HOME BLOG Contact Us
     

Archive for the ‘High Purity Gold Plating’ Category

March 12th, 2013

There’s been alot of hype around Advanced Manufacturing lately. But we wonder what’s really driving it and what it really means.  I found this article which talks about the many possible descriptors – and why we need them – for advanced manufacturing. It has certainly got us thinking.

Electroplating itself may be viewed as old technology, but with many innovations and advances made in the processes every day, in my view “traditional” plating still has a role in advanced manufacturing.  When I think about it, we have helped many of our manufacturing customers apply this technology to achieve totally new and advanced surface finishing outcomes. As just one example – good old silver plating – still essentially applied the same way, but with tweaks to the inputs, purity and process, silver plating is providing new life or purpose to many very “advanced” products through its enhanced conductivity properties in applications such as radio frequency enhancement, solar conduction and others.

I guess we all have a choice.  Either feel like we’re under threat, or embrace the idea of innovating our traditional processes, technologies and services to find new ways to take value to customers. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Phil Wood

October 16th, 2011

The Chrome Plating services of A Class Metal Finishers will be on display at next week’s MotorClassica event in Melbourne, Australia from 21-23 October 2011.

Looking forward to meeting Classic motoring enthusiasts from all over Australia as well as International guests.  We will be on hand to discuss not just chrome plating services but also our range of other metal surface finishing treatments such as restoration, repairs, plastic chrome, treatments for die cast parts and a variety of other services for Classic Car and Motorcycle enthusiasts.

See you there!

Greg Wood

Vintage Classic Motorcycle

Lewis Bike - Plating by A Class Metal Finishers

September 20th, 2010

To get a good finish on any electroplating job  – i.e. a component to be chrome, gold or silver plated -  good preparation, using a variety of Metal Polishing skills, methods or techniques, is essential. Anyone who has ever painted a surface knows that the result is going to be so much better if you pay attention to the preparation.  The same principle applies when you are trying to achieve a good electroplated finish.  If the metal surface has pits, scratches or other imperfections before you start, unless they are polished out they will still be there in the final finish.  That is not to say that the part needs to shine like a diamond before plating, but certainly a good a level of surface preparation and smoothness is required.

Metal polishing is a generic term and includes:

GRINDING – SANDING. Grinding depends on the use of abrasives in any of a number of levels of grit density.  Using hand tools or upright lathes, the surface needs to be worked up to a level that will deliver the quality you are looking for.  The coarser grit sanding belts, compounds or wheels are used to grind out the deeper imperfections.  The metal polisher then uses finer and finer grit densities on the surface until the surface reaches the desired smoothness required.

LINISHING.  This is a form of grinding or sanding wherein an upright lathe – often a large machine of several horsepower – with a fitted sanding belt is used.  Linishing is a highly skilled operation and should only be performed by an operator experienced in the techniques and safety care required.

POLISHING OR BUFFING. In this step, a softer polishing ‘mop’ or wheel is used, in conjunction with a selection of polishing pastes or compounds, to bring up the surface shine.  If NO electroplating is to be done on the item, the polishing or buffing would be the final step in the process of bringing that metal to a nice shine.

VIBRATORY POLISHING.  This type of polishing is less reliant on skills and labour and involves placing the parts for polishing into a drum or vessel which contains polishing ‘media’ – usually small stone-like pieces of varying grittiness.  The job and media are tumbled or shaken in the vessel, causing vibration to disperse through the media, slowly grinding and polishing the surface.  The vibratory process is generally only used for higher volumes of similar parts that require similar treatment.  Vibratory polishing is not usually thought of as a good method for achieving very high quality or mirror-like finishes.

Other preparation is also important before plating a metal item.  Processes such as cleaning and chemical or electric stripping may also be required and, of course, also need to be managed well if a good quality plating outcome is desired.  Please consult A Class if you require any further information about metal polishing and other electroplating pre-treatments.

A Class Metal Finishers provide electroplating, metal polishing and other surface treatment or coating services to manufacturers, restorers and the general public.

May 18th, 2010

Classic Car Gurus is a website put together by a classic car and restoration enthusiast who wanted to create a one stop resource guide for people who drive, restore or show, classic cars.  The website provides, among many other great features,  a listing of businesses that provide goods and services related to classic car restoration.  These suppliers are called “Gurus”.  Of course, A Class Metal Finishers are listed on the site as a guru for chrome plating and polishing services.

If you’re into classic cars and need to find suppliers to help with your project we recommend you visit the classiccargurus site.

May 14th, 2010

A Class Metal Finishers employs several electroplaters with varying degrees of knowledge or experience.  Some are “home grown” (taught on the job), others have come to the company trained or qualified in previous roles.  In all cases, because A Class is such a diverse operation, it is necessary to expose each plater to, and train them in, the “idiosyncracies” of the company’s particular set of operations.  Over time, each plater becomes more skilled and knowledgeable as they learn the variety of processes by “doing” them. With processes ranging from decorative Chrome or gold plating to functional coatings, or the now popular ’satin’ finishes, up to date skills and knowledge of many plating processes are a must.

Plating in progress

In South Australia (where A Class operates), there is no longer a “trade training school” as such to support the learning of this rare trade skill. This requires that the company keep an internal focus on developing skills and overcoming skills gaps. The team of platers are supported and mentored by A Class’s own “experts”. All in all, the ‘home grown’ approach to training seems to deliver results. “We could not offer such a diverse range of electroplating services without a good skills base. We are really pleased at the way our platers continually rise to new learning challenges.” says Phil Wood, Operations Manager (Plating).


A Class also reports that it is important to have documented procedures and instructions to support each process and the electroplaters who use them.

March 4th, 2010

High Purity Gold Plating in Electronics

Gold plating can be used in electronics and high tech products for creating superior corrosion resistance and conductivity enhancement. The gold plating process used is known as “high purity gold plating”. This process ensures as high as possible purity of the gold deposit on the surface for maximum performance.  The gold coating behaves like a filter for conduction of sound and current more smoothly.  High purity Silver has similar conductive properties and is often used in Radio Frequency applications.

Examples of electronic items often gold plated are – sound system parts, antenna parts, computer connections and adapters, computer internals, communication devices, and so on.

I recently bought a new TV and to connect it to other devices I was sold a HDMI cable that had gold plated connections. Whilst I could have bought a standard nickel plated one, I was advised that the gold plated version is highly recommended for best performance of the communications equipment.

The look of high purity gold plating is a dull, deep yellow. Unlike decorative gold plating which is bright and somewhat harder wearing. Because of the softness of high purity gold plating it is not recommended for surfaces which will be subject to high wear.

High purity gold plating results in a dull velvety appearanceHigh purity gold plating results in a dull velvety appearance

A good plater can ensure the gold plating process is performed properly. It is also advisable to seek advice from your plating service supplier at the product design stage to ensure good planning and maximum benefit from the process.

A Class Metal Finishers Pty Ltd can provide further advice on the high purity gold or silver plating processes.

Copyright © 2009, ACLASS Metal Finishers Pty Ltd. 6 Waddikee Rd, Lonsdale, South Australia, 5160. Telephone (+ 61 8 8384 4331) Email: acmf@aclassmetal.com.au
Specializing in Copper Nickel & Chrome Plating, Gold Plating, Silver Plating, Tin Plating, Electroless Nickel, Plating on Plastic (ABS) and Metal Polishing