Hinging Success on a New Plating Process

Published by Advanced Surface Technologies on

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 enough coating on the inside diameter so the part would stand up to a 300,000 cycle test before going to market. For this MIM alloy we developed a new cleaning, preparation and activation process to bond a hard, dense deposit to the I.D. In fact, we put an electrical current on the parts while in the electroless nickel plating tank to excite the surface to allow the nickel deposit to develop. Since the results had to be repeatable in large quantities, we plated thousands of components during an extensive testing phase. In the end, we established a reliable process that produced great parts for this customer and for many other customers as well. Creating a new process sometimes means failing multiple times before you succeed. We were determined to figure this one out and we did—quickly. Our customer was able to deliver a viable working solution to their customer on-time and on-budget.

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