Common Mistakes from Improper Plating

It’s not just the type of plating applied but the application itself.

Whether aiming to increase the life of high-wear pins and shafts or repairing mismachined and worn out tools, it is extremely important to choose the right type of plating for your project. But even if the correct plating is applied, if applied poorly it can cause more problems than benefits. These problems range from buildup to misses on critical areas that can deeply affect the usability of a tool or mold.

Proper plating application is necessary in order to gain all the benefits of metal plating. Otherwise, you might find some of these common imperfections on your plating:

Pitting is just like it sounds: tiny holes. When reworking parts, this is more typical to occur. Usually, if you find pitting in your plating, the base metal wasn’t properly prepared and cleaned, or grinding and polishing were done too roughly – leaving behind debris.

Peeling of the plating can happen directly after a bath or after the part is first used. That being said, you may not know of your parts poor adhesion until you begin using it. Lack of proper adhesion, whether due to faulty cleaning, activation, rectifier deficiency, high bath temperature or chemical imbalances, can cause metal peeling.

Blistering can also lead to metal plate peeling. You may notice bubbles in your finished piece, often caused by gases found in the lubricant (hydrogen or nitrogen) trying to escape when heated. Sometimes they cause the metal to peel, which you often won’t notice until you begin working with the item.

Often, best plating practices are done by professionals who are trained in coating under a variety of application processes – but ultimately it’s all about cleanliness. Good plating always includes proper steps to prepare the base metal and baths that are free of debris and set to proper chemical and temperature settings.

It’s important to choose an experienced plater who understands how your parts and tools function. Meadville Plating has been providing high-quality plating since 1969 and knows proper application techniques to make your product look great – while still functioning perfectly. Learn more about the plating we offer by checking out our services page on our website or call us for more information at 814-724-1084.