Zinc Plating (Electroplating)

Protecting metal components from corrosion and rust is a challenge for many industries. Zinc plating is a process that deposits a thin coating of zinc onto a metal substrate using an electrical current. This coating protects iron, steel, and similar metals against rust and corrosion.

Founded in 1931, New Method Plating has become an industry leader for providing high quality zinc electroplating services. We offer a high level of expertise and maintain all crucial industry standard certifications, including

Zinc Plating (Electroplating)

(Click to Enlarge Infographic)

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • AS9100
  • Nadcap AS7108
  • Mil-Specs: ASTM B633, AMS 2402, MIL-STD-171, ASTM F1914, ISO 4042

Benefits of Zinc Plating

In addition to protecting metal parts and components from corrosion, zinc plating delivers the following benefits:

  • Excellent adhesion and ductility
  • Low stress deposit
  • Increased aesthetic appearance
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cost-effective
  • Does not contain complexers or chelating agents
  • Withstand temperatures up to 120° F
  • Easily receives chromate conversion coating
  • Operates within a wide range of bath chemistry
  • Suitable for either barrel or rack plating

Industries & Applications

Zinc plating is ideal for use with bolts, nuts, and metal brackets as it creates a clean, smooth finish and slows the process of rusting and other corrosive processes. These characteristics make zinc plating popular across a range of industries and applications. The automotive industry uses zinc plating for brake lines, power steering, and engine components to prevent corrosion-related damage.

The defense industry relies on zinc plating for armored vehicle and tank components and electrical transmission components to improve reliability. Zinc can deliver improved durability and corrosion resistance to die-cast military parts while meeting precise thickness and military specifications.

zinc plating

Zinc Plating Process

The process of zinc plating requires specialized equipment and expertise. We can alter several elements of the process to reach a desired outcome, but overall the process maintains similar steps. The plating process begins with preparing the substrate by cleaning it in an alkaline solution for at least five minutes and heating it to 150°F to remove surface contamination. An electro cleaner removes microscopic dirt, and an acid treatment is used to remove rust in a process known as pickling or activation.

A solution is prepared containing either acid zinc, which is a popular solution due to its speed and coverage, or an alkaline zinc solution for more precise control. Alkaline zinc solutions provide better control of the thickness and distribution, while often providing improved ductility.

There are two methods of plating: barrel plating and rack plating. Barrel plating involves rotating the substrate in the solution and is ideal for small parts. Rack plating submerges the substrate in a stationary tank of the solution and is most suited for larger components.

Electroplating involves introducing a DC current. The substrate acts as a cathode when the current is applied to deposit zinc on its surface. The uniformity of the electrical current and duration of electroplating must be precise to reach high-quality results. Thorough rinsing of the substrate removes contaminants, and the parts are dried.

Sealers and additives can enhance the properties of the plating. The typical plating result is a flat luster, gray or silver color, but New Method Plating can attain olive drab, black, blue, and yellow finishes through post-treatment chromates.

Why Rely on New Method Plating for Your Zinc Electroplating?

Zinc plating provides a range of benefits and is a common practice in manufacturing, automotive, and defense fields where rust and corrosion resistance are crucial. At New Method Plating, your satisfaction is backed by over 80 years of experience in delivering high quality zinc plating services. Our facilities offer a full range of electroplating for a variety of substrates, and we can deliver a finished product that meets your exact specifications with quick turnaround times. For more information on our products and services contact us or request a quote today.