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Glossary of Plating Terms

Abrasive Blasting - A process for cleaning or finishing by a means of an abrasive directed at the work piece at differing pressures & velocities. Grits range from extremely fine (plastic media) to very coarse (aluminum oxide). A grit is available for almost any application. 

Activation - Elimination of a passive condition on a surface 

Adhesion - The attractive force that exists between an electro-deposit and its substrate that can be measured as the force required to separate an electro-deposit from its substrate. 

Anodic Coating - A protective, decorative, or functional coating, formed by conversion of the surface of a metal in an electrolytic oxidation process. 

Anodizing -An electrolytic oxidation process in which the surface of a metal, when anodic, is converted to a coating having desirable protective, decorative, or functional properties. 

Basis Metal (or Material) - Material upon which coatings are deposited. 

Bright Dip (Non electrolytic) - A solution used to produce a bright surface on a metal. 

Bright Plating - A process that produces an electro-deposit having a high degree of specular reflectance in the as-plated condition. 

Buffing - The smoothing of a surface by means of a rotating flexible wheel to the surface of which fine, abrasive particles are applied in an liquid suspension, paste, or grease stick form. 

Building Up - Electroplating for the purpose of increasing the dimensions of an article. 

CASS testing - the Copper-Accelerated Acetic Acid Salt Spray test is the same as the Neutral Salt Spray (NSS) test, except it is accelerated, with typical time cycles being 8 and 24 hours.

Copper - is an excellent undercoat in the plating process. Copper provides good conductivity and forms an excellent protective barrier between the base metal and the plate. There are three ways to plate copper: A copper strike promotes good adhesion and will activate the surface; a cyanide copper provides protection and good coverage, particular in pieces that have complex geometric shapes, and also promotes good adhesion; an acid copper levels the surface well, gives a very bright deposit, and can be used as a substitute for nickel.

Chromate - is a conversion coating that provides moderate protection against tarnishing, primarily to enhance shelf-life.

Chemical Polishing - The improvement in the smoothness of a metal part by simple immersion in a suitable solution. See Bright Dip (Non-electrolytic). 

Cleaning - The removal of grease or other foreign material from a surface. 
  Alkaline Cleaning - .cleaning by means of alkaline solutions. 
  Anodic or Reverse Cleaning - Electrolytic cleaning in which the work is the anode. 
  Cathodic or Direct Cleaning - Electrolytic cleaning in which the work is the cathode. 
  Diphase Cleaning - Cleaning by means of a solution that contains a solvent layer and an aqueous layer. Cleaning is effected both by solvent and emulsifying action. 
  Direct Current Cleaning .-See Cathodic or Direct Cleaning
  Electrolytic Cleaning.-Alkaline cleaning in which a current is passed through the solution, the work being one of the electrodes. 
  Immersion – see Soak Cleaning
  Reverse Current Cleaning – See Anodic or Reverse Cleaning
  Soak Cleaning- Cleaning by immersion without the use of current, usually in an alkaline solution. 
  Solvent Cleaning - Cleaning by means of organic solvents. 
  Spray Cleaning - Cleaning by means of spraying. 
  Ultrasonic Cleaning - Cleaning by any chemical means aided by ultrasonic energy. 

Conversion Coating - A coating produced by chemical reaction that produces a superficial layer containing a compound of the metal, for example chromate coatings on zinc and cadmium, oxide coating on steel. 

Corrosion - (1) Gradual solution or oxidation of a metal. (2) Solution of anode metal by the electrochemical action in the plating cell. 

De-burring - The removal of burrs, sharp edges or fins by mechanical, chemical, or electrochemical means. 

Dye penetrant inspection (DPI), also called liquid penetrant inspection (LPI) - a widely applied and low-cost inspection method used to locate surface-breaking defects in all non-porous materials (metals, plastics, or ceramics). LPI is used to detect casting and forging defects, cracks, and leaks in new products, and fatigue cracks on in-service components.

Electro-galvanizing. – Electro-deposition of zinc coatings. 

Electroless Plating. - Deposition of a metallic coating by a controlled chemical reduction that is catalyzed by the metal or alloy being deposited. 

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