AOTCO is known as the go-to metal finishing company in MA for using a variety of techniques to complete our plating processes. Working with aerospace, medical, optical, and telecommunication companies have allowed us to perfect and attempt different plating strategies that work best for their projects. Of these processes, we preform electroless nickel plating (ENP). […]
Posts Tagged ‘electroplating services’
AOTCO works with a variety of metals to create plating that is not only compatible with our commercial customers’ needs, but align with the budgets of their projects. From silver to nickel to copper to gold, we work to create plating with our high quality assurance program that ensure a low rejection rate from our […]
To be prominent in the metal finishing industry, it’s essential to hold national accreditations that solidify the pride and professionalism a company has in their product. ISO 9001:2008 & AS9100 Quality Management Systems focuses on quality policies and objectives to meet consumer requirements. This system tracks the organizational structure, policies, procedures, processes, and resources needed […]
What does the Society for Automotive Engineers, established in 1905, have to do with your electroplating and metal finishing needs? In the early days of automotive engineering and manufacturers, there was widely disparate quality of service and products. Recognizing this, a handful of engineers and industrialists, most notably Henry Ford as Vice President, formed the group with the express goal of cooperating to establish the best technical standards and solution. By 1916, it had expanded to include all mobility related professions including the new field of aeronautics. As of 2010, the society serves more than 120,000 members. Then, way back in 1990 the aerospace industry advanced an organization to assess, audit and accredit suppliers using a strict standardized approach to quality assurance. Prior to this aerospace companies audited their own suppliers leading to somewhat inconsistent results. This new organization immediately led to a reduction in duplicative efforts, superior quality products through stringent requirements, and in-depth technically superior standards. This organization is called NADCAP or National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program. AOTCO is proud to be accredited by them and to display their logo on our website. Our metal finishing and electroplating meets the highest standards in aerospace and other technical fields. We feel it is important for clients to understand the seriousness with which we take the quality of our services. The foremost technicians in the most demanding fields have certified AOTCO as meeting rigorous technical standards.
If you have excellent activation and agitation but you are still having problems, check the electrolyte solution. Keeping the electrolyte clean is crucial to prolonging the life of the electrolyte and creating high quality platting. To check the electrolyte, prepare a two-inch piece of copper. Clean the copper with a fine wire wool until shiny, wash in detergent and water until it passes a water break test. For the water break test simply hold your metal and pour water on it. Hydrophobic contaminants like oil or grease will cause the water to bead up and clump together. If the water falls off in one large sheet, then the metal is free of oily residue and ready to be used in the test. Make sure the tank is ready for electroplating with the proper temperature and agitation. Plate for 20 minutes. If the plating is dull then add a little maintenance brightener and test again. If still dull, then filter the electrolyte through coffee filter paper. You can also “dummy” impurities out of the electrolyte solution by plating at low current using a corrugated steel cathode.
Two areas often overlooked when electroplating are activation and agitation. Both activation and agitation are a key part of the processes and shouldn’t be overlooked. Simply put, activation is just the removal of an oxide layer that forms on the surface of the metal. Most metals under normal atmospheric conditions undergo a chemical reaction with the oxygen and water in the air to form a layer of metal oxides. Sometimes a layer of metal oxide just a few atoms thick is enough to cause problems for your project. The benefit of activation is that it not only removes this oxide layer, but it also removes any salts, soaps, or alkaline cleaning products left on the surface of the metal. If these products are not removed, they will cause staining, skip plating, or even delamination and blistering. Soft metals such as zinc, copper, bronze, and brass are most easily activated with a simple acid pickle. Harder metals such as stainless steel, nickel, and chrome, can also be activated with an acid pickle. However, the pickle will need a higher concentration and the immersion time will be longer. Another way to activate some of the more difficult metals is to reverse the polarity of the current for a few seconds, less than 30 seconds, just prior to plating. Remember wash well after pickling.