What Does Electroplated Aluminum Mean?
Electroplated aluminum is an anti-corrosion coating used in critical service applications. It is highly corrosion resistant, thin, non-embrittling and environmentally friendly.
Electroplated aluminum is valuable in a broad spectrum of applications with a wide range of advantages, including:
- Corrosion resistance
- Temperature tolerance
- Galvanic or chemical compatibility
- Low cost
Electroplating aluminum technology's availability is growing rapidly as plating costs continue to drop and capacity continues to expand. It offers an immediate drop-in replacement for cadmium.
Corrosionpedia Explains Electroplated Aluminum
Electroplated aluminum is a high-performance anticorrosion coating which has applicability across a wide range of products and components. The pure aluminum electroplated layer is fully dense and pore-free at thicknesses of 0.0003 inches (~8 micrometers) to provide a naturally corrosion-resistant barrier.
The patented aluminum electroplating process is non-aqueous and instead uses an aprotic (proton-free) electrolyte. This limits the potential for hydrogen embrittlement, and the process has been certified non-embrittling. Aluminum electroplated high-strength components do not require a post-plating heat treatment for hydrogen relief, and the coating minimizes environmentally assisted cracking (EAC) in end-use environments.
Where dimensional tolerances need to be maintained, the thin aluminum layer can be applied within tight specifications. A plating thickness on the order of .0003 inches is typical and provides long-lasting protection. This thin coating is compatible with thread tolerances and eliminates the "thread fill" phenomenon associated with organic coatings.
Electroplated aluminum is compatible in a wide variety of difficult environments and applications, such as:
- Heavy equipment: Offering an excellent solution where superior corrosion resistance is needed, such as high-strength bolts, springs and connectors
- Marine: Suitable in chloride and sulfur dioxide-rich atmospheres, and has proven its outstanding corrosion resistance
- Aerospace: Military and commercial aviation use it as replacement of cadmium coatings
High-purity electroplated aluminum has also proven superior to ion vapor deposited (IVD) aluminum, with better uniformity and surface density without shot peening.