Understanding the Difference Between Brush and Tank Plating
plating is a very useful and portable method of plating. Many different types of
metals or alloys can be applied over another metal. Our company makes far more
solutions available in brush plating chemicals then tank plating due to the
large demand of our customers. In a brush plating set-up we can work with lower
powered rectifiers and much less chemicals then in a tank plating set-up. Larger
pieces can be plated at a lower investment money wise and a smaller work area is
needed. Basically it doesnít matter how large the piece is, since it will
plate wherever we touch the wand to the work surface. Tough jobs can be done
easily since we do not have to disassemble most jobs. Car parts can be plated
right on the auto without dismantling the car. This is how the gold emblems on
cars are done. The emblems are never removed from the car to be plated. It
doesnít matter if we touch the paint on the car as the paint does not conduct
electricity so the paint will not plate. Guns are much easier to plate this way
as there is no worry of the insides getting rusty from submerging them in
solutions. If you have two conductive surfaces close to each other and you only
want to plate one of them, the plating will only occur on the surface that you
contact with the wand. If it is impossible to plate one area without touching
the surrounding areas then you can mask off the area with tape or nail polish or
the such. In brush plating the solution is all used up and therefore you do not
have a disposal problem like in tank plating. It is considered environmentally
theory of Brush plating is simple. The rectifier supplies a negative charge to the work piece
and a positive charge to a hand held wand which has the anode attached to the
end of it. The anode is covered with an absorbent material which holds the
plating solution. The anode can either be dipped in the solution or in some
large jobs the solution is constantly pumped up to the area being plated. The
anode is then applied to the work piece by the operator, or the work piece can
be moved under the anode, such as a moving shaft. The movement will apply even
plating on the entire area being plated. Plating occurs only where the anode
contacts the work piece.
Advantages of Brush plating: Lower
initial cost to start. Portability, the equipment can be moved to the worksite.
Ease of operation. Permits the plating of parts too large for a tank. Reduces
the amount of masking. Reduces waste disposal. And donít let the word brush
fool you, you canít leave any brush marks since the metal is electrically
deposited on the work piece.
a tank plating set-up
we must have a tank of sufficient size to hold the work piece with room for the
anodes and at least 3 to 4 inches of space on each side. Jewelry and small car
parts are a good example of items
that take well to tank plating, and the tanks can be as small as one quart size
in some cases. In electroforming which is the plating of non-conductive
items, a tank system must be used first to apply the copper over the conductive
paint. A tank has the advantage of being able to build-up thicker plating
without you being there or doing any labor during this step. With most solutions
the anodes must be equal to or greater than the work piece. If we use anodes of
the same metal as the solution then basically the solution goes on but the
anodes dissolve and must be replaced. When using stainless steel anodes the
metal is used out of the solution but the anodes donít wear out. The solution
is then replaced.
of tank plating: Easier
plating of complex shapes. In most cases multiple parts can be plated at one
time. In electroforming the copper must be tank plated over the conductive
coating. In some of the tank solutions the brighteners, which are chemical
additives can save you some of the time and labor of polishing. The pieces plate
in the two types of plating: The finished product is the same if the plating is done
properly. In our showroom you can not tell the difference between the two. They
are both deposited on the work piece and electrically bonded just the method of
applying it is different. In tank plating the thickness is determined by how
long you leave the item in the tank to plate. In Brush plating the thickness is
determined by how many times you go over the surface of the work piece.
in the two types of plating: The plating
chemicals used in brush plating are much more concentrated than the solutions
for tank plating, therefore they are not interchangeable. In most cases there
are approximately 15 times more metal in them. It does make them more expensive
per ounce but they also cover much more area than tank solutions. The nice part
is that you donít have to buy such large quantities of solution to do the job.
Also because of their concentration the brush solutions can build-up thickness
faster than tank solutions.
Electroforming: In electroforming we start with a applied conductive coating and plate with a special copper solution in a tank. The next coatings can either be done in a tank or by brush plating but the first plate of copper must be done in a tank.
This is a picture sent to us from Naiem Haniff, one of our customers in Surinam, South America. The comments are his own, only some spelling has been changed.
"I am sending you a picture of a gold plated gun barrel. It would also be nice if you could add this picture to your website. This gun barrel is my first job that I did when I purchase your system, and this was done by one of Dalmar proud customer. The results came out perfect. Thank You for all your help. Sure saves money and time when you can actually plate something without any problems. I have a spray on chrome system from (purposely deleted) and it does not stand up, it's no good. I had a contamination of one of the spray on chrome tank from (deleted). When I called them, they seem to know nothing about what I can do if I have a problem like that in one of my tanks. Thank you for the good results."
We are always happy to show some work from our satisfied customers.