One topic regarding metal fasteners that is sure to generate a lot of discussion in most industries is plating fasteners. Plating fasteners is the process by which a metal or other product is used to coat the exterior of the fastener to give it additional characteristics. In plating fasteners can be a physical, chemical or mechanical process. In general, it is done to protect, enhance the appearance of, and/or improve the performance of the product using a variety of methods, including simply dipping the fasteners into a vat of molten metal.
Plating fasteners is done for a number of specific purposes, including:
- Greater corrosion resistance
- Increased surface thickness and hardness
- Increased strength and durability
- Enhanced appearance
- Improved electrical conductivity or resistance
- Greater chemical resistance
- Improved adhesion
- Increased torque tolerance
- Greater wear resistance
There are three fundamental benefits derived from plating fasteners:
AESTHETICS Having a fastener that looks good can be especially beneficial for consumer products. For example, plating fasteners using a material such as chrome will give them a shiny, premium look.
PROTECTION This is by far one of the most common reasons for plating fasteners. When the fasteners are made out of a material that can easily corrode, plating will provide a barrier to reduce contact with water and oxygen and minimize the risk of rusting. When using plating fasteners for protection, it’s important to have an idea of the conditions and environment in which the fastener will be used, such as exposure to high temperatures. This will help dictate the type of plating materials suitable for use. Improper protective plating can lead to a shortened lifespan of the fastener and result in poor performance and even early failure.
EASE-OF-USE Some plating materials can be used to cover the fastener surface in such a way that will reduce friction during use, reducing the risk of damage and seizing.
To learn more about plating fasteners, contact the fastener plating experts here at Electronic Fasteners.