Welcome to Mercury Electroplating

With over 20 years' experience in the industry we are specialised in the plating of a wide variety of parts for aerospace, defence, automotive, computer and the telecommunications industry.

 

Aviation Plating

Mercury Electroplating has been providing a plating service to Military, Aviation, and all Manufacturing Industries throughout the UK.

 

Automotive Industry

We have been serving the automotive industry for over 20 years here at Mercury Electroplating.

 

Electroless Nickel Plating Aluminum

Mercury Electroplating can take your project from initial conception, through prototyping and into volume production.

Bright Nickel Plating

Bright nickel plating is one of three forms of nickel plating, otherwise known as bright nickel electroplating. It is used for mainly decorative and engineering applications. In contrast to electroless nickel plating and dull nickel plating, bright nickel plating offers a mirror like coating due to the high amount of sulphur, and is not as ductile or corrosion resistant. The mirror like coating is ideal for hiding polishing lines and any surface imperfections of the material.

What can bright nickel plating be applied to?

Bright nickel plating can be applied to a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals for a clean and bright finBright Nickelish, including:

  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Iron

The brightness of other electroplating coatings can also be increased by using bright nickel plating as a base.

What is the bright nickel plating process?

Bright nickel plating involves electroplating nickel to produce a levelled, ductile and bright nickel deposit.

To start, the base material is subjected to a negative charge in order to transfer the nickel correctly, which is attached to a power supply through a conductive wire. Now this is attached, the positive side of the power source is connected to a rod made of nickel.

The base material and electroplating metal is placed in a chemical solution of water and nickel chloride salt. The electric current makes the nickel chloride salt detach from the negative chloride ions and positive nickel cat-ions. The negative charge from the base material attracts the positive nickel ions and the negative chloride ions are attracted to the positive charge.

Lastly, this combination spurs the oxidation of the nickel in the rod so it dissolves into the solution, and the oxidized nickel is attracted to the base material, coating it.

What is bright nickel plating used for?

Bright nickel plating is mostly used for automotive reasons. Bumpers, rims, exhaust pipes and trims for bikes, cars and motorcycles are submitted to the bright nickel plating process to improve their appearance, corrosion protection and wear resistance. This is where they get their high lustre finish.

Many items around the house, including hand tools, are plated in bright nickel to improve their appearance, wear and corrosion such as plumbing supplies, lighting, wire racks and appliances.

Mercury Electroplating can offer the electroplating of trivalent chrome known as Cr3+ and hexavalent chrome known as Cr6+

Both chrome processes are part of our aluminium finishing, satin chrome and bright chrome finishes.

Chromium plating is used for two reasons, one to prevent the nickel undercoat from tarnishing and two, to produce a hard abrasion resistant surface when the thickness is much higher for engineering purposes that sometimes requires metal polishing.

Trivalent chrome is green technology.

 

The thickness of the Cr3+ deposit is approximately 0.1 – 0.3 microns, in some cases 0.5 microns

The early chemistry did not produce a compatible finish to hexavalent chrome but has improved vastly over the last few years and it is difficult to see the difference with the electroplating of bright chrome.

Satin chrome is still not compatible but it does produce an aesthetic finish that is down to personal preference, this is also an area that is being investigated.

The trivalent process has superior “throwing power” in comparison to hexavalent it can cover recessed areas more readily and gives an improved uniformed thickness which avoids excessive plating on outer areas of the component, thus avoiding cracking of the deposit and burning.

Unlike nickel and copper plating but similar to electrophoretic lacquer the anode is inert and does not dissolve so the metal deposit comes from the metal salt which is part of the makeup of the solution. A chrome anode would be too brittle and expensive so either graphite or carbon electrodes are used.

Tin Lead Plating

Electroplating is a common metal treatment for a variety of industries, and most times these industries have specifications that must be followed. Tin Lead Plating is a fairly common form of electroplating, and there are two basic specifications that are often referenced: the ASTM B579 specification and the MIL-P-81728 Specification. PEP General Metal Finishing can, of course, perform tin lead electroplating to either of these specifications.

About Tin Lead Plating

Tin-Lead plating is used often in the electronics industry and has a fair degree of popularity due to its combination of effectiveness and affordability. Pieces with a plating of tin and lead have a dull gray appearance. These pieces tend to have excellent solderability and the tin lead plating process inhibits whisker growth, which is of great concern to the high reliability electronics market. With over 40 years of experience, PEP General Metal Finishing can apply this type of plating in a variety of applications.

ASTM B579 Specification

This specification calls for plating with a 50 to 70 percent tin content, with the remainder being lead. Classes under this specification include SC4, with a minimum thickness of 30 um for steel or copper and SC3, with a thickness of 20 um for steel and 15 um for copper. For these two classes, an undercoat of 2.5 um copper is recommended. Two other classes under the ASTM B579 specification are SC2, with a thickness of 10 um for steel and 8 um for copper and SC1, with a thickness of 5 um for steel or copper.

MIL-P-81728 Specification

This specification also calls for a plating with 50 to 70 percent tin content, but it allows for up to one percent of the mix to be made up of other metals, with the remainder being lead. This specification does not require underplating except when applied over an alloy with 15 percent or more beryllium or zinc. In these cases, copper or nickel is the appropriate material for the underplating, to a thickness of 0.0001 inch. The thickness of the actual plating should generally be between 0.0003 inches and 0.0005 inches. In terms of finish, either a bright luster or a matte would be acceptable.

contact Mercury Electroplating about our metal finishing services today.

Bright Tin Plating

Overview: Tin plating is typically used for electrical applications because of its excellent electrical conductivity and solderability. Tin plating is also used for heat sensitive applications such as fire fighting, food processing equipment, and for kitchen & domestic tableware.

Standard Thickness
Def Stan 03-8 5-7.5µm
BS 1872 12µm

Thickness: Typical thicknesses of 5-30µm are deposited although greater thicknesses of up to 80µm can be achieved where required, for example, components specified for service at paper mills and other environments where hydrogen sulfide in the atmosphere corrodes silver and other platings.

Rate Of Deposition: Under typical conditions tin plating occurs at a rate of about 10µm in 11 minutes, however, tin plating is not always even and where minimum thicknesses are required longer processing is needed, for example, to achieve a minimum thickness of 25µm a process time of 35 minutes would be required, or longer for complex components.

Tin Plating Brass: On brass components to be tin plated as an aid for solderability or for electronic purposes, it is advisable to apply a thin coating of either copper or preferably nickel before tin plating.

Electronics Applications: For electronic components, the use of a copper additive is recommended to prevent “whiskering” of the deposit in storage.

Chromate Conversion Coating

Chromate Conversion Coating (also commonly referred to as Chemical Film, Chem Film, Alodine or Iridite) converts the surface properties of the substrate (typically aluminum or magnesium) as compared to plating which applies a coating onto the surface of the substrate. Chromate provides excellent corrosion resistance, is conductive and results in no measurable buildup (0.00001”- 0.00003”) on the parts. Chromate conversion coatings are the most widely used coating for corrosion protection of Aluminum and Aluminum alloys minimizing surface oxidation. It is commonly used for an undercoat for paint or adhesive applications due to the excellent bonding properties it provides. Class 1A coatings give maximum corrosion protection with the highest electrical surface resistance while class 3 coatings have lower corrosion protection and provide lower electrical surface resistance.

Mercury Electroplating applies both standard hexavalent (clear and yellow) and RoHS compliant Trivalent (TCP) to Aluminum and Magnesium alloys.

Both Hexavalent and Trivalent films at Mercury Electroplating have passed initial 336 hour salt spray testing and are subject to monthly 168 hour salt spray testing as well as paint adhesion testing conforming to all specifications. MIL-C-5541E, MIL-DTL-5541F, ASTM B 449-93 (2004), AMS 2473G, AMS 2474D and MIL-DTL-81706B.

The Trivalent Chromium Process (TCP) provides a non hexavalent chrome coating compliant with RoHS, ELV and WEEE directives. It compares favorably with the hexavalent coatings providing a conversion coating that fulfills the corrosion, paint and electrical requirements of the different specifications.

Mercury Electroplating’s over 20 years experience with the chromate process enables us to effectively process cast and all the different wrought alloys with alloy specific pre-treatment chemistries.

Alocrom 1200

  • Offers good electrical conductivity with excellent corrosion resistance, providing an ideal base for powder coating and paint.
  • A rapid, non-electrolytic, chromate conversion treatment.
  • Excellent corrosion protection with or without paint.
  • Excellent paint or powder coating adhesion allowing metal deformation after painting.
  • The coating has a low electrical resistance (less than 5k micro-ohms/square inch).
  • Can be used to repair anodised coatings and refresh them before painting.
  • We also offer a pen touch up if so required (please discuss beforehand)

Further guidance on Reach,Rohs ELV and WEEE legislation and end uses please visit https://www.hse.gov.co.uk /reach and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rohs-compliance-and-guidance

Iridite NCP

Chrome-Free Passivation

For Aluminium, Iridite NCP is an environmentally safe, chrome-free passivation treatment designed specifically for aluminium alloys. It applies a highly corrosion-resistant conversion coating ideally suited to be painted or left as a stand-alone corrosion resistant barrier. Iridite NCP is an innovative new process that offers extremely high resistance to corrosion, tested to 1000 hours on many aluminium alloys.
Iridite NCP also has the ability to withstand high temperatures, so it is suitable for use on items with high operating temperatures such as automotive engine components and electronic heat sinks. This unique property, not found in chromates, also allows applicators to increase the temperature of their dry-off ovens prior to painting, increasing throughput and productivity.
Unlike traditional Chromate treatments that require up to 24 hours to cure to a hard film, Iridite NCP provides a hard-amorphous crystalline coating as formed. For new chrome free technology that meets all environmental standards, bare corrosion resistance without painting, even after heating or baking.
  • Excellent adhesion to paints, sealants and adhesives.
  • Environmentally compliant–contains no hexavalent or trivalent chromium compounds.
  • Simple application using immersion.
Iridite NCP is an alternative option to replace Alocrom 1200 & 1000 subject to end use and allows Diamond Metal Finishing to comply fully to the latest relevant environmental legislation.
Iridite NCP meets the following specifications:
  • MIL – DTL – 5541 TYPE II CLASS 3
  • MIL – DTL – 81706

SurTec 650 Chromium(VI)-Free Passivation for Aluminium for the Electronics,- Automotive and Aerospace Industry.

SurTec 650 is a chromium(VI)-free trivalent passivation for aluminium. The liquid concentrate delivers an excellent corrosion protection, comparable with the corrosion protection of a hexavalent passivation.

SurTec 650 is suitable for alloyed and casted aluminium and pretreatment before laquering, powder coating and gluing. It is easy to handle in immersion, spray and wipe application and produces an iridescent, faintly blue to tan and visible layer.

SurTec 650 meets or exceeds MIL-DTL-81706 and MIL 5541 for bare corrosion (336 h in NSS per ASTM B-117, respectively, DIN 50021 SS) and has a low contact resistance (< 0.8 mOhm/cm2). It is also heat resistant up to 100 °C (212 °F) with minimal loss in corrosion resistance.

Surtec 650V

SurTec 650V is a hexavalent chromium free passivation for aluminium, suitable for alloyed and casted aluminum. It is also used as a pre-treatment before lacquering, powder coating and gluing.

  • It produces an iridescent, faintly blue to tan and visible(V) layer.
  • It has excellent bare corrosion protection comparable to hexavalent passivation.
  • Approved by Qualicoat it meets or exceeds MIL-DTL-81706B and MIL-DTL-5541F for bare corrosion (336 h in neutral salt Spray per ASTM B-117, respectively, DIN EN ISO 9227). Electrically it has a low contact resistance:
  • <5000 μOhm per square inch per MIL-DTL-81706B.
  • Can be used as an alternative to Alocrom 1200 & 1000 subject to end use.
Processes conform to but not limited to:
  • MBDA Missile Systems BMS 1999 Iss 5
  • Zodiac Aerospace EPS 2018