Electroplating is generally used to make a base metal stronger, more aesthetically pleasing, and more heat or corrosion-resistant as it can help improve its electrical conductivity. The process implies using an electrical current for bonding single kinds of compound alloy or metal to the alloy base through barrel plating services.
There are several benefits and cost-efficiencies involved with barrel electroplating, which is the preferred method to plate a higher volume of smaller units simultaneously. This is especially applicable when customers need services where plating specifications are pretty complex, with the finished product meeting the stringent testing guidelines and industrial standards.
Barrel Plating Process
The barrel electroplating process involves the placement of the items within a barrel-shaped cage manufactured with the use of non-conductive material. The cage then gets submerged into the tank containing the correct chemical solution, slowing down the tumbling action used to start the plating.
The primary factor involved in the barrel plating process is where the individualized pieces establish bipolar contact, resulting in greater efficiency in the barrel plating services.
Types of Plating Barrels
You will find the high, medium, and low-efficiency barrels there for plating, resulting in improved deposit distribution used mainly for applying corrosive resistance and high-tech conductive and solder-able functionalities. Two primary kinds of plating barrels are available for oblique and horizontal shapes.
The horizontal barrels are used more frequently mainly because they can handle the larger volumes and more significant varieties of different workloads available. The massive kind of horizontal barrel involved here is considered the production barrel with a capacity of about 17 cubic feet. The miniature and portable horizontal barrels are also available here for electroplating.
Benefits of Barrel Electroplating
The most obvious benefit of barrel plating is that it allows a larger volume of parts to get plated simultaneously, resulting in significant time and cost savings. The following are the other main benefits included here:
- The whole process is performed in a single vessel that includes rinsing, cleaning, sealing, and pickling resulting in lesser handling and greater overall efficiencies.
- There is a massive variety of parts to get processed using similar equipment. Whenever you can fit that into the barrel, it has further excellent capability to plate the barrel.
- The cascading tumbling action results from the barrel rotation when combined with the bipolar contact between the parts, which usually results in a more uniform finish than the other processes, including the rack plating offers.
- The barrel plating system needs a lower equipment investment than the other plating system passed on to the customer in the reduced cost of the plating services. Most of the processes involved here are executed with the standard equipment, which does not require the addition of unique fixtures, part carriers, or agitation equipment.
Types of Electroplating
Several methods fall under electroplating; however, the most common ones are rack plating and barrel plating. Each comes with its perks, and the decision to use one depends entirely on the specific demands that fall under the electroplating project.
Let us take a closer look into the two methods included here:
Barrel Plating: It is the kind of plating executed inside the barrel. The barrel gets filled with different plating solutions and rotates systematically, allowing the coating of every part evenly. The following are the benefits included here:
- It costs less compared to rack plating
- It accommodates parts of varied shapes and sizes
- Specifically suited for the smaller pieces
- Extremely efficient, allowing you to electroplate a massive number of components
- Works uniquely for different alloys and metals
Rack Plating: The elements are secured across the metal rack whenever this type of plating is used. The rack gets placed in the plating solutions. Rack plating is often available for medical instruments, automotive parts, and electrical components. The benefits included here are:
- Accommodating every element that is broken down easily
- Mainly imparts higher-quality coating than barrel plating services
- Allows for even coating of the components that are contoured
You should always contact the electroplating service provider whenever you need help while deciding the type of method that is best for your next project. The services mainly specialize in plating over different elements and metals required for top-quality and cost-effective electroplating.