Aluminum is one of the most versatile metals used in the fabrication and manufacturing industries today. Aluminum can be found in abundant supply. It is a lightweight and durable metal, which makes it the perfect material for many modern applications.
It is not uncommon to see aluminum products finished through the use of electroplating. An understanding of the aluminum plating process will help you determine if investing in plating will benefit you in the long-run.
1. Prevent Corrosion
A metal component is often subjected to electroplating in an effort to increase the base metal's ability to withstand corrosion. If you routinely fabricate metal components that will be exposed to the elements or operate within a harsh environment, then finishing off aluminum items with a plated layer can be helpful.
The metal alloy used to plate the exterior aluminum surface acts as a barrier between potential contaminants and the underlying aluminum. Your aluminum products will have a longer lifespan and perform more efficiently when finished with a plating process.
2. Increase Wear Resistance
Another reason why you may want to consider adding a plating process to your metal finishing repertoire is to increase the wear resistance of your metal components. Aluminum is a pliable and lightweight material. These attributes make aluminum easy to work with, but they can also leave aluminum susceptible to dents, tearing, and other types of contact damage.
Plating adds to the strength of the component. The aluminum plate layer will act as a buffer to help absorb any accidental contact and prevent this contact from damaging the aluminum component itself.
3. Improve Aesthetic Appeal
Some of the aluminum components that you fabricate will be highly visible once they are put to use. Customers typically want visible components to be as attractive as possible. Plating can help you significantly improve the aesthetic appeal of the functional aluminum components you create.
The plating process can be combined with powder coating to give the exterior surfaces of your components some color. Plating and powder coating can also help to protect against scratching and other types of damage that might mar the appearance of the metal components your clients have on display.
Plating is an integral part of the aluminum finishing process. There are many reasons why you would want to finish off an aluminum component with a thin layer of a more durable metal alloy. Take advantage of aluminum plating to improve the quality and function of your fabricated components in the future.