Definition - What does Continuous Plating mean?
Continuous plating is a process in which items such as wires, tubes and strips are plated by running them continuously through a plating assembly, one after the other. The process provides a uniform distribution of the coating of a ductile metal like aluminum, zinc or tin, onto a metal substrate such as steel.
The surface treatment is often carried out to enhance the appearance, wear, corrosion resistance, or other surface properties of a metal substrate.
Corrosionpedia explains Continuous Plating
A continuous plating plant construction ensures a smooth and efficient movement through the plating bath where components are subject to the same conditions along a guide. This allows for uniform distribution of the electric current and that of the coating.
The basic layout of the continuous plating system includes:
- Process tanks with drive and contact rollers, current contacts, and auto brushing systems
- A design that allows the process tanks to be changed to holding tanks in a two-tier arrangement
- A DC system to supply, carry and transmit heavy current loads required for the plating process
- An auto-guiding mechanism system for plating wider strips
A typical horizontal continuous process for chromium plating is made up of:
- Waiting bars
- Loading bench
- Cathode contacts
- Plating unit
- Unloading bench
The waiting bars advance and rotate as they move one by one through the plating machine. A hydraulic system aids in transferring the required electrical contact to each bar as they move along the process. The bars enter the plating plant from one side and exit from the other when fully plated with a homogeneous chromium layer up to their ends.
The construction ensures a smooth and efficient movement through the plating bath. The components are subjected to the same conditions along the guide, which allows for uniform distribution of the electric current and that of the coating.
There are three common anode arrangements in which the components to be plated are either conveyed vertically, horizontally, or radially. The vertical processing is most preferred and achieves the best edge-to-edge and side-to-side uniformity.