We have been in the silver plating business for more than seventy years here at Karas Plating. In that time we have earned ourselves a well-deserved reputation amongst our customers up and down the UK for the high quality of our workmanship and the professionalism of our staff. Silver is an incredibly useful metal with which to plate, having many qualities beneficial to a host of industries across the country.
Like many electroplating processes, silver plating involves creating a circuit within an electrolytic solution that will transfer microscopic particles of silver from a source to your substrate material. It can be quite a slow process, but one that produces highly effective results.
Silver plating is a simple, if sometimes lengthy, procedure that requires a certain amount of preparation time for the substrate, if the finished product is to be suitable. The base material needs to go through several cleaning stages to ensure that it is free of any impurities prior to application.
Once it is ready, it is slipped into an electrolytic vat containing a silver nitrate solution. A piece of pure silver is attached to a direct current to serve as the anode, while the substrate connected at the other end of the circuit as the cathode.
The solution will ionise the silver, causing particles to transfer from the anode to the cathode, slowly plating the target metal. The process can take some time, but is ultimately worth it for the smooth finish.
The most obvious application of silver plating is the bright and shiny look it gives to the substrate, which makes it popular for aesthetic purposes. However, aside from purely cosmetic effects, silver plated components have a wealth of applications across numerous industries.
Silver is naturally resistant to numerous chemical substances and is the single most conductive material commonly used in electroplating.
This makes it an attractive proposition for many industries including automotive (particularly as part of exhaust systems), rail, power generation, industrial, and domestic.
Silver electroplating technology imparts several excellent properties to base metals. It is highly resistant to a number of common chemicals and is remarkably heat resistant.
Even at high temperatures, good quality silver coating does not oxidise or degrade, which makes it an ideal material for high-temperature environments, such as the automotive industry. Likewise, its remarkable anti-galling and anti-fretting properties (thanks largely to the great lubricity and low friction it exhibits) are not affected by high temperatures either.
It is also worth noting that silver is one of the best metals for conducting electricity, making it an efficient solution for many electronic companies.
Just like the rest of our metal finishing techniques, all silver electroplating processes at Karas Plating are carried out in compliance with ISO 9001 standards for Quality and ISO 14001 standards for Environmental. What this means for you, our customers, is plated components of the very highest possible quality.
Industrial silver plating has been conducted since the mid-19th century. There is seemingly no industry sector that does not benefit from this process in some way.
The medical industry makes great use of many plating processes for various tools and devices. From electrical contacts in electronic equipment to sterile coatings for surgical implements, the applications are many and varied.
Substrate is the name given to parts and components that clients wish to have silver plated. Literally translated as “lower layer”, substrate is the core material onto which the silver is applied.
Many of the industrial plating techniques we employ at Karas Plating involve the use of precious metals. Gold, copper and silver are among the most popular services we provide to businesses across the UK.
Considering the important role they play in power distribution, they are a remarkably simple tool, being little more than strips of copper, aluminium, or brass designed to both conduct and ground electricity.