Electro Plating / Metal Finishing

What is electroplating?

Electroplating is a process by which one metal is deposited onto a base metal (substrate). These deposited metals offer a variety of benefits from thermal and electrical conductivity to corrosion resistance.

To determine which application best suits your needs, please Click Here to ask an AOTCO plating expert.


How is electroplating done?

Electroplating utilizes an anode (negatively charged part), cathode (positively charged plating metal), inside an electrolyte solution, creating a circuit. When an electrical current is fed through the anode/cathode circuit, a reaction ionizes the plating metal from the cathode (typically a nitrate or sulfate, depending on electrolyte composition) and reacts with the part (the anode). The result is a part with the surface metal plated.


What are the methods of electroplating?

The first method is called racking. The customer part is connected to a metal rack to complete the circuit mentioned above. Then, the entire rack is processed inside the electrolyte as outlined above. The rack oscillates and vibrates to ensure a uniform deposit.

The second method is called wiring. This process follows the same principles as above, except the wire is used to complete the electrical circuit versus the rack.

The final method is called barrel plating. This process is typically for bulk, smaller components (nuts, bolts, pins etc). Parts are loaded into a barrel containing electrolyte. Same reaction as above, except tumbling of the pieces at a constant rate ensures their plating uniformity.


What industries does AOTCO’s electroplating department serve?

AOTCO primarily provides Medical, Aerospace, Defense, Military, Optical, Circuit Board, and Telecommunication industries with high quality electroplating finishes.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  1. “Can AOTCO’s electroplating comply with ____ spec?”

Please Click Here to view AOTCO’s list of specifications, or here to request compliance to a specification not listed.

  1. “What base metals can AOTCO plate?”

Click Here to view a list of base materials/substrates, or here to request a base metal not listed.

  1. “Does AOTCO expedited orders directly for COVID-19 response items (i.e. ventilators, mechanical suction pumps)?”

Yes! Click Here to submit an expedited order form.

  1. How do I decide which metal to plate on a part?

Click Here to ask our technical sales engineering team, or reach out by phone at (978) 667-8298.