What Type of Nickel Plating is Best for my Application?

Posted by Jeff Smith | Jan 13, 2015 11:56:00 AM | 2 Comments

Plating protects metal surfaces, increasing their hardness, tensile strength and applies an aesthetic quality. When seeking appropriate plating for a specific project, you’ll find that there are a number of nickel plating types and options to consider.

So how does one determine exactly which plating is best for your particular situation? The first item to consider is the application.

Generally speaking, if a conductive surface doesn’t require a high corrosion or wear resistance but needs a bright sheen or low-stress layer, then electrolytic plating will be the most efficient process.

However, if the application requires very high corrosion or wear resistance, it’s likely that electroless plating is a better choice.

Tri-M3: A Better Alternative to Silver Plating

Posted by Jeff Smith | Dec 9, 2014 4:44:00 PM | 5 Comments

Silver plating started as a common way to provide cheaper versions of household items, which were originally made of silver.

At its beginning in the 18th century, this included cutlery, platters, plates and candlesticks among other items. In the 19th century, electroplating arose as a rapid method of finishing mass-produced items. Although the 20th and 21st centuries have seen declines in the use of silver for household wares, this reduction was followed by a rise in the use of silver plating for the electronics industry.


Enhancing your Product with Heat Treating and Annealing

Posted by Jeff Smith | Oct 14, 2014 4:10:00 PM | 1 Comment

Products intended for more demanding applications can often miss their mark. Even if the design meets the proper dimensional or material requirements, there is no guarantee that the part or component will perform optimally.


Electroplating Components with Difficult Geometries

Posted by Jeff Smith | Aug 28, 2014 10:39:00 AM | 3 Comments

Given the importance of the plating process and the value of the material being used, it would be logical to assume that parts would be designed for the most efficient and effective electroplating possible.  Unfortunately due to intricate engineering designs and micro miniature components, it is not always feasible to have a “plating friendly” part. 

Electroplating, along with other finishing options, take their place at the end of the manufacturing process.  It is incumbent on all parties, including the plater to work together in order to provide the best component possible.

Additionally, sometimes a part’s design will necessitate a difficult structure for applying even finishing, whether it’s electroplating or a more traditional finishing method.  There are a myriad of reasons why parts are created with geometries that make them difficult to electroplate.


Passivation and Its Benefits

Posted by Jeff Smith | Jul 10, 2014 9:30:00 AM | 1 Comment

At its heart, passivation is a process that helps prevent corrosion and pitting on the surface of stainless steel. The passivation process applies a thin transparent passive chemically inert film to stainless steel that reduces the reactivity of the metal. This film deters corrosion, oxidation, and mild chemical attack.


Congressional Testimony of President of Electro-Spec on Development of Antimicrobial Finish

Posted by Jeff Smith | Jun 27, 2014 12:16:00 PM | 1 Comment

Jeff Smith, President/CEO of Electro-Spec, Inc. testified on June 26, 2014 before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Research and Technology Committee on Science, Space and Technology regarding “Technology for the Patient Safety at Veterans Hospitals.

FRANKLIN, INDIANA -- Jeff Smith, President/CEO of Electro-Spec, Inc. was honored to testify this morning before the United States House of Representatives: Subcommittee on Research and Technology Committee on Science, Space and Technology for the hearing entitled: Technology for the Patient Safety at Veterans Hospitals


How to Use Our Work Order Tracking System

Posted by Jeff Smith | Jun 12, 2014 5:09:00 PM | 0 Comments

When you place an order with us, you can rest assured that it will be handled expeditiously. And we make it transparent for you to follow the process as quickly and easily as possible. Our innovative online order tracking system enables you to have complete access to the status of your order at any time.


White Bronze Plating in Telecommunications Applications

Posted by Jeff Smith | May 28, 2014 8:54:00 PM | 0 Comments

While single-metal plating has been used for many years for a variety of industries, “White Bronze” or tri-metal (Tri-M3) plating is quickly becoming a suitable alternative. White Bronze plating offers superior corrosion resistance, low electrical resistance, non-magnetic properties, and extremely high hardness characteristics. It’s a less expensive approach to using silver and offers definitive health safety advantages compared to nickel. Due to its cost effectiveness and performance White Bronze is rapidly becoming the preferred plating for RF Connectors.

White Bronze centers around an alloy ratio of 55% copper, 30% tin, and 15% zinc. It offers the same bright white finish as plated alloys that contain nickel, silver, or rhodium. It produces smooth, low friction surfaces with non-porous characteristics and is also non-magnetic. White Bronze is ideal for soldering applications as it is lead-free, can be soldered with or without flux, and offers excellent leveling characteristics. The most important factor for tri-metal alloys in electroplating is the ability to control the % alloy mixture to achieve specific performance characteristics and properties. This has resulted in an increase use of White Bronze for the electronics and telecommunications industries and is a significant replacement to traditional tin and copper-tin alloy plating via silver or nickel.


SAM's Process: Better Performance through Reduced Metal Thickness

Posted by Jeff Smith | Apr 24, 2014 9:55:00 AM | 1 Comment

Precious metal plating is an expensive process, especially because the standard method for improving corrosion is to increase the plating thickness. With self-assembled molecules (SAM’s), however, metal plating can be reduced significantly without losing corrosion protection. In addition to enhanced corrosion protection, SAM’s will also allow plated components to have increased conductivity.

Conductivity and Reduced Metal Thickness

Precious metal plated items, and in fact any plated item, experience increased resistivity because of uneven surfaces. This resistivity becomes even worse when the plating is thicker. Most manufacturers are forced to increase the thickness of the plating to stop corrosion, but this can decrease the performance of the item while increasing the cost of production. SAM’s addresses both of these issues. The molecular shield provided through SAM’s helps slow the corrosion process down and allows manufactures to use a thinner plating deposit.

When this happens, the conductivity of the plated item improves as well. This is because the plating is thinner and the molecular shield provides a more even surface that lowers resistance. Contact resistance due to uneven surfaces caused by thicker plating creates localized heating. With SAM’s, however, this problem is solved because the molecular shield fills the voids in any uneven surfaces of the plated component. The surface then becomes smoother, enhancing conductivity.


Increasing Solderability through SAM's Technology

Posted by Jeff Smith | Apr 21, 2014 3:50:00 PM | 1 Comment

One of the major benefits of SAM’s is increased solderability, which is a result of increased corrosion protection the post-plate process gives the plated component. When precious metal experiences corrosion, it affects anything soldered to the metal. When the metal coating is protected by SAM’s, however, it resists corrosion for longer periods of time and improves solderability.