What Is Zinc Plating?

In our world, almost everything relies on metal of some sort. Even the tiniest screws and computer chips are made out of it. Metals are some of the longest lasting substances in the world, but like everything else on earth, they eventually deteriorate. Some break down faster than others or are more prone to damage and rust, posing a problem if the items made out of them are extremely vital. Fortunately, science has discovered how to develop materials that are used to make metals more long lasting and resistant to deterioration. One of these ways is by using zinc plating. Zinc plating is usually used on things like screws, springs, and fasteners which are very small, but essential for the item to work properly.

What Are The Characteristics of Zinc Plating?

Zinc plating is usually dull grey in color. Luster and brightness can be added if desired, but this requires great care and thorough knowledge of the process so that the object comes out properly plated. It is resistant to rusting, corrosion, and other forms of deterioration. Larger items that will receive more stress and wear need a plating technique that is stronger, but pure zinc plating is perfect for small items that will be exposed to mildly corrosive environments or interiors.

How Does Zinc Plating Work?

When an object needs zinc plating, it goes through almost the same process as if it had been electro galvanized. First, the zinc must be properly cleaned by means of alkaline or electrolytic solutions, so any surface oxides can be removed. After it has been rinsed, the zinc and the object that needs to be plated then go through a bath that is made from one of several solutions, namely cyanide, acid chlorine salt, or alkaline non cyanide. Sometimes a brightening agent is added. A cyanide bath has been found to be the most efficient and produce the highest quality zinc plating, but there are also worries that it might cause pollution and health problems. After the zinc has been plated onto the item, other treatments usually follow to make the surface of the zinc smoother, more durable, and more appealing to look at. Zinc plating is most often used for screws, springs, light switch plates, and other small but essential parts.

Do you have something that needs zinc plating? Go to our website at www.dekalbmetal.com to find out more information about the services and products we have to offer.

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    Author: Timothy Harvard

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