In the conventional electroplating plating process, an electrolytic cell is customarily used. This comprises of two electrodes, a supply of electrolyte and an external source of current.
By contrast, an electroless deposition process uses only one electrode and needs no external source of electric current. However, for the electroless process to function, it needs to contain a reducing agent. In principle, any water-based reducer can be used, although the redox potential of the reducer half-cell must be high enough to overcome the energy barriers that are inherent in in liquid chemistry. Electroless nickel plating uses hypophosphite as the reducer, whilst the plating of other metals such as silver, gold and copper typically use low molecular weight aldehydes.
Clearly – compared with normal electroplating – a major benefit of this process is that power sources are not needed, thereby reducing production costs. The technique is also able to coat a wide and diverse range of shapes and types of surface, imparting a very even coat of surface metal. The downsides are that the plating process is usually slower and cannot create such thick depositions of metal. As a consequence of these characteristics, electroless plating is quite commonly used within the decorative arts.
In this process, accurate control of filtration and agitation within the tank is vital, to ensure that the molecules move around. Gee understands this technology and calls into play the appropriate expertise in system development, design and operation – ensuring that customer benefits and end-user expectations are fully met.
Gee’s Electroplating and Metal Finishing experience is wide and varied. Follow the link below to obtain details on specific applications and case studies.
Each case study had its own challenges to which a Gee solution was found and instigated.
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