A Step-by-Step Guide to the Zinc Electroplating Process

Zinc electroplating is one of the most demanding electroplating procedures undergone in the zinc plating and painting setups. Typically. Zinc finished metallic items are widely found in nuts, screws, bolts, plumbing items, hardware spare parts and in automotive spares. Apart from adding corrosion-resistant property in plated metal parts, it offers color, high-class finishing, aesthetic, sheen, and endurance. The plating procedure is cost effective and undemanding.

Step by Step Zinc Electroplating

The zinc electroplating procedure begins with formation of a consistent electrolytic cell with two metals that forms anode and cathode in the plating process and needs passing DC through the electrolyte. Whereas the zinc acts at the anode part in the aqueous solution tab, the target metal (be iron, steel or else) to be electroplated is the cathode. With the passing of direct electric through the solution, the zinc will start releasing ions, which move through the aqueous solution and get attached to the surface of the metal object and thus, forms a thin zinc plated coating. Among the aqueous solutions top chosen, include alkaline cyanide, acid chloride salt solution, and alkaline non-cyanide.

Step1: Cleaning and Preparing the Substrate

Proper cleaning and removal of the dust particles and oily substances from the metal surface to be plated with zinc is the foremost need to ensure a superior quality zinc electroplating. The process involves two phases including alkaline soak and electro-cleaning.

The metal should be soaked for 5 – 10 minutes at 150° F temp level to get the most desired dirt free plating friendly surface. Subsequently with a view to clean the micro dust elements, undergoing with an electro-cleaning is ideal.

Step 2: Activation of the Substrate

Activation also called as pickling process of the substance that involves use of acidic solution to elimination of scales and oxide from the exterior. Pickling is typically done with the use of hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. Depending on the type of metal, its thickness, and possible amount of scales present, the acid type, dipping time, and temperature required should be determined to get the material activated.

Step 3: Zinc Electroplating

With the completion of cleaning and pickling, the metal is prepared for zinc electroplating. The metal object should be washed with clean water and then dipped into the set of aqueous solution, such as alkaline cyanide. Application of direct current at the anode will result into deposition of zinc ions on the metal surface, the cathode end.

Maintaining uniformity in placing the anode and cathode suitably into acidic solution and consistent supply of current is essential will produce high quality well formation and evenness of zinc plating on the metal surface. With a view to include the preferred physical and chemical properties into the final produce a range of chemical agents need to be applied, which typically vary in accordance with one’s need of properties.

Step4: Bathing and Drying the End Product

Next to the electro-deposition process, the metal parts needs post-treatment that involves proper washing of the product in general water. This is done to eliminate all possible contaminants and remains on the surface. In case, there is heavy contamination, the metal parts should be bathed several times. Final step is through drying of zinc-plated object, which should be done in a dust free area.

Key Benefits of Zinc electroplating

Corrosion Resistance: Oxidation and rusting, being the biggest evil to all metal bodies, they require necessary protection to being corrode. Zinc coating is excellent to offer a preventive physical barrier to underlying substrate from possible corrosion and deterioration.

High Malleability: Being highly ductile metallic object, it can be extended in different forms and in thin strands with no splitting. Ductility is treated as an immense property for substances that are used for ease of plating and shaping on the undercoated substrate.

Aesthetic Appeal: Zinc plating can be introduced in various colors like silver, gold, and black. The components coated with zinc boast great appearance with shine and finish. Zinc can stand high temperature level.

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