The Fundamentals of Zinc Plating and Its Associated Benefits

August 6, 2021

The surface of metal products is typically exposed to a wide array of elements, especially if they are used in heavy-duty applications. While many of these products boast sufficient protection against corrosive elements, some of them can still be vulnerable to rust and other similar damaging elements.

Fortunately, the metalworking industry has come up with various techniques and processes that can produce stronger and more reliable metal products. One of the techniques that the industry is utilising is the addition of elements into the workpieces. Various heat treatment processes have also been developed to strengthen the qualities of metal products.

Another process that the industry has developed and is being maximised today is zinc plating.

A Brief Introduction to Zinc Plating

Zinc plating is the process of applying a thin layer of zinc element onto the surface of a metal workpiece. Zinc is being utilised by this process since it boasts notable corrosion resistance and unique conductivity. It likewise has a low density and a non-magnetic property, making it suitable for tons of metal products for various industries and applications. A metal workpiece coated with zinc can be protected from corrosion since the zinc layer can act as a barrier between the product and exterior elements.

Carrying Out Zinc Plating Process

The process of zinc plating is done in numerous steps.

  1. Clean the Workpiece: All debris and contaminants that are present on the surface of the workpiece must be removed so that the zinc coating can be applied. In cleaning the workpiece, an alkaline detergent solution can be utilised.
  2. Prepare the Zinc Plating Solution: The zinc plating solution may come in two types. The first type is acid zinc, which is known for its fast deposition, high efficiency, and superb covering power. It, however, generates poor thickness distribution and throwing power. The second type of plating solution is alkaline zinc. This type of plating solution offers less plating efficiency and a slower electrodeposition rate, but it can generate better ductility and thickness distribution.
  3. Choose a Zinc Plating Procedure: Zinc plating can be done by either rack plating or barrel plating. Rack plating is done by affixing large parts to metal racks and placing them inside a tank that contains the zinc plating solution. Barrel plating, alternatively, is done by placing the parts inside a barrel and rotating it.
  4. Introduce the Electrical Current: Once the workpiece is immersed into the zinc plating solution, an electrical current will be introduced. The introduction of electrical current is done so that zinc ions can be deposited into the surface of the workpiece.
  5. Conduct Post-Treatment Procedure: After the previous step, the workpiece must be rinsed so that any remaining contaminants and plating bath remnants will be removed. Ultimately, the zinc-plated workpiece must be thoroughly dry before utilising it.

Associated Benefits of Zinc Plating

Zinc plating does not only provide excellent corrosion resistance to workpieces, but it can also increase their strength. This process likewise improves the appearance of the workpieces, which can add more value to the products. Zinc plating can also make the products eco-friendly and valuable without spending a lot of money.

To find out more about zinc plating, you can contact us at Gunna Engineering.

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