The practice of gold plating is a time-honored and respected one. Over the years, it has evolved away from its once decorative use into something the manufacturers of electronics perceive as considerably more useful. Once restricted to the plating of jewelry cutlery and other flatware gold electroplating has come of age in this age of technology.
Gold Electroplating: Industrial Perspective
Gold has risen for use in the industrial world. This is the result of the increase in technology. In particular, the electronics industry requires a metal that exhibits specific characteristics – notably can act as a conductor while being highly stable. Gold, as a noble metal has these properties. Although expensive, the process of gold electroplating ensures the costs effectively do not interfere with the profit margin.
Recommended Uses for Gold Electroplating
Gold is a contact coating. As such, certain recommendations are made as to its application. Gold electroplating or gold coatings are recommend for use when:
* High reliability is essential
* The component or item will be in a corrosive environment
* High durability is required
* Usage demands low wipe and low normal force
* Low level circuit conditions exist
* Little opportunity exists that the connection can be repaired easily or remated. Gold electroplating adds an extra level of protection
This does not mean, however, that the application of a gold coating to a substrate does not require close attention to specifics.
Conditions and Concerns
The process of gold electroplating does not exist without issues or concerns. Care needs to be taken when using gold. While gold does not suffer from fretting degradation and can be employed for components used at high elevations, precautions need to be taken including:
* When using gold, it is important to employ such metals as nickel and copper as a suitable substrate or underlayer
* Gold contacts are not to be mated with tin contacts
* Gold contacts are also never to be employed in what are Hot Make and Break” applications
* Pay attention to the specifications of the industry. The thickness of the gold layer is dependent upon the requirements made by the company and the specific requirements of the application.
These are not the only cautionary measures concerning gold electroplating. They do, however, indicate the need to be aware of the nature of the metals involved and the potential consequences that may occur if attention is not paid to detail.
Gold is an expensive metal. It has always been viewed with respect in the decorative arts. As coinage, it declared its worth to everyone. Gold plating, while reducing the overall price did little to dim its status. Today, the electronic industry has found a new use for gold. Gold electroplating, now used in printed circuit boards and electrical connectors, has carved itself a new niche, a new gold standard.
The industrial metal electroplating business is very competitive. It takes skill, experience and a high quality product to survive. At Professional Plating has stood the test of time. In business since 1983, they are continuing to provide our clients with the products and customized solutions they need for them to be successful in their industries. From silver, copper or Gold Electroplating to barrel finishing and electroless nickel, Pro Plate does it all. Discover more about who they are and how they can help your company by visiting Proplate.com.
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