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07 Jan 2019
Silver is one of the most respected and widely used materials for metal finishing in the manufacturing industry. What makes silver plating so special is its exceptional electrical and thermal conductivity. Today in this post we will discuss, what is silver plating, how does silver plating process work and what are advantages of silver plating.

Silver Plating

Silver plating is a process of depositing a layer of silver on the surface a metal substrate to protect it from corrosion. In this process, silver is electroplated on the metal part to improve its surfaces features ( sun-glo.com/silver-plating ). Usually, it forms a coating which is matte-white in appearance. However, semi-bright and bright finishing can be deposited as well.

How does silver plating work?

Like any other electroplating process, first of all, a metal substrate is cleaned thoroughly. After cleaning, a metal part undergoes through pretreatment which involves making part’s surface free of tensile stress, cracks, pits, tool marks, metal inclusion, and hydrogen embrittlement. Pretreatment involves several mechanical and thermal operations including heat treatments, bending, machining, soldering, and welding.

After cleaning and pretreatment, a metal substrate is immersed into an electrolytic bath containing silver ions and other agents. Silver is attached to an anode, and metal part to be plated attached to a cathode. A DC current is passed through the solution which releases silver ions that get deposited on the surface of a metal substrate.

Electroplating silver to the metal substrate is a bit difficult than other metals. Most common problems associated with silver plating are voids in coating coverage and poor adhesion. Therefore, it is necessary to leave a job in the hands of professional and experienced silver plating services for high quality and uniform metal finishing.

Advantages of silver plating

Silver plating services have been used widely in several industries including automotive, electronics, telecommunications, flatware, and jewelry. Silver plating offers a vast range of advantages. Below are some key advantages of silver plating:

•  Silver plating provides a brilliant decorative finish which has good corrosion resistance.

•  Silver coating is less expensive than other precious metal coatings. It offers same characteristics of gold coating and platinum coating at a very economical price.

•  Silver is an exceptional conductor of electricity. Silver plating offers least electrical resistance to flow of current as compared to other metals plating.

•  Silver is a good conductor of heat. Silver plating has an exceptional thermal conductivity which makes it an ideal coating for household items.

•  Silver coating is easy to clean and re-polish. Also, silver plating services companies use chromate post treatment to improve the tarnish resistance of the silver coating  ( https://www.sun-glo.com/blog/ ). Despite being tarnished easily, the silver coating is used widely for household items and other decorative finishing.

So this was a brief guide on silver plating.

If you are looking for metal finishing that is functional as well as decorative, then silver plating is indeed one of the best in the industry.


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