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Searching for a better emi solution than powder coat or anodizing and masking
Is there such a thing as a metal finish for aluminum that (1) does not require masking; (2) has good electrical conductivity (WITHOUT the need to penetrate a top layer); (3)can be used as a "finish" coat (i.e., has cosmetic appeal and can perhaps be dyed); (4)offers corrosion resistance; (5) is resistant to finger marks; (6) is cost competitive with anodizing?
Any help is appreciated.Victor Spelman
electrical engineering - Chilmark, Massachusetts
I don't think electroplating is quite cost competitive to anodizing, but aluminum can certainly be electroplated. Although the material costs of electroless nickel plating are steep, it may be just what you need.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha
There is a composite anodizing process called "Compcote". I don't know much about it, but according to it's US Patent, this coating can be made electrically conductive with the base metal as part of the process. I don't know how conductive, but EMI shielding doesn't require the conductivity of electroplating for most applications. The cosmetics and dyeing are claimed to be better than conventional Type II Anodizing. I would guess that the costs are similar to anodizing.
Columbia, Maryland, USA
Ed. note: it is our sad duty to advise of the
passing of Paul Yursis in August 2005.
Here is a brief obituary by Mike Caswell.