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Electroplating vs Hot Dip onto Cu wire

7 years 6 months ago #2234 by Archived Forum Admin
ElectroPlate vs hot dip? A major consideration when trying to determine which is better is totally dependent upon the ultimate use of the end product. I found the following that might be helpful at:



In commercial terms electrodeposition or electroplating (or just plating) commenced in 1839-1840 in the UK and Russia using gold and silver on copper or brass for tableware, ornaments etc. Within ten years other metals (eg. zinc and cadmium) were depositable joined later by copper and nickel. Of the major metals, chromium was perhaps the last to be widely used (from 1930 onwards). In terms of area covered tin is the most used largely through its use on steel as tinplate for the canning industry, but because its average thickness is 1-2µm only the tonnage may not be greatest. Since 1950 the changes which have been experienced relate to the rise of electronic plating and contacts and connectors, the drop in automotive trim plating (ie. Ni, Cr), introduction of new alloys beyond brass, bronze and solder, and some specialist metals (eg. indium, palladium). There is also the fall of cadmium and lead for environmental/toxicity reasons with some other metals under attack. The thickness range usually specified is 1-20µm; below that range the porosity is too great, above that range other technologies may be more cost-effective. (Exceptions can be found of course including hard chromium up to 500µm, electroformed nickel, gravure copper etc).The applications common come in a number of categories:
Decorative/aesthetic cosmetic marketable appearance
Functional/engineering corrosion and wear resistant
Electronic circuitry Printed Circuit Boards, Connectors and contacts
Repair/reclamation refurbishment of worn parts, recovery of tolerance
Manufacturing Electroforming
Economic Cheaper (eg. steel) substrates, expensive coating (eg. tin)


Use of a molten metal as coating material immediately places severe thermal limits on the substrate. Consequently, as steel is the commonest substrate and would be seriously softened by annealing if subjected to coating above 720°C, the technique is limited to tin, lead, zinc and aluminium. The first two are now much less used, the last has an important niche in high temperature erosion oxidation conditions (eg. ovens, fume extractors, exhaust pipes) leaving zinc as the major product. It is likely that as much as 20% of all steel is coated with zinc, at least half of which is hot dipped. The applications include steel structural work, bridges, oil rigs, industrial building, agricultural building etc.
Coatings up to 100µm thick are possible giving structural lives of up to 50 years with paint. It should be noted that the act of hot dipping causes interdiffusion to take place, thereby providing superior adhesive bonding of coating to substrate, but the formation of a brittle intermetallic layer reduces its formability substantially. Thus steps must be taken to minimize diffusion for sheet and wire products required to be deformed during final fabrication.
Is there a cold dip coating process? Yes, but not using a metal. Notably paint processes still use dipping especially when a thick coating is required. But the analogy ends there because no diffusion is involved.

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7 years 6 months ago #2235 by Archived Forum Admin
Please consider outsourcing AWG 38 TPC. It will be very expensive for you to electro plate and redraw to AWG #38 TPC. There are some excellent sources especially off shore for your needs.


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7 years 6 months ago #2236 by Archived Forum Admin
Sorry I never said that the plating occured at 38 awg. What I said was "It is my understanding that most electro plating occurs at about 18 awg and then the wire is drawn to the desired size. "

I then went on to explain the economics of electro plating 18 awg (1 mm) vs 38 awg.


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