Plating, wHAT SETS US APART
What is Electroplating? Electroplating is the process of depositing material using an electric current. In our industry Electroplating is used to either add material to an item that is worn or to change the physical properties of the item. What sets Andres apart? We have been plating aviation parts for over 15 years, and through years of experimentation we have developed processes that are not only environmentally friendly, but also provide a far superior end result as compared to our competition. Select the type of plating you would like to learn more about below.
Chrome plating is an attractive, hard coating that can be deposited on various base materials, including steel, stainless steel, and copper. It provides excellent wear resistance and is often used on bearing liners, gear teeth and adding material to a part to bring it to a specific dimension.
We perform Hard/Engineered Chrome plating in stringent accordance with AMS 2460, AMS 2406 and OEM specifications. We use a conforming anode system as opposed to tank anodes. This means that for every part we do, we build a custom cage that surrounds the part to an exact specification. By using this process, the build-up of material is much more consistent in its level of hardness, quality, and the uniformity of build-up. We also use what is called a robber. This is an additional piece of material made to the exact diameter of the part to be plated and affixed to the part during the plating process. The robber acts as a way of hiding the parts sharp edges which would normally cause excess build-up of low-quality chrome that will often begin to chip on the edges.
Cadmium plating is an attractive, soft coating that can be deposited on various base materials, up to and including steels, copper, and different types of iron. Cadmium is one of the few deposits that is sacrificial and excels in corrosion protection. With natural lubricity, Cad plating also provides anti-galling and low friction properties which are ideal for threads. We preform CAD plating in stringent accordance with AMS-QQ-P-416, MIL-STD-865-E, or OEM specifications and offer 3 colours of conversion coatings.
The process for CAD plating aviation parts is more in depth than most people think and below we have laid out an example of the process for a typical part.
Hardness Test, the hardness of the part is imperative to determining the pre strip stress relief and hydrogen embrittlement baking temperature and times. Baking at too high a temperature can reduce the hardness and baking at too low a temperature can not sufficiently remove the hydrogen resulting in a weakened part and/or premature wear.
Pre strip stress relief, if not done or done incorrectly this can cause the part to crack during the stripping process
Mask areas off that are not intended to be stripped
Strip existing cadmium
Hydrogen Embrittlement Bake (HEB) after stripping, the average time for this HEB is 8-23 hours, by skipping this step or not baking for the required time the strength of the part can be reduced by as much as half.
Pre plate stress relief, this stress relief bake is usually done for 4 hours.
Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI), this inspection is critical as the plating may hide cracks or defects.
Mask areas off that are not intended to be plated
Lightly abrasive blast with aluminum oxide.
Activate the surface using a chemical activator
Cadmium Plate, ensuring sufficient build up using an Elcometer thickness gauge, this process can take from 1-2 hours
Hydrogen Embrittlement Bake, the average time for the post HEB bake is between 8 and 23 hrs, failure to do this step can reduce the strength of the part by half.
Magnetic Particle Inspect
Reactivate Cadmium in preparation of conversion coating
Apply conversion coating, coating requires 24 hours to cure before it can be handled.
Nickel plating is an attractive, hard coating that can be deposited on various base materials, including steel, nickel, aluminum, bronze, copper, tungsten. It provides excellent corrosion resistance and is often used as a base coat before chrome as well as adding material to a part to bring it to a specific dimension.
We perform Electrodeposited, Electroless, and Selective Nickel Plating in stringent accordance with AMS-QQ-N-290, AMS 2404, MIL-STD-865-E, and OEM specifications. We have spent years perfecting our processes to provide an exceptional end result.
Brush Plating is a process used when traditional plating methods cannot be performed. Often used for portable repairs and selective repairs for example small bores or bolt holes. We brush plate in stringent accordance with AMS 2451, MIL-STD-865-E, or OEM specifications. We use high quality Sifco plating products and our technicians are trained for brush plating cad, nickel, copper and zinc.
Silver plating is an attractive coating that can be deposited on steel and copper, often used for its lubricity Silver plating is most commonly preformed on gear splines, antique teacups, and jewelry. We us a high quality 99.9 pure silver solutions and plate in stringent accordance with ASTM B700 or OEM specifications.
Not just a coat of paint, Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts. Anodizing increases resistance to corrosion and wear and provides better adhesion for paint primers, glues, and dyes. Anodic films can also be used for several cosmetic effects, either with thick, porous coatings that can absorb dyes or with thin transparent coatings that add reflected light wave interference effects.
Anodizing is also used to prevent galling of threaded components and to make dielectric films for electrolytic capacitors. Anodic films are most commonly applied to protect aluminum alloys, although processes also exist for titanium, zinc, magnesium, zirconium, hafnium, and tantalum. We anodize in stringent accordance with MIL-A-8625, AMS 2470, or OEM specifications.
Environmentally conscious, Andres follows all regulations regarding proper disposal and handling of the chemicals used in the electroplating process. We use a ventilation system that has been engineered to provide our employees with a safe work environment, and a chemical evaporator that reduces our chemical waste by more than 90%. Our conforming anode system further reduces waste associated with an uneven build-up.
Passivation is a widely-used metal finishing process to prevent corrosion. In stainless steel, the passivation process uses nitric acid or citric acid to remove free iron from the surface. The chemical treatment leads to a protective oxide layer that is less likely to chemically react with air and cause corrosion. Passivated stainless steel resists rust. We provide passivation services in stringent accordance with AMS 2700, or OEM specifications.