The below list reflects our capabilities in identifying and executing the best surface manufacturing process:
- Electroplating – This process forms a thin metallic coating on the material and works for almost any base metal that is able to conduct electricity. In electroplating, the process passes an electrical current through a solution containing dissolved metal ions. These metal ions create a layer on the base metal. Common metals utilized for electroplating are cadmium, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, silver, tin, and zinc.
- Electroless Plating – This treatment method is similar to electroplating; it is a wet process as well, however, it works without electricity. The ingredients to the plating solution are able to achieve the same plating solution.
- Chemical Treatment – This method involves processes that create thin films of sulfide and oxide by means of a chemical reaction. This process if often used for metal coloring, corrosion protection, and priming of surfaces to be painted. Black oxide is a very common surface treatment for steel parts and “passivation” is used to remove free iron from the surface of stainless steel parts.
- Anodic Oxidation – This type of surface treatment is mostly used for aluminum and titanium. These oxide films are formed by the means of electrolysis. As these base metals have porous surface, dyeing and coloring agents can be applied for a different aesthetic appearance. Anodization is a very common surface treatment that prevents corrosion on aluminum parts. If wear resistance is also desirable, engineers can specify a version of this method that forms a relatively thick, extremely hard, ceramic coating on the surface of the part.
- Hot Dipping – This process requires the part to be dipped into dissolved tin, lead, zinc, aluminum, or solder to form a surface metallic film. Most common, hot-dip galvanizing is the process of dipping steel into a vessel containing molten zinc. This is used for corrosion resistance in extreme environments, antenna towers, pylons, highway guard rails.
- Vacuum Plating – Vacuum vapor deposition, sputtering, ion plating, ion nitriding, and ion implantation are some of the more common metal surface finishing processes utilizing high vacuum as part of the plating process. Ionized metals, oxides, and nitrides are created in a controlled environment. The part is transferred into the vacuum chamber and the metals are very accurately deposited onto the substrate. Titanium nitride is a surface treatment that extends the life of high steel and carbide metal cutting tools.
- Painting – Surface treatment painting is commonly specified by engineers to enhance a part’s appearance and corrosion resistance. Spray painting, electrostatic painting, dipping, brushing, and powder coat painting methods are some of the most common techniques used to apply the paint to the surface of the component. There are many types of paint formulations to protect metal parts in a wide range of physical environments.
- Thermal Treatment – This group of surface treatments is used to alter the physical and sometimes the chemical properties of a material. The most common application is metallurgical. Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to extreme temperatures, often together with additives applied to the surfaces to achieve the desired result such as hardening or softening of a material.
There are many surface treatment methods like Surtech 650, which is a colourless tri-chrome passivation for aluminum which increases the electrical conductivity of surfaces. Other types of anodizing are phosphoric acid anodizing which improves performance in high-humidity environments. Titanium anodizing is predominantly used for coloring titanium and looking for stress cracks in the base material. Bright dip anodizing aluminum anodizing uses phosphoric and nitric acid to give a shiny, almost mirror-like appearance. It works best on 5000/6000 series aluminum. The harder the aluminum oxide coating, the brighter it will be.