Is Rack Or Barrel Zinc Plating The Right Choice?

Zinc electroplating is one of the most common options used to provide a protective coating on metals to increase their resistance to corrosion and surface damage. When completing zinc plating on any type of parts, the first step is to determine the best method for the plating process.

There is a range of different options in the plating process for any type of zinc electroplating requirement. The two most common methods used for large order or large volume part electroplating are rack and barrel plating. The company specializing in metal finishing typically recommends a specific process, and this is instrumental in the quality, consistency, and the cost of the electroplating for the OEM.

Large Volume, Small Part Size

Barrel zinc plating is ideal for smaller parts that are simple to complex in shape. These parts should not be easily damaged, which can be a consideration with extremely small parts or shapes that have design elements that can easily bend or twist.

The barrel plating process involves placing the parts, in bulk, into a “barrel” that has bars in the middle used to conduct the electrical current. This barrel is lowered into the electrolytic bath and slowly rotated to allow full exposure of all surfaces to the solution. The process can provide precision applications of the coating.

Small Volume, Large Part Size

For larger parts or parts that are complex in shape and easily damaged in the tumbling action of the barrel plating method, rack plating offers a cost-effective solution. In this zinc plating method, the parts are attached to a metal rack that conducts current, while also keeping the hanging parts in place.

This is an ideal option to ensure the most uniform plating on complex and large parts, and it can be used for high volume orders when required.

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