While every job is different, all electroplating jobs go through each of the processes below, no matter how big or small the item is. As you will see, a lot of time goes in to each job.
The customer brings the job in.
A job card is created with a unique job number.
All items/parts received are photographed for each job, no matter how big or small.
The photo is checked.
The photo is uploaded to the computer, with the unique job number.
The trim has copper wire attached to enable electrical conductivity.
The trim is put in a hot caustic bath (75°C) for 2-3 hours to remove any paint and grease.
The trim is then rinsed in water and scrubbed.
Next, old chrome is removed in a cold caustic 12 volt anodic bath for 10 minutes.
The trim is rinsed again.
Old nickel is removed in a concentrated sulphuric (98%) 12 volt anodic bath for 35 minutes.
The trim is rinsed again
Any rust is now removed in a 38% hydrochloric acid bath for 2 hours.
The trim is then rinsed and the acid neutralised.
The manual polishing stage starts using coarse through to fine linishing belts (60 grit through to 400 grit), with 4 changes of coarseness during this stage.
Polishing compound is applied to the buffing wheel.
Three grades of polishing compound are used during this stage (600, 800 and 1200 grit) to achieve a mirror finish. Total polishing time is 45 minutes.
The trim has conductive copper wires re-attached, and non-conductive weights added.
The first electroplating stage is a pre-soak to remove any remaining polishing compounds in a hot caustic bath (75°C) for 30 minutes.
The trim is then rinsed and scrubbed.
The trim is electro-cleaned in a cold cyanide 12 volts anodic solution for 2 minutes and rinsed again.
In the acid etching bath (cold 10% sulphuric) for 2 minutes.
The trim is rinsed in the acid rinsing tank.
Next is a cyanide copper plating bath (hot cyanide 45°C) 12 volts cathodic for 5 minutes.
An acid etch (cold 10% sulphuric) for 10 seconds.
The trim has an acid copper plate (copper sulphate at ambient temperature), 6 volts cathodic for 45 minutes.
The second polishing stage begins, with the copper plating burnished to a high finish to remove defects using 800 and 1200 grit compounds, taking a total of 15 minutes.
The conductive wire and non-conductive weights are re-attached for the second electroplating.
Pre-soak to remove polishing compounds (hot caustic 75°C) for 30 minutes.
Electro-clean (cold cyanide solution) 12 volts anodic for 2 minutes.
Acid etch (cold 10% sulphuric) for 2 minutes.
Cyanide copper plate (hot cyanide 45°C) 12 volts cathodic 5 minutes.
Acid etch (cold 10% sulphuric) 10 seconds.
Acid nickel plating (hot nickel 57°C), 6 volts cathodic for 60 minutes.
Chrome plate (hot chromic acid 45°C) 12 volts cathodic 4 minutes.
Rinse, remove "orange" chromic acid, and neutralise.
Then hand over to quality control for inspection
Waxing after inspection to preserve the high sheen.
Hand polish with wax and then thorough inspection
Chromed and polished trim is wrapped in newsprint ready for the customer to collect.
Customer collects his trim and inspects the workmanship.
The customer pays and is receipted with a copy of the job sheet.
Total 7.5 hours from start to finish
Average deposit of copper metal 200g
Average deposit nickel metal 320g
Average deposit chrome metal 2 grams
Electricity usage 1200 Amp hours
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