath.
Typical metals are zinc, chromium, gold, silver and nickel. Common bulk electroplating methods include rack plating, where the parts are affixed to a fixture, and barrel plating, where numerous smaller parts are tumbled inside a barrel-shaped cage.
What does the RoHS term stand for?
RoHS is a product level compliance based on the European Union’s Directive 2002/95/EC, the Restriction of the Use of certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS).
Products compliant with this directive must not exceed the allowable amounts of some restricted materials, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, among others.
What is decorative nickel-chrome plating?
A thin layer of chromium topcoat is applied to nickel-plated components. In this plating application, the thin chromium layer protects the nickel from oxidation and tarnish while providing the bright bluish tint recognized as bright decorative chrome.
What is REACH?
Similar to RoHS, Registration Evaluation Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (EC) 1907/2006 (REACH) is a product-level regulation that governs the use of substances of very high concern (SVHC). REACH impacts the use of chemicals such as hexavalent chrome.