Posted by Jeff Smith | Jan 7, 2014 10:00:00 AM 0 Comments

As a pioneer in the plating industry, Electro-Spec constantly strives to improve upon current processes. . One of our recent technological innovations is the use of Self Assembled Molecules (SAMs) over plated surfaces. NanoSHIELD-AU provides  a number of benefits for plated products, including reduced thickness, enhanced contact resistance, diffusion resistance, and corrosion and wear resistance. To date, Electro-Spec is the only metal finishing  company in the world that utilizes this technology.


NanoSHIELD-AU is made up of  molecules that are best characterized by their ability to rearrange themselves to form a complete system without any direction or management from an exterior source. When introduced, these molecules will assemble themselves into whatever it is specifically produced for.  For instance, the NanoSHIELD-AU for Gold is specific to Gold and Gold only.  In other words, they align in the pores of the Gold plating.  

 This nano-layer  acts as a lubricant over finished surfaces, increasing the wear resistance of a plated product. In a series of tests performed by Electro-Spec, we found that “the coefficient of friction was 20-25% less on the NanoSHIELD-AU surface when compared to the non-treated surface.” The friction tests were performed on gold plated products with a nickel and copper underplate. The products were subjected to a controlled and repeated sliding motion over a surface. The non-treated surface showed significant wear, with damage to “even the nickel and copper underplate layers.” In contrast, the NanoSHIELD-AU treated surface showed little to no wear to the Gold surface.

NanoSHIELD-AU also function as a filler for porous surfaces.  Typically, the porosity of plated metals can be reduced by increasing the thickness of the plate. This can significantly increase the cost of plating for products that are plated with precious metals such as gold. NanoSHIELD-AU can be used instead to form an “impermeable” layer, with “localized zones of zero porosity,”   As a result, the finished product with a NanoSHIELD-AU surface performs the same as, if not better than a part with much higher Gold thickness and no treatment.      

A final, major benefit of NanoSHIELD-AU is that it improves the contact resistance of the plated product.  This is also due to the ability of NanoSHIELD-AU to fill pores on the surface of metal. By creating a smooth surface, the NanoSHIELD-AU contributes to decreased electrical resistance for optimal performance. The NanoSHIELD-AU therefore help to increase the overall efficiency of the electrical system and minimized areas of “localized heating.”

Though new to the plating industry, NanoSHIELD-AU has a proven history of use in several major commercial applications. It is used, for example, to create a waterproof and stain proof barrier on windshields and furniture. The use of NanoSHIELD-AU as a post-plate process, promises to help companies reduce costs and improve the quality of their products.  Consequently, Electro-Spec’s customers have a competitive edge.

To get a deeper understanding of Electro-Spec’s latest plating innovation in NanoSHIELD-AU technology, you can download a free copy of our eBook on our website; click the button below.


Download your copy of our Self Assembled Molecules eBook

Topics: Plating Technology, eBook, Self Assembled Molecules