Precious Metal electroplating is used to deposit thin layers of precious metals onto surfaces of less expensive substrate materials via an electrochemical process. By plating a less expensive substrate material with a thin layer of precious metal, desirable characteristics (e.g. electrical conductivity, optical attractiveness or protective layers against corrosion, temperature and mechanical stress) can be added to a material in an economic and ecological way by using only a minimum amount of valuable precious metals.
A key component of the electroplating process is the electrolyte or electroplating bath, which serves as the source for the precious metal in form of dissolved precious metal ions. By applying a direct current, the substrate (cathode) is plated with a thin layer of precious metals (ions from the electrolyte).
Use Cases and Application Examples of Electroplating
Precious metals are especially used for plating components in the electronics industry. However, also other industries like automotive, jewelry, tableware or aerospace (turbine airblades) rely on components plated with precious metals (e.g. plating of decorative surfaces).
Heraeus’ broad portfolio covers a variety of applications (an exemplary overview is shown below). In combination with our trading and recycling services, Heraeus can secure a stable supply of precious metals and cover all your needs around precious metals!
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High-Quality Precious Metal Compounds for Electroplating
Heraeus Precious Metals offers a broad range of high-quality precious metal compounds for electroplating companies and electrolyte manufactures.
If a compound of interest is not covered, please contact us for further information. We are at your service!
Plating of Bipolar Plates with Platinum
A rather new application of electroplating is the plating of bipolar plates with Platinum – e.g. with Dihydrogen dinitrosulfatoplatinate (Pt DNS). The Platinum coating protects the bipolar plates against the corrosive environment and helps to avoid the undesirable formation of poor conductive oxidation layers on the bipolar plate which would otherwise lead to ohmic losses. Thus, a platinum can enhance the durability and extend the lifetime of bipolar plates. With Heraeus’ decades of experience as supplier for the electroplating industry as well as titanium coating companies (e.g. MMO Anode manufacturers) and complementary activities in the hydrogen economy , we are the perfect partner to serve your needs. As an international market leader in precious metals, Heraeus Precious Metals is also in position to deliver larger volumes during scale-up of the hydrogen economy.
Contact our experts today to discuss how we can serve you with Heraeus’ precious metal portfolio and global production footprint!