Electroplating is essential for the rail and transportation industry in the UK, if rarely for aesthetic purposes. Train and railway components are exposed to the elements on a round-the-clock basis and yet are expected to last for decades. This requires parts that are resistant to corrosion and oxidation, as well as ones that can withstand extremes of heat and cold. Since a rail network depends on accurate electronics and a reliable electrical system, conductivity is also a key concern.
Here at Karas Plating, we have been providing railway plating solutions to companies across the country for decades. We can offer professional advice on the best materials to use and the most appropriate application of those materials for the job in hand. We work with skill and precision to produce quality work that meets our clients’ exact specifications.
There are many reasons to utilise electroplating processes in the rail and transportation industry.
Here is just a few of the more significant ones…
Railway lines and trains are susceptible to corrosion, simply by being exposed to the elements for prolonged periods of time. While the extent of corrosion can vary from place to place, effective plating solutions can mitigate rust damage caused by humidity and adverse weather conditions. Many plating techniques can help here, including zinc-nickel plating.
Like any large engineering project, trains incorporate a plethora of moving parts that are required to rub against one another as part of their method of operation. The friction that occurs as a result can lead to overheating, which can damage components as well as being a fire risk. Certain plating techniques, such as zinc-nickel coating, can resist friction and harden components at the same time, while zinc phosphate coating can improve the lubricity of any metal moving parts.
Control systems – both on the trains themselves and throughout the signal network – are relied upon to provide a safe mass transit system for the public. Their various electronic devices need to be fast and accurate to prevent collisions, particularly at junctions and multi-platform stations. Various plating processes are used on their electronic components to allow for improved conductivity, including gold and silver.
Mass transit systems such as railways often generate large levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and require appropriate shielding to protect their on-board computers and control systems. These EMI shields are usually made of steel, with an appropriate coating to prevent interference – usually one of tin or copper.
As we discuss above, there are many applications of plating in the rail and transportation industry. These are some of the most popular metal finishes among our clients in the sector…