The Basics of Electroplating

Even though many people refer to plating as an “art”, there is no doubt that sound scientific principles and practices are critical to successful plating finishes. The basics of electroplating start with an understanding of the metallurgical properties of the substrates to be plated. This is crucial because the most important process in plating is the pre-treatment of the substrate. The choice of cleaning chemistry is dictated by the alloy of the metal as well as the soils to be removed. Soils such as oils, paraffins, and buffing compounds are normally encountered in the plating process, … [Read more...]

Functional Zinc Plating

 Electrodeposited zinc is used for coating iron and steel parts when protection from the corrosive effects of the atmosphere is the primary goal.  Zinc however by itself, while offering sacrificial corrosion protection based upon its larger negative electro-potential than iron, is not used without subsequent treatment. Electroplated zinc becomes dull gray after exposure to air, so that bright zinc is give a subsequent post treatment in a conversion coating which most often contains either hexavalent or trivalent chrome.  Non-chrome bearing conversion coatings have also been … [Read more...]

Tips to Overcome the Confusion and Trials of “Tribal Knowledge”

"Tribal knowledge" is any unwritten information that is not commonly known by others within a company. This term is used most when referencing information that may need to be known by others in order to produce a quality product or service.  I have been hearing this term a lot lately, I found out it may have been made popular by Six Sigma training.  In the metal finishing industry, we are faced with a lot of turnover, death, extinction/rebirth of plating machines, employment position eliminations, and new workers into the workforce.  Along with these challenges, the "basics" of metal finishing … [Read more...]

Innovative Technology: TECHNICOAT 360 Ultra

TECHNICOAT 360 Ultra provides an optimum synergistic interaction with subsequent Asterion topcoats. The use of Asterion inorganic mineral, organic and hybrid topcoats all enhance the corrosion resistance of the zinc plated substrate. TECHNICOAT 360 Ultra also forms an outstanding base onto which torque and tension sealers may be applied. Read More … [Read more...]

Winning the War on Filth – Part 2

I've encountered a lot of frustrations dealing with oxidation scale or scale from welding, heat treating, or laser cutting. The customer doesn't communicate to the finisher that the new soil source is coming their way; then the temp worker hangs the part on the auto line; next thing you know the temp worker is reworking hundreds of parts due to blisters and poor plating coverage. So what system will work to help remove the standard soils you may be encountering and still survive the attack of a foreign scale? Here are some suggestions that have worked for some of my clients, as well as some … [Read more...]

What To Know When Switching Soak Cleaners

When selecting "the best" cleaner for your operation, it is important to look at many factors. Each type offers their own benefits and disadvantages. I've listed some of the important things to consider when making your selection, but it will come down to working with a trusted vendor to work and test through your options before making your final selection. The simple answer is that all or one of the types of cleaners may be the best choice for your operation. Consider these three categories to narrow your search: substrate (the surface or type of metal you are cleaning), the soils you need … [Read more...]

Metal Hydroxide Precipitation

Heavy metals are very common contaminants in industrial waste treatment streams. Due to the fact that many metals are very toxic, they are removed before the waste water is discharged from the facility. The list of most common heavy metal contaminants include lead, copper, chromium, nickel, silver, zinc, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. The most common way to effectively remove these metals from the waste stream is by precipitating the metal in an insoluble form, such as hydroxides or sulfides. Precipitation by hydroxide formation is the most common method. Many heavy metals are amphoteric, … [Read more...]

What Can I do to Lengthen the Life of my Cleaner Bath?

There are a few things that will affect the life of your cleaner baths. The first is the condition of parts that you are putting into the bath. If they are covered in and dripping with oil/grime, your cleaner isn’t going to last very long as it will have a lot to clean up. This is easily fixed by lowering the amount of oil used to ship or manufacture the parts. Note that this may not be possible if you aren’t in charge of manufacturing the parts. It’s recommended that you discuss this with those who send you the parts to be plated. Additionally, depending on the type of cleaner you are using, … [Read more...]

It’s All About Plating

Plating is one of our specialties at Asterion. It's a big deal for our manufacturing clients and is often the most important part of their production process. Are you aware of all the different ways metal can be plated onto different media? There are also many different plating solutions for each unique and custom parts manufacturing job. Here are a few of our favorite posts on various plating methods and outcomes: Hard Chrome Plating The process of hard chrome plating has been used since the early part of the 20th century. It is a process that is used in nearly every aspect of manufacturing … [Read more...]

I Need A Cleaner, What Have You Got?

For such a simple question, why is the answer so complex?  It starts with the understanding of what a cleaner is made of. Since we rarely deal with solvent cleaning these days, let’s limit this discussion to aqueous cleaners.  There is an extensive list of products that are incorporated into cleaners, and they all serve a function in one capacity or another.  Here is a list of common additives and the functions they perform in a cleaning system. Builders A builder is the basic component of an aqueous cleaner and the workhorse of all components.  Common builders are sodium hydroxide, … [Read more...]