There are many different uses for parts and components that have gone through the zinc plating process. This is a low-cost, highly effective way to add a zinc coating layer to the surface of the metal. This layer is very thin, so it does not impact the tolerances required for parts, and experienced companies providing this type of plating can customize the protective layer to the exact specifications of the OEM.
As with all types of plating, the zinc electroplating process is very durable and bonds directly to the surface layer of the metal part or component. It does not peel or flake, and it completely covers all of the surface, including the interior and exterior surfaces.
The result of the choice of zinc plating means that the metal is highly resistant to corrosion as well as typical wear and tear. In addition, as the external zinc layer is exposed to air and moisture, it becomes zinc oxide, which offers superior resistance and surface protection. The zinc oxide layer further evolves into a zinc carbonate layer after long periods of atmospheric exposure, which continues to provide high levels of corrosion resistance even in extreme types of environments.
Small parts can go through the zinc plating process in batches or lots. This is typically done with barrel plating techniques, where the smaller parts are placed in a container and then rotated to provide exposure to the plating bath to provide a uniform and even coating.
For larger parts, the zinc electroplating process is completed using rack plating. The individual parts are attached to a specially designed metal rack that is then submerged in a tank filled with the plating bath.
With both methods, an electrical current is then introduced and, with the parts forming the cathode, the zinc ions in the bath fuse with the metal ions on the surface to create the desired thickness of the zinc layer.
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