Mechanical plating is a process used to increase the durability of metal surfaces by adding a protective coating. By using mechanical plating, you can protect your metal parts from corrosion, wear and tear, and other environmental hazards. In this blog, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical plating so that you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right choice for your application.
Advantages of Mechanical Plating
The primary advantage of mechanical plating is that it provides superior protection against environmental factors like corrosion and oxidation. This makes it ideal for applications where part longevity is paramount. Additionally, mechanical plating can be applied to complex parts with intricate shapes or small surface areas without sacrificing performance. It also offers good adhesion properties so that the protective coating remains intact even after extended exposure to harsh environments.
Another benefit of mechanical plating is that it produces consistent results every time due to its automated nature. This allows manufacturers to quickly produce large batches of parts with identical coatings, making it much more cost-effective than manual processes such as electroplating or painting. Lastly, mechanical plating does not require hazardous chemicals or solvents, making it a safer option for workers and the environment.
One of the primary benefits of mechanical plating is that it can enhance the adhesion of coatings to metal surfaces. This is due to the fact that mechanical plating creates a rougher surface on the metal, which helps to improve the bonding between the coating and the metal. Additionally, mechanical plating can also help to improve the durability of the coating, as it is less likely to peel or flake off when applied to a rougher surface.
Increased Corrosion Resistance
Another benefit of mechanical plating is that it can increase the corrosion resistance of metal surfaces. This is due to the fact that many coatings used in mechanical plating contain compounds that are resistant to corrosion, such as zinc or chromium. Additionally, the rougher surface created by mechanical plating can also help to provide a barrier against corrosion-causing agents, such as water or salt.
In addition to its functional benefits, mechanical plating can also improve the aesthetics of metal surfaces. This is because many coatings used in mechanical plating are available in various colours, which can help give metal surfaces a more attractive appearance. Additionally, some coatings used in mechanical plating can provide a glossy finish, further enhancing the appearance of metal surfaces.
Reduced Manufacturing Costs
Another benefit of mechanical plating is that it can help to reduce manufacturing costs. This is because mechanical plating is typically faster and easier than other methods of applying coatings to metal surfaces, such as painting or powder coating. Additionally, mechanical plating can often be performed using automated equipment, which can further reduce labour costs associated with applying coatings to metal surfaces.
Finally, another benefit of mechanical plating is that it can increase the recyclability of metal surfaces. This is because many coatings used in mechanical plating are made from metals that are highly recyclable, such as zinc or chromium. Additionally, the process of recycling metals from coated surfaces is typically simpler than recycling metals from uncoated surfaces.
Disadvantages of Mechanical Plating
One of the primary drawbacks to mechanical plating is its cost; since it requires special equipment and highly trained technicians to operate, it can be significantly more expensive than other metal finishing processes, such as painting or powder coating. Additionally, since the process involves applying a physical force to bond the protective coating onto the part surface, there is always a chance that some parts may become damaged during this step in the process. Furthermore, because mechanical plating relies on friction rather than electrical current for adhesion, it cannot be used on certain types of materials, such as aluminium alloys or stainless steel.
Limited to Small Parts
One of the primary disadvantages of mechanical plating is that it is limited to small parts. Mechanical plating cannot be used on large parts, as the process requires that the part be placed in a tumbler, which is a small, cylindrical container. Additionally, the process is not well suited for parts with complex shapes.
Relatively Slow Process
Another disadvantage of mechanical plating is that it is a relatively slow process. The process can take several hours to complete, depending on the size and complexity of the part being plated. Additionally, the process requires that the part be placed in a tumbler and rotated at high speeds, which can cause wear and tear on the part.
Can Be Expensive
Mechanical plating can also be an expensive process, as it requires specialized equipment and chemicals. The cost of the process can vary depending on the size and complexity of the part being plated, as well as the type of metal being used for the plating. Additionally, because mechanical plating is a relatively slow process, it can require more labour hours than other methods of plating, which can further increase costs.
Requires Specialized Training
Another disadvantage of mechanical plating is that it requires specialized training to perform properly. Individuals who are not properly trained in the process can damage parts or create unsafe conditions. As such, it is important to ensure that any individuals who will be performing mechanical plating are properly trained and certified before allowing them to work with your parts or equipment.
Can Cause Health Risks
Finally, mechanical plating can also pose health risks to individuals who are exposed to the process. The chemicals used in the process can be harmful if they are inhaled or ingested, and exposure to them can cause skin irritation or other health problems. Additionally, the high speeds at which parts are rotated during mechanical plating can generate dust particles that can also be harmful if inhaled.
Mechanical plating is an excellent choice if you need superior protection against environmental factors like corrosion and oxidation while still maintaining tight tolerances on complex part geometries. However, keep in mind that this process can be costly due to its requirement for specialized equipment and highly trained technicians and its potential for causing damage during application. When deciding which type of metal finishing process will work best for your application, consider both the advantages and disadvantages that come with each option before making your choice. That way, you can ensure that you get the best possible outcome from your project!
Pipingmart is a B2B portal that specializes in metal, industrial and piping items. Additionally, we share the latest information and information about materials, products and various types of grades to assist businesses that are involved in this business.