Zinc Plating - Benefits and Processes

Zinc plating has been around for quite some time giving a significant contribution most especially to the automotive industry. The people’s quest for a higher performance coating brought the development of this technology. Its use provides an excellent alternative to metal plating processes that involves toxic materials – like cadmium plating.


The zinc plating process:

Zinc plating is the process that involves electrolytic application of zinc to metal by immersing clean steel parts into a zinc salt solution and applying electric current into it. This immersion produces zinc coatings that prevent oxidation of the protected metal – zinc coating acts as a barrier and as a sacrificial anode when this barrier is damaged. Zinc is the best ally of steel to combat its natural enemy: corrosion.


The following are some benefits of zinc plating:

  • Excellent ductility and adhesion
  • Excellent process to combat corrosion of steel
  • Low stress deposit
  • Excellent chromate conversion coating receptivity
  • Zinc deposit appearance – comparable to chloride zinc or cyanide
  • It operates within wide range of bath chemistry
  • Contains no complexers or chelating agents
  • It is suitable for either rack or barrel plating
  • Temperature tolerance is up to 120?F – this helps reduce cooling costs.
  • Zinc coating does not undergo hydrogen embrittlement.


Other zinc alloys - for alternative metal plating processes:

There are a number of zinc alloys processes that are currently in commercial use. Depending on the end—product requirements and conditions, a particular industry may choose from the following processes:


  • Zinc-iron
  • Zinc-cobalt
  • Zinc-nickel
  • Zinc-tin alloy


For unalloyed zinc plating, chromate conversion coating post-treatments are utilized to enhance the overall material corrosion resistance.


For more information about zinc plating and zinc plating services, contact GMP Plating today, a zinc plating company headquartered in San Jose, CA.

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