What is Barrel Plating?
Barrel Plating is simply a method of plating that is used for large quantities of very small parts. Parts are placed in a barrel which has mesh sides (to allow the flow of plating solution through the barrel and parts). The barrel is placed in the electrolyte solution and is rotated through the solution, tumbling the parts continuously throughout the plating cycle.
Electroplating requires there to be contact between an anode (the desired metal coating) and the item to be plated. Ordinarily this is achieved by attaching the parts to metal racking or wires in order to transfer electric current from the anode to the job – however in barrel plating, part contact is maintained by the parts continually contacting each other as they are tumbled through the solution. Barrel plating is only effective when there are sufficient numbers of parts in the barrel to maintain contact with the anode.
Here at A Class the most common finshes we use in our barrel plating plant are tin, nickel and silver plating - primarily for items like small electrical and electronics components or connectors, or, small nuts, bolts, screws, washers and other small hardware items.
Benefits of Barrel Plating
Barrel Plating enables cost effective plating of large quantities of very small parts. There are lower labour costs due to the fact that parts do not need to be individually racked or wired to achieve contact.
Please note that the above information is provided as a general guide, for the general information of the reader only, and should not be relied or acted upon as accurate technical advice.