Eight  Good  Reasons  For Mechanical  Plating

Mechanical  plating  is  an effective  means  of applying zinc, tin, or other ductile metals  or mixtures thereof to metal substrates.  It has a  number  of  advantages  over  conventional  plating  and coating processes.

n  The   most  important  reason  for mechanical   plating  is  the assurance   of  product  reliability  by  the  elimination  of  hydrogen-embrittlement.  Mechanical   plating  is  the method   preferred  by many  engineers  for hardened fasteners and stressed components.

n   Elimination of  lengthy  pre-plating  and  post-plating   baking cycles.  Recently,   the  ASTM issue  standard   practices   (ASTM B-849  and B-850) recommending baking  cycles  before  and after  electroplating  to  prevent  hydrogen embrittlement.  For  extremely hard  parts,  baking cycles can be quite extensive -  in  some cases, as long as 40 hours.

Mechanical   plating   is   the   best   way   to    avoid    the   extra expense of long baking  cycles.    
Customers  can visually confirm that parts have  been mechanically plated - something   that
  cannot be  done  to confirm  baking cycles.  Mechanical  plating  has  a  matte  finish easily distinguishable from electroplating's  bright  finish.

n  The  ability  to  plate  parts which tangle;  the glass impact media used  in  the  process  tends  to  prevent  parts  from  tangling.   This mechanical   plating   process   characteristically  makes  this  technology  an  ideal  choice  for  plating  hardened  steel s prings.

n   The  ability  to  plate  flat  parts;  the   media prevents flat parts from masking one another, 

n    Because  mechanical  plating  consumes  all  the  chemistry  in each  process cycle,  there is no  build-up  of  contamination  in  the bath.  This  assures  users   of   long-term   product and   process consistency.

n  Mechanical plating  has the ability to plate sintered metal parts (powder metallurgy)  without  costly  impregnation.

n   The  ability to apply leachant - sealants  after the  chromate conversion coating  to enhance the corrosion protection of  the process with little incremental  expense. A  zinc  deposit of  0.0004"  with  a chromate   and   a   leachant-sealant  topcoat  will  get  over  500 hours of ASTM B-117 salt spray;  at  0.001"(one mil)  process will deliver  over  1000  hours.

n Attractive economics  for coating thicknesses above 0.0003".  This  is due primarily  to the  fact  that  in  mechanical plating the process for  thick  coatings is only slightly longer than the  cycle  for  thin coatings  (unlike  electroplating,  where  the  plating  time  is  directly proportional  to  the plating thickness). The cost  of  additional plating thickness  in  mechanical plating is only  slightly  more than the cost of  the  plating  metal.

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