Electroplating Methods Used

Two Popular Methods of Electroplating

Electroplating can be defined as an electro chemical reaction whereby a thin layer or coat of a desired metal is applied onto the surface of an object (electrode).
There are several different processes or methods which can be used to achieve this coating. Today, we are going to go through an overview of two popular methods - brush plating and immersion plating. We will basically compare and contrast between the two procedures and enlist their pros and cons.
To understand why different methods of electroplating are employed for different cases, we need to first understand why electroplating is used. There are a few imperative reasons to electroplate. Electroplating can enhance the aesthetics of an object (usually inexpensive jewelry and silverware). It can also protect an object from corrosion or iron rust (when Nickel, Copper, Chromium is used as a coating layer. These metals are stubborn and do not react and hence do not corrode). In addition, electroplating can change the conductive nature of an object. If a non-conductor or poor-conductor is electroplated with a good-conductor, it makes the object itself a good conductor of electricity and hence it can be used in computer chips, cell phones and other electric circuits and technology.

Immersion plating:

This is the process that Dr Gold Plate uses to gold plate your Apple Watch. This plating procedure is done by professionals who will provide you with a certification of 3 micron thickness on the watch body. Most gold plating services will coat your watch with only 1-2 micron thickness. Dr Gold Plate will give you a 3 micron certification. As the name suggests, immersion plating is defined as the method of electroplating where the object being plated is dipped or immersed into a solution of the metal which will act as the coating agent (usually called the nobler metal).

Pros:


  • Best method for initial coating.
  • Greater Gold adherence.
  • Thicker coating possible. (up to 3 microns thickness on the watch. 1-2 microns on the milanese and Link bracelet)
  • Best method for more durable coating.
  • More consistent thickness of the gold around the watch.

Cons:

  • Disassembly is required. More labor intensive. The Apple Watch bands must me removed from the watch body. The body itself does not need to be disassembled.
  • Cannot immerse a base metal onto a more noble metal


Brush Plating

Dr Gold Plate does not use the Brush plating process for your Apple Watch. Brush plating is popular method of electro plating. After reading about the process below you will see that it is not the ideal method for a high end item such as your Apple Watch. It is also sometimes known as selective plating or spot plating. Initially, brush plating was developed and used to add a finishing touch to objects that had already been through one or more sessions of immersion plating. Brush plating was used to complete the process of electro plating. Sometimes, even after immersion or bath plating, the object would not be completely electro plated and would have missing spots or varying coat thickness. This method of brush plating would be used to create an even surface and give the object a finished look.

Pros:

  • Equipment required for brush plating is minimal and hence can be transported from place to place
  • It can be done without disassembling the entire unit (depending on circumstances)
  • It is a comparatively quicker way of electro plating
  • Brush plating can be used to cover up missed out spots and give the object an even coat

Cons:

  • Not optimal for first time coating, bath\immersion coating works way better and is more economical
  • Layer thickness is limited to around 0.77 millimeters
  • Cannot always get consistent results, the person performing it needs to be well-trained