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Plating on Aluminum
Silicone Carbide (AlSiC)

AlSiC is ceramic-metal matrix that combines the chemical and physical properties of Aluminum with the ceramic material Silicone-Carbide. AlSiC is a silver-grey material that is typically used for its adjustable coefficient of thermal expansion and its unique strength-to-weight ratio. AlSiC is lighter than pure aluminum, while being as strong as metals like titanium, chromium, and tungsten.  

Being able to withstand extreme temperatures without losing functionality or structure makes AlSiC a commonly used material in Aerospace and Defense industry manufacturing. Its excellent thermal capabilities have also led it to be frequently used in microwave technology.

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A Lighter and Stronger Alternative to Aluminum

Aluminum Silicone Carbide components possess an extremely unique physical quality: they are lighter than aluminum, while being as strong as some of the hardest metals on the periodic table such as titanium or tungsten. AlSiC is a great alternative for aluminum components that are large in scale and need their weight reduced without sacrificing their physical strength. 

Industries such as automobile, aerospace, and defense, are all constantly seeking new ways to lower the weight of their components and machinery. Depending on the component, AlSiC can be a great alternative for certain aluminum parts used in these industries.

Common Aluminum Silicone Carbide finishes include:

It should be noted that while most any material can be deposited onto your AlSiC components, there will most likely need to be an initial electroless nickel layer placed to ensure proper adhesion. AlSiC has a naturally porous surface, making it difficult for metal finishes like gold and silver to adhere without a Nickel underlayer.

However, if properly plated, the benefits to finishing AlSiC components are extensive. Once an original nickel layer is placed on the surface, then any subsequent metal material can be plated providing the AlSiC substrate with a multitude of new physical and chemical properties. Some of the most common surface finishes for AlSiC include:

  • Electroless Nickel
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Tin
  • And more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Often used as a lightweight alternative to materials like Copper-Moly or Copper-Tungsten, AlSiC is a versatile material for a lot of manufacturing uses. However, AlSiC often needs to be plated in order to improve its strength and functionality.
Benefits of Plating AlSiC:
Often used as a lightweight alternative to materials like Copper-Moly or Copper-Tungsten, AlSiC is a versatile material for a lot of manufacturing uses. However, AlSiC often needs to be plated in order to improve its strength and functionality. Some of the most notable benefits form plating on AlSiC are:
  • Increased Strength and Abrasion Resistance
  • Increased Thermal resistance
  • Increased Thermal conductivity
  • Long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing, and smooth finish
  • Reduces Maintenance
  • And many more!
Common Industry Applications of Plated AlSiC

As stated earlier, AlSiC is a highly versatile metal matrix that has found an abundance of utilization across a multitude of industries. It’s strength-to-weight ratio have made it a commonly used material for Aerospace manufacturers. On top of this, it is a more cost-effective alternative for some refractory metal substrates like tungsten, tungsten-copper, and molybdenum. Some common industry applications of AlSiC include, but are not limited to:

  • Heat Sinks
  • Microprocessor Lids
  • Microwave Housings
  • Optoelectronic Housings
  • Power Substrates
  • And many more!

For more information about available metal finishing services, Military Specs, AMS Specs and ASTM Specs, visit AOTCO Military Plating Specs page.

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