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Starting Zinc Plating Line

We manufacture ring joint gaskets, used in the oil, gas and petro-chem fields, which require a cadium or zinc plating on all carbon steel gaskets. After the gaskets have been final machined the plating process is next. What are the recommened steps to applying a .0005 thick layer of zinc plating to our finished machined gaskets. What are the first steps we should take in preparing to start building our plating line.

Jaime Lara
Machine Shop - Houston, Texas

As a general rule, you're better off following the example of the Fortune 500 and farming your plating out to jobshops these days unless there is a special reason (not economics) to not do so.

Reading my on-line article "Plating Shops for the 90's and Beyond" is a good first step. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

For a company with no hands on experience, you hire a consultant who can do the preliminary presentation and if it is a go, get the required permits and supervise the construction and then train the operators. It is not brain surgery, but it is not a "just dip it" operation either. There are lots of places to get nailed by local, state and federal environmental folks. Penalties are significan for as mundane a thing as filling out the paperwork wrong.

PS, different EPA regions interpret the same law in different manners. I go with Ted, if you can find a local shop that will serve your needs, it will be cheaper in the long run to contract it out.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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