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Silver plating: silver electroplating processes

The protection and aesthetic treatment of metals consists of special processes that form a thin surface film. Silver plating is one of these treatments. Let's learn more.

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Silver plating: aesthetic treatment and corrosion protection for metals

Silver electroplating is a process used for both aesthetic and functional purposes, since it guarantees important properties such as abrasion resistance and corrosion protection, as well as granting hardness and greater shine.

In silver electroplating, common baths with a variable silver content are used (in most cases around 20 g/L). A higher silver content (around 30 g/L), is used for concentrated baths, suitable for so-called heavy silver plating treatments, which therefore creates a relatively thick layer of silver on the surface.

In industry, silvering is mainly used for electrical applications, particularly contacts. The high reflective power of polished silver is also ideal for use in optical applications.

Electroplating baths and immersion baths: two silver plating methods

Silver electroplating occurs via electrolysis; immersion in silver baths (either common or concentrated baths depending on the metal content) creates a solid, protective and shiny film on the metal.

Common baths

Common baths provide for a variable amount of silver in the solution, so they can be used for various needs, even to plate small parts.

Concentrated baths

Concentrated baths lead to quick and heavy (or strong) silver plating with a greater thickness. In this case, moreover, the immersion tanks are equipped with special equipment for movement (plunge, rotary, back and forth) of the cathodes.

For low-cost silvering on ferrous materials, brass or copper, immersion baths contain a solution with free cyanide and a low silver content.

Corrosion protection is also provided by Impreglon coatings based on the Halar® and TempCoat® systems, which enable the use of coated materials in extreme fields such as the oil & gas and chemical industries, and sectors where equipment is generally subject to wear and corrosion.

The main standards followed are: UNI ISO 4521, UNI ISO 4179, ALCATEL ITALY 911041914 DSBUF and Bticino STS 9.

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