AST Blog

Empowering Our Customers to Be Heard

AST is a high quality metal finishing company that specializes in electroless nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, plating on magnesium, tin plating, electrolytic nickel plating, passivation and chemical conversion coatings. A large percentage of AST’s customers are OEM’s and high end machine shops that have stringent quality requirements. One of our clients, a provider of voice pick-up and radio transmitters in the performing arts industry, came to us with a challenge they have been facing for years. They were producing voice transmitters with black anodized coating. However, anodize is aluminum oxide which is an electric insulator, so the components couldn’t properly ground. To combat this, they were using masking in some areas of the component to allow for grounding, but this created oxidation in the bare spots, which only increased corrosion and decreased quality. They needed plating that would allow grounding, avoid corrosion, and black color to blend in Read more…

Ensuring a Chilling Block Keeps Its Cool

AST is a high quality metal finishing company that specializes in electroless nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, plating on magnesium, tin plating, electrolytic nickel plating, passivation and chemical conversion coatings. A large percentage of AST’s customers are OEM’s and high end machine shops that have stringent quality requirements. One of our clients, one of the largest aluminum recyclers in the country, required a caster that holds 35 heavy chilling blocks weighing 800 pounds each and made with a two-inch copper bottom. Since the copper parts are the only parts that cool the aluminum, they needed a nickel coating to keep the aluminum from fusing with it. Starting from ground zero, we engineered a line with the capacity to coat just the copper bottom while handling the block’s weight. We created a dedicated line with 12 750-gallon tanks equipped with special trays, a unique fixture and a 5-ton crane to Read more…

Hinging Success on a New Plating Process

AST is a high quality metal finishing company that specializes in electroless nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, plating on magnesium, tin plating, electrolytic nickel plating, passivation and chemical conversion coatings. A large percentage of AST’s customers are OEM’s and high end machine shops that have stringent quality requirements. Time isn’t always on our customer’s side. When their customer approaches them with a large scale product that’s quickly going to market, they do whatever they can to accommodate. They seek a partner they can trust, who can match their fast delivery without sacrificing quality or value. Enter Advanced Surface Technologies. Our customer came looking for a cost-effective solution for plating a small hinge that was critical to a new product. Time was short and quantities needed were high. The hinge itself was pretty small, and required electroless nickel with PTFE to provide lubrication and prevent corrosion. The obstacle was getting Read more…

Helping Our Customers Exhale

AST is a high quality metal finishing company that specializes in electroless nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, plating on magnesium, tin plating, electrolytic nickel plating, passivation and chemical conversion coatings. A large percentage of AST’s customers are OEMs and high end machine shops that have stringent quality requirements. One of our clients was a medical device manufacturer that made pulmonary compression vests for people suffering from Chronic lung disease. They were having a difficult time with an uncoated cast magnesium part that experience consistent wear. It would also cause wear on the pieces around it. Their solution was lightweight and durable, but the uncoated surfaced lacked the proper lubricity. When they came to us, they believed they would have to switch the part to aluminum, but with our experience with magnesium plating, we were able to utilize Electroless Nickel Boron Nitride coating in order to provide the durability and Read more…

A Refreshing Outcome for a Food Machinery Manufacturer

AST is a high quality metal finishing company that specializes in electroless nickel plating, gold plating, silver plating, plating on magnesium, tin plating, electrolytic nickel plating, passivation and chemical conversion coatings. A large percentage of AST’s customers are OEMs and high end machine shops that have stringent quality requirements. One of our clients, a food machinery manufacturer came to us experiencing a 30% product fallout during the plating cycle on their fabricated parts due to the complexity of plating multiple metals at one time. The fix called for us to vastly change our prep process, not only our undercoats but also how we treat the copper. We implemented a much more robust cleaning practice and applied other metal undercoats before applying the actual plating. By doing so, we could not only protect the fabricated copper parts from corrosion, but also meet rigorous FDA standards for any machine parts that come Read more…

Black Electroless Nickel Plating by AST

Electroless Black Nickel-Phosphorus (Ni-P) plating is an advanced electroless nickel plating process formulated to deposit a black finish when processed through an oxidizing acid solution. Electrolesss nickel alloys are commonly used because of their beneficial physical and mechanical properties. Black electroless nickel coatings, commonly used in optical instruments and absorbing material, decorative coatings and aerospace industries, are specified due to their stability against sunlight exposure and their electrical conductivity and wear resistance. By the oxidization of a low nickel-phosphorus alloy, the black electroless nickel plating is formed. When compared to medium or high phosphorus alloys, this black alloy has an improved wear resistance and a deeper black finish. This is desired for both the looks and the benefits of a tougher and more rugged finish. During the experimentation process performed in order to create this new type of electroless nickel plating, some very interesting facts and findings were discovered and Read more…

What is Electroless Nickel with Boron Nitride Plating?

Boron Nitride Electroless Nickel (BNEN) plating is one of the most technologically advanced composite plating processes in the industry. Compared to the multitude of choices for metal finishing services  available, what are the advantages of Boron Nitride Electroless Nickel Plating? What applications and industries benefit from this new technology? Boron Nitride is a chemical compound in which its chemical formula BN consists of equal numbers of boron and nitrogen atoms. The hardness of Boron nitride is inferior only to diamond. Because of excellent thermal and chemical stability, Boron Nitride is widely used in mechanical applications. Boron nitride is not found in nature and is therefore produced synthetically from boric acid or boron trioxide. The cubic (sphalerite structure) variety, called c-BN is formed when BN is prepared with a nanostructure dominated by fine twin domains of average thickness ~3.8 nm. In this form, its hardness exceeds that of synthetic diamond, and its thermal and Read more…

What is Electroless Nickel Plating?

Several types of electroless plating exist, with electroless nickel plating being the most common by far. Electroless plating is different than electroplating because it is not necessary to pas an electric current through the solution to form a deposit. Electroless nickel plating is a process or technique where a layer of nickel-phosphorous (usually around 12-10%) or nickel-boron alloy is deposited onto a solid workpiece by a controlled chemical reduction. The workpiece is usually made of metal or plastic. The technique used is an auto-catalytic chemical technique which basically means that in the chemical reaction at least of the reactants is a product. The reason electroless nickel coating is the most common is due to the fact that electroless nickel has the unusual quality of being amorphous (without clearly defined shape or form), and not crystalline (having the structure and form of crystal). When a product is coated by electroless nickel Read more…

Passivation Services by AST

Passivation is a technique used in physical chemistry and engineering in order to protect a material from environmental factors such as air and water, making the material “passive”. A shielding layer of corrosion on is applied on the surface to help create a buffer against corrosion. Passivation is useful in the industrial fields because it strengthens and preserves the appearance of metallic. It remains a critical step in maximizing the essential corrosion resistance of parts and components made from stainless steel. Passivation can occur spontaneously in nature, but typically it is applied as a microcoating to preserve industrial metals and products. Most commonly, passivation services are applied to stainless steel parts in order to increase their resistance to oxidation, rusting and chemical attack. Stainless steel is used in situations where properties of steel and corrosion resistance are required. Stainless steel is a steel alloy with a small amount of chromium. Read more…

Electroless Plating

Plating is a technique that has been done for hundreds of years, and is still relevant for modern technology today. It is used for many purposes including decorating objects, corrosion inhibition, hardening, friction reduction, to improve paint adhesion, alter conductivity, for radiation shielding and other purposes. There are many types of plating including electroless plating. Electroless plating is also known as chemical or auto-catalytic plating. Electroless plating is a technique of plating metal by chemical rather than electrical means. Electroless plating is beneficial because it allows the coating of metals and plastics by a process of controlled autocatalytic, or self-continuing, reduction. It is a non-galvanic plating method involving simultaneous reactions which occur without the use of external electrical power. When hydrogen is released by a separate electroless solution-derived compound called the reducing agent (usually sodium hypophosphite or formaldehyde) it causes a chemical reaction to occur. It oxidizes, producing a negative Read more…

Advanced Surface Technologies

Advanced Surface Technologies, Inc., or AST, along with its precursor firms Swiss Lenox and Front Range Plating, have done their best in order to offer clients excellent metal finishing services since 1967. AST is a famous, first-class metal finishing business that does a marvelous job when it comes to gold plating, plating on magnesium, electrolytic nickel plating, electroless nickel plating, passivation, silver plating, tin plating, as well as chemical conversion coatings. Clients have always been satisfied with the services provided by the company, and now AST enjoys a lot of success. What’s more, they can meet all sorts of requirements related to metal finishing, and this makes them one of the most popular firms in this industry. Besides, you should know that a wide array of customers that choose the services offered by AST are in fact OEM’s and sophisticated machine stores that feature severe quality conditions. Clients from all Read more…

Gold plating services from AST

Gold Plating Services Gold plating refers to applying a thin layer of gold on the surface of an object made of another metal. The metals that are most frequently gold plated are copper and silver. This process can be done by either chemical or electrochemical plating. Even though gold is a very expensive metal, gold-plating may prove to be much cheaper than you would have expected. This is due to the fact that the layer of gold is usually very thin, so there is not that much material used. For jewelry, gold plating is used in order to ensure the durability of each piece, especially for those made of corrosive materials. Depending on the type of gold and on the thickness of the gold layer, this process may extend the life of jewelry by several years. Surely, this frame of time also depends on the way in which jewelry is Read more…

Advanced Surface Technologies – Why choose us?

Advanced Surface Technologies Inc, known as AST are specialists, providing metal finishing services, particularly of Electroless Nickel Plating and Gold Plating. Serving Colorado and across the nation, for the past forty- six years, it was formerly Front Range Plating and Swiss Lenox since it the business was started, in 1967. This high quality metal finishing company plates with electroless plating on nickel silver with Silver plating Gold plating Tin plating Magnesium plating Electrolytic nickel plating Passivation Chemical conversion coatings Among the regular AST customers are OEM’s and high- end machine shops all of whose quality requirements have to be of the highest standard. About Gold Plating Many jewelry manufacturers manufacture costume jewelry that is gold plated, providing a market for less affluent customers to wear and look good in look-alike less costly jewelry. These are often set with synthetic laboratory manufactured stones, giving great opportunity for matching appropriate pieces to Read more…

Boron Nitride Electroless Nickel from AST

An ISO 9001-2008 Registered Company Boron Nitride Electroless Nickel AST offers one of the most technologically advanced plating composites in industry – Boron Nitride Electroless Nickel (BNEN). The process incorporates Boron Nitride particles into a medium-phosphorus Electroless Nickel deposit in thicknesses ranging from .00005-.002 inches.  BNEN is ideal for parts that require both hardness as well as lubricity and can be plated on Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Magnesium, Stainless Steel and Steel. Benefits include exceptionally low coefficient of friction, superior release and high abrasion resistance.  Unlike EN-PTFE, another process that provides excellent lubricity, BNEN deposits can be heat treated to attain maximum hardness for very severe wear applications. Deposit characteristics Physical appearance:  Matte VHN (Vickers Hardness) as plated:  550 VHN, heat treated 20 min @ 400ºC (750º F):  850 High abrasion resistance Heat treatable Melting range 880-1200º C (1620-2190 º F) Magnetic Properties:  Magnetic Uniform Boron Nitride Particle Distribution 6-8% by Read more…

Electroless Nickel Plating from AST

What is Electroless Nickel Plating?  This is  high quality metal finish on Nickel by the firm of AST. (Advanced Surface Technologies, Inc). AST specializes in electroless nickel plating as well as silver and tin plating, plating on magnesium, passivation and chemical conversion coatings. Quality control  Priding themselves of keeping up a high standard of quality control in their workplace, and having been in the metal finishing service since 1968, they are well qualified in their profession.  Many of their customer’s are top machine shops requiring stringent precision in their finishes. AST is the biggest nickel plating firm in Colorado, with as many as seven operating lines to accommodate the variety of substrates and sizes for plating. Furthermore, they are the largest area specialists in plating silver, gold and platinum. The art of Electroless Plating Electroless Plating is a very specialized and exact profession and there is no room for error. Read more…