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Plating Aluminum

 

 

primary applications

Alfed logoAluminum offers engineers a lightweight, electrically conductive material which is easy to machine and mold. It is often electroplated to improve the appearance and improve corrosion protection.

Applications for plated aluminum include:

  • Chromium plated aluminum (alloy) wheels
  • Connectors for aerospace and military finished with either electroless nickel or zinc-nickel alloy
  • Extrusion for construction, finished with decorative coatings such as satin or dark chromium

 

 

Aluminum preparation

 

MacDermid aluminum pretreatmentPrior to plating, aluminum is pre-treated using specific technology which removes oils and greases, then deoxidizes the surface without attacking the aluminum substrate. MacDermid have developed pre-treament systems using either alkaline or acid technology. The choice will depend on your application and aluminum alloy. After these stages a zincate layer is applied. This zincate layer is critical to ensure excellent adhesion of the subsequent plated metals, such as copper, nickel or electroless nickel deposits.

MacDermid pre-treatment and zincate systems are used to treat all the plating grade alloys. They ensure exceptional adhesion of the plated layers whilst retaining the surface finish of the aluminum substrate. At the heart of this exceptional adhesion is the zincate layer. We offer both dual and quad metal, cyanide-free zincate systems. Both systems work well on extruded alloys. Quad metal zincates are generally preferred when plating aluminum casting alloys.

IMF logo

Our technical paper Improvements in the pretreatment of aluminium as a substrate for electrodeposition, published by the Institute of Metal Finishing can be obtained by following this link.

 

ProductProduct TypeDescription
Metex 6811 Cyanide-free, dual metal Metex 6811 is a superior alloy zincate process, specially formulated to produce a high-quality immersion zinc deposit on a wide variety of aluminum alloys, including the highly finished aluminum alloys used in memory disc applications and castings.

Unlike conventional zincates, this process consistently produces uniform, thin, dense, fine-grained zinc deposits with a minimum of etching of the aluminum surface. These deposit characteristics assure maximum adhesion of subsequent metal deposits, electroless nickels, electrolytic nickel, and cyanide copper strikes.

Bondal CF Cyanide-free, quad metal Bondal CF offers improved adhesion and corrosion resistance over conventional zincate processes. It is cyanide free and can be directly plated with electroless nickel, chromium, copper, nickel and zinc.

Bondal

Quad metal

Bondal Process enables many different electrodeposits to be applied directly to aluminum without intermediate brass or copper plating. The process is simple and economical to operate and has the advantage of improved adhesion and corrosion resistance over conventional zincate processes.

Bondal films are a thinner and denser barrier than traditional zincates and are significantly more resistant to lateral corrosion than conventional single or double-zincated surfaces.