Zinc electroplating refers to applying its coat on a metal surface. The process involves immersing metal in a solution of zinc and using electric current to coat its surface with zinc. The metal to be coated is first cleaned in an alkaline bath prior to the zinc electroplating. It is then rinsed and dried as the final step in the coating process.
Zinc electroplating has become a popular method for coating steel and other metals due to its many useful properties and benefits. The role of zinc electroplating for industrial processes is quite significant.
Zinc electroplating protects metals from corrosion. It is mostly used on steel products to make them safe from corrosion. Zinc not only acts as a protective barrier but also becomes a sacrificial coating when there is any damage to the plating. Zinc electroplating can protect metals for decades and more. It can even withstand extreme environmental conditions and continue to protect the substrate for years to come.
In addition to the zinc coating, the chemical reactions of the metals with other substances can provide extra layers of protection to the substrates. For instance, zinc plating on steel can result in a protective barrier of insoluble salts. The salts in the zinc plating react with steel to form a layer of insoluble salts on the surface. These salts continue to offer protection to the steel underneath.
Zinc electroplating makes the metal surface more conducive to adhesions. It can also offer ductility to metals with its coating. Zinc can tolerate high temperatures; reducing cooling costs of the plating process. The companies dealing with zinc electroplating can then transfer these cost benefits to their clients.
One of the biggest benefits of zinc electroplating is its ease of use. It is simple to set up zinc electroplating processes. It can be done through either barrel or rack plating processes. It can also be used with different bath chemistries.
Zinc electroplating offers a shiny and clean look to metal surfaces. In its natural form, it is not very bright. So, you can get a dull or matte finish with zinc electroplating. But it is also possible to add colors or brightening agents to zinc during the plating process to enhance the look of the substrates.
Zinc is also readily available and also kinder to the environment.
Functions and Usage
Zinc electroplating is extensively used in the automotive industry. Metal parts used in the braking and chassis systems are coated with zinc. Many transmission components used in the vehicles are coated with zinc to protect them from corrosion. Similarly, use of zinc as a coating material is also popular in the aerospace industry. Zinc electroplating is also done on metal components used for military vehicles and other defense sector applications.
Zinc electroplating is done on small metal parts like springs, screws, wires, nuts, bolts, crank handles, and switch plates. It is also used on steel structures that are used in bridges and buildings. Zinc electroplating is done on air conditioner components as it can make them stronger to perform repeated movements needed for HVAC functions. Zinc electroplating is also used extensively for hydraulic pumps, cylinders, and motors.
Zinc electroplating makes the products look more attractive and polished. A bolt or any type of fastener may be a small item but it needs to look good when used at home or in buildings. Zinc electroplating makes these metal parts not only durable and strong but also appealing in appearance. Zinc electroplating is used for lighting fixtures and components used in furniture to make them stronger.
Zinc electroplating is often used in combination with nickel to coat electrical transmission parts. Zinc electroplating is also used in components of communication towers (radio, cell phone etc.).
Zinc electroplating is safer to use for medical purposes as well. Many components of medical equipments are coated with zinc to make them stronger and durable. Parts of prosthetics may also have zinc electroplating. It is also used in dental prosthetics.
Due to its many benefits, the use of zinc as a coating material has been continually on the rise. Zinc electroplating has become an integral part of many industrial processes.
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