As an OEM, trusting the company you select for electroplating services to get the job done right is essential. Working with an established metal finishing company with a reputation for quality control and focus on adhering to industry standards is an effective way to ensure the parts they produce are top quality.
If you are concerned about the quality of zinc electroplating provided by your current metal finishing companies, here are some of the most common issues that will occur in the parts and components they have processed.
Failure to Clean the Surface
Before any parts or components arrive at the metal finishing company, they go through a range of processes. This can include being exposed to oil or grease, to have surface contamination by chemicals, dirt or debris or any other type of materials.
During the zinc electroplating process, these surface contaminants cause irregular adhesion between the metal’s surface and the coating. The result is areas across the surface where the zinc flakes or blisters, leaving the underlying metal exposed.
Correct surface cleaning prevents this issue, and it is a priority for top metal finishing companies.
Incorrect Process Settings
While zinc electroplating is not a new process, it is one that requires a knowledge of the process and the correct setup for the system. This includes an understanding of the alloy, the correct balance of chemicals in the electroplating solution, as well as the choice of the best current density and distribution of the current.
Incorrect placement of anodes or any failure in the system itself can result in deposits that are dull or hazy. Other factors that can also create this loss of the bright, shiny surface can include contaminants in the solution, poor rinsing after cleaning of the parts and issues with lack of consistency in the current during the plating process.
Correct system maintenance, quality control practices and experienced operators are all used by the best metal finishing companies to prevent these problems from occurring during electroplating.