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Electroless Plating vs. Electroplating

Plating enhances and protects a component, making it tougher and less prone to corrosion over time. Multiple plating techniques exist, including electro-plating (which uses electricity in its process) and electroless plating (which doesn't). Here are the differences.

The electroplating process utilizes a battery or rectifier, often combined with a chemical solution, to create the plating. When current is applied to the component, it shifts the chemical composition: delivering a firm and resistant coating to the surface. Multiple applications are sometimes necessary to create plating of a specific thickness. Electro-plating also requires clean conditions and careful procedures, since it involves potentially dangerous equipment in order to work.

Electroless plating, on the other hand, utilizes a simpler process. The component is treated with chemicals to remove oils and other corrosive elements, and is then activated with an acid etch or proprietary solution. The application of anti-oxidation chemicals completes the process, rendering the component resistant to corrosion and friction.

Electroless Nickel: A Cleaner Plating Process

While electroplating requires complex filtration equipment and possibly dangerous battery applications, electroless plating uses no extra equipment. The chemicals can be replenished automatically, and the engineers exercise more control over the deposition process: resulting in a smooth, even application of the nickel plating. They can also vary the thickness and volume of the plating to exacting standards.

For over seven decades, the experts at Electro-Coatings have devised innovative electroless plating techniques to meet a variety of needs. Call us today to learn more about electroless plating—and discover how our expertise can work for you.