Metal plating

Metal plating is a technique to create a material property only at the surface of a substrate, by plating a thin layer of a metal onto mostly another metal. This technique often used with precious metals and base metals. IAT manufactures anodes for each application according to customers drawing and requirements.

Precious metals

Precious metals, such as Gold, Palladium and Rhodium, are often plated with balls or nuggets of the element to be plated, in an anode basket made of uncoated titanium. Another possibility is the usage of insoluble anodes, where the element to be plated is replenished in a dissolved, liquid form. The jewellery industry is a typical application for precious metal plating. In this case the insoluble anode can be made out of platinised Titanium or MMO coated Titanium. IAT manufactures both types, and customer can select the type according to his preference.

Trivalent chromium

Trivalent chromium is used to produce decorative chrome layers on numerous daily used products, such as light armatures, furniture’s, automotive parts, water taps, and pens. Other examples are more industrial, such as fasteners, tools and backets. This type of chrome plating is done with a trivalent chromium electrolyte that can easily oxidise at the anode to the hexavalent chromium. This is undesired side effect which should be eliminated, since hexavalent chromium is toxic, carcinogenic and environmentally hazardous. IAT manufactures Iridium-Tantalum MMO coating which suppresses the formation of hexavalent chromium. This coating can be applied on every shape and configuration according to customers drawing, in order to achieve the best possible plating result.

Hexavalent chromium

Chrome plating of wear resistant parts, such as hydraulic cylinders, is done with an hexavalent chromic acid, commonly known as hard chrome plating. IAT manufactures anodes for this process, which is in this case platinised Titanium. The anodes can be made in a variety of shapes and dimensions, based upon customer drawing, in order to achieve the best plating result.

Other metals

Zinc, Copper, Nickel are three base metals that are being used for plating in huge quantities. Also Zinc-Nickel is used often. Examples are automotive parts, electronics, welding wire, machine parts, decorative layers and so on. IAT manufactures anodes for plating these metals, thereby optimising the coating, an Iridium-Tantalum MMO type, to reduce the chemical consumption or make them resistant against aggressive electrolytes, such as Zinc-Nickel with high chloride levels. IAT can supply anodes in numerous shapes and dimensions, based upon customers drawing, in order to optimise the plating result.

Printed Circuit Boards

Within the production of printed circuit boards (PCB) a variety of metal plating processes occur. Examples are copper, tin, gold, silver and nickel plating, and deflashing, the removal of redundant polymer parts. All these processes are characterised by its high production speeds and are technologically advanced with cost intensive production devices. IAT manufactures anodes for these high end devices, which are most often long reel to reel production lines. The most commonly used coating is an Iridium-Tantalum MMO, which can be tailored and optimised for the specific application. In this manner the consumption rate of all the necessary high cost chemicals, such as levellers, brighteners et cetera can be reduced, in order to make the production as cost effective as possible. To achieve this goal a cooperation is necessary between the plating machine builder, the supplier of the chemicals and the anode manufacturer. IAT stands open for these types of cooperation’s.