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topic 2675

Silver plating of Tungsten carbide microspheres


We have a challenging problem. We need to coat tungsten carbide microspheres (approx. 635 micron diameter) with silver. We have been sputter coating but adhesion is not good. Currently wondering if an initial layer of electroless nickel my act as a tie layer to get the silver to adhere. Initial cleaning/surface prep. of the tungsten carbide still a challenge Anybody out there think they have a solution? We have to coat millions of these things. Thanks.

Malcolm Heaven
medical technology - Irvine, California


How thick a coating do you need? How many pounds of these spheres do you plate in a year? We could look into it. We use another PVD with higher energy that helps adhesion.

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado



Nickel is good since it is the universal "glue layer" that alloys with silver and forms a carbide. PVD chromium is probably better since it does not have the outgassing poblems of EN.

Donald M. Mattox
Society of Vacuum Coaters
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ed. note:
            Mr. Mattox is
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We are looking for tungsten carbide microspheres.



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