Plating – What is it and what are the benefits?

Image of tube with platingWe have all heard of gold plated jewellery and silver plated cutlery. But how many of us actually understand what plating is and how else it can be used, especially in industry? Here at PRV, plating is a big part of what we do as a company. 

Silver and tin plating are essential finishes for parts that are designed to carry heavy electrical currents.

What is plating and what are the benefits ?

Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Plating has been around for many years but is seen as critical for modern technology. Typically plating is used to to decorate objects, for corrosion inhibition, to improve solderability, to harden, to improve wearability, to reduce friction, to improve paint adhesion, to alter conductivity, for radiation shielding and for other purposes too.

Silver plating

For applications in electronics, silver is sometimes used for plating copper as its electrical resistance is lower. Variable capacitors used in electronics are considered of the highest quality when they have silver-plated plates. Similarly, silver-plated or even solid silver cables are prized by high fidelity sound entusiasts. Historically, silver plate was used to provide a cheaper version of items that might otherwise be made of silver, like cutlery and candlesticks. The earliest kind was Old Sheffield Plate, but in the 19th century new methods of production (including electroplating) were introduced

Tin plating

The tin-plating process is used extensively to protect both ferrous and nonferrous surfaces. Tin is a useful metal for the food processing industry since it’s non-toxic, easily moulded and resistant to corrosion. The excellent ductility of tin allows a tin coated base metal sheet to be formed into a variety of shapes without damage to the surface tin layer. It provides sacrificial protection for copper, nickel and other non-ferrous metals, but not for steel. Tin is also used in the electronics industry because of its ability to preserve the base metals solderability by protecting it from oxidation.

New Plating Facility for Silver and Tin Plating

Here at PRV Engineering we pride ourselves on the fact that all of the high precision capabilities we offer our clients take place and are controlled in-house. The new plating facility that we have invested in is another demonstration of our determination to maintain this policy, and in the process, to ensure that the quality of the finished products we supply, is first class.

Eight benefits of plating

  • Improved corrosion resistance
  • Decorative appeal
  • Increased solderability
  • Enhanced strength
  • Reduced friction
  • Altered conductivity
  • Enhanced paint adhesion
  • Increased magnetism

PRV Engineering has been trading for over 27 years and is now one of the fastest growing high precision engineering machining specialists in Europe. With the aggressive investment policy that CEO Simon Jones spearheads, we intend to continue in that vein.

If you have any questions about plating get in touch.