Aerospace plating services offer high-quality gold plating for aerospace applications, which provide superior protection and durability. Valence Surface Technologies is a full-service surface finishing company specializing in commercial aerospace, defense, space, and satellite industries.
This article will discuss gold plating, why it is a good material for aerospace plating applications, specifications, and a breakdown of the gold plating process.
Valence specializes in the commercial aerospace, defense, space, and satellite industries. With ten strategically located sites across the United States, Valence provides a start-to-finish solution from NDT and chemical processing to paint and sub-assembly.
Experience the gold standard of quality for your aerospace parts with Valence Surface Technologies. Our gold plating services are trusted by the industry’s leading OEMs and suppliers for their precision and durability. Contact us today to request a quote and see how we can help elevate your aerospace parts to new heights.
What Is Aerospace Plating?
Aerospace plating is a specialized form of metal finishing used to protect and enhance components used in aircraft, spacecraft, and other aerospace-related applications.
This plating process involves the application of a thin layer of metal to a component, usually with the help of an electroplating process. This layer of metal protects the component from corrosion, wear and tear, and other damage during normal operation.
It also improves the appearance and performance of the component, making it more efficient and reliable. Components can last longer and operate more reliably with aerospace plating, making them essential for the aerospace industry.
What Is Gold Plating In Aerospace?
Gold plating is ideal for aerospace applications due to its superior corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and low contact resistance. It also offers superior protection against wear and tear and is aesthetically pleasing, making it a popular choice for components exposed to extreme conditions.
Gold plating is typically done using either electroplating or chemical plating.
In electroplating, a thin layer of gold is applied to the metal surface using an electric current. This process is often used for larger parts and is more cost-effective than chemical plating.
Chemical plating is a more precise method, as it involves the use of a chemical solution to deposit a thin layer of gold onto the metal surface. This process is often used for smaller parts, as it provides a more even and consistent finish.
Hard Gold Plating
Hard gold plating is an advanced form of gold plating that is used in aerospace applications. This process involves the use of a hardening agent, such as nickel, to create a harder, more durable finish. This process is often used for parts that are exposed to extreme conditions, as it offers superior wear and tear resistance.
Standardization Of Gold Plating For Aerospace
The Aerospace Standard AS 9100 is the primary standard for gold plating services used in the aerospace industry. It outlines the requirements for gold plating services, such as quality control, environmental protection, and safety. It also outlines the thickness of the plated gold, the surface finish, and its corrosion resistance.
By adhering to the AS 9100 standard, gold plating services can ensure that their gold plating services meet the aerospace industry’s requirements.
By adhering to the standards set by the aerospace industry, gold plating service providers can ensure that their services meet the highest quality and performance standards.
When choosing a gold plating service for your aerospace project, it is important to ensure that the service meets the standards the aerospace industry sets. This will ensure that your gold plating services meet the highest quality and performance standards.
Advantages Of Gold Plating For Aerospace
Gold plating is popular for aerospace applications due to its superior durability and protection. Gold plating offers a range of advantages over other plating materials, including:
Increased Corrosion Resistance
Gold plating provides superior corrosion resistance compared to other metals and offers protection against oxidation, making it ideal for aerospace applications.
Improved Electrical Conductivity
Gold plating is an excellent conductor of electricity, so it’s ideal for aerospace components that require electrical conductivity.
Superior Heat Resistance
Gold plating is highly heat resistant, which makes it perfect for aerospace components exposed to high temperatures.
Gold plating requires little maintenance, making it a cost-effective choice for aerospace applications.
Improved Wear Resistance
Gold plating is highly resistant to wear and tear, making it an ideal choice for aerospace components that are exposed to harsh conditions
Different Types Of Gold Plating
There are several different types of gold plating available, each with its own characteristics and advantages. Some of them include:
Electroplating use electrical current to apply a thin layer of gold to the surface of a metal or other material using an electrical current. This type of gold plating is often used for decorative purposes, as well as to provide protection against corrosion.
Chemical Plating & Immersion Gold Plating
Chemical & Immersion gold plating is a process of applying a thin layer of gold to the surface of a metal or other material using a chemical solution
Hard Gold Plating
Hard gold plating is applying a thin layer of gold to the surface of a metal or other material using a high-temperature process. This type of gold plating is usually applied for decorative purposes and for corrosion prevention.
Vacuum Gold Plating
Vacuum gold plating is a process of applying a thin layer of gold to the surface of a metal or other material using a vacuum chamber. Thisis often used for decorative purposes andto provide protection against corrosion.
No matter which type of gold plating is used, it is important to ensure that it meets the highest quality and performance standards for aerospace applications. Gold plating services for aerospace should be conducted in accordance with industry standards and regulations.
Gold Plating Process
Gold plating involves depositing a thin layer of gold onto a surface. In aerospace, gold plating is used for its high electrical conductivity, and corrosion
Step 1: Surface Preparation
Oils and other impurities must be removed from the metal’s surface before plating it, and the object must be polished. Surface preparation techniques can include sandblasting, tumbling, polishing, and more.
Water, acid etches, alkaline cleaners, solvents, abrasives, or a combination of these can be used. Acid or non-acid ultrasonic baths and high-rpm rouge wheel polishing are two common cleaning techniques.
Two factors make it necessary to do this:
To increase compliance. (Dust and dirt prevent the plated metals from securely adhering to the jewelry item.)
To keep impurities out of the plating tanks.
Step 2: Cleaning
Electrocleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, or steaming are typically used after the surface has been prepared and inspected visually. A second, more thorough cleaning step is required to ensure that the metal is free of oils and dirt, which helps to produce superior plating results.
Any remaining oils that managed to stick around during the polishing process are blasted away by steam cleaning. Pay close attention to jewelry that is highly detailed and has numerous crevices.
Step 3: Rinse
The piece is rinsed thoroughly with water to remove any cleaning agents.
Step 4: Strike
During the plating process of aerospace components, a thin layer of premium nickel is applied to the base metal utilizing a strike layer, or flash layer, to facilitate adhesion.
However, in some cases, a buffer layer may be required to improve the bonding between the plating and the underlying surface, particularly when the base metal of the aerospace component is reactive or susceptible to migration.
The buffer layer acts as a barrier between the plated and base metal, preventing migration and enhancing durability and lifespan. It is essential for ensuring optimal performance and longevity of aerospace components subjected to harsh environments and stresses.
Step 5: Rinse Again
After the strike layer has been applied, rinse the surface again with distilled water to help remove any impurities that may be present.
Step 6: Base Coat
If a base coat is applied before gold, it is typically nickel. On a single piece, the plating may be applied in multiple layers. For instance, a silver substrate usually has layers of copper, nickel, and gold deposited on top of it in a gold-plated silver article.
Step 7: Final Coating
The plating process for aerospace parts involves carefully controlling the time, temperature, and voltage as the part is submerged into the plating solution. The solution contains ions of gold or the final metal that will be visible on the surface of the part, and the voltage and temperature requirements will vary depending on the type of metal being used.
A cathode bar with a negative electrical charge is used to hang the parts being plated. The negatively charged parts are attracted to the positively charged metal ions in the solution bath. The electrical charge is applied to the part when it is submerged in the tank, and the negatively charged part draws in the positively charged ions that are already present.
After the plating process is complete, the parts are carefully inspected for thickness, adhesion, uniformity, and other physical properties to ensure they meet the necessary requirements for use in aerospace applications. Any defects or inconsistencies are addressed before the parts are approved for use. It’s important that the plating is able to withstand harsh environments, high temperatures, and other stresses that the parts may be exposed to in aerospace applications.
Step 8: Final Rinse
Finally, rinse the gold-plated surface with distilled water for a final time to help remove any impurities that may be present, and hang the piece up to dry completely.
Get Started With Valence Surface Technologies
As we have seen, gold plating is an excellent choice for applications in the aerospace industry. It offers excellent wear and corrosion resistance, as well as high hardness, conductivity, solderability, and performance at high temperatures. All these features make it an ideal choice for parts and components that require superior performance.
However, selecting the right gold plating service for your particular needs can be challenging, especially if you are new to the world of gold plating. Be sure to maximize the information provided in this guide to help you make an informed decision
If you have any questions or need help with gold plating services, Valence Surface Technologies is here to help! We offer a wide range of gold plating services that are sure to meet your needs. Request a quote today for the gold plating service you need, or contact us to learn more about our services.
Want to learn more about Gold Plating?, check out this article:
Is gold plating expensive?
Gold plating is typically more expensive than other types of plating, such as silver or nickel. This is due to the cost of gold itself, as well as the additional labor and materials involved in the gold plating process. However, gold plating is often more cost-effective than other metals due to its superior durability and resistance to corrosion and wear.
How long will gold plating last?
The lifespan of gold plating depends on several factors, including the type of gold plating used, the thickness of the plating, and the environment in which the plated product is used. Generally, gold plating can last for many years if it is properly maintained and cared for.
How long does 1-micron gold plating last?
The lifespan of 1-micron gold plating can vary depending on the environment in which it is used. In most cases, 1-micron gold plating can last for up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance.
What is the most popular type of electroplating?
The most popular type of electroplating is gold plating. This is due to its superior durability, resistance to corrosion and wear, and attractive appearance. Gold plating is often used in the aerospace industry due to its superior performance.
Is gold more expensive than gold plating?
Yes, gold is more expensive than gold plating. This is due to the cost of gold itself, as well as the additional labor and materials involved in the gold plating process. However, gold plating is often more cost-effective than other metals due to its superior durability and resistance to corrosion and wear.