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topic 59535

How to reduce gold consumption in plating

February 18, 2014

Q. Dear all,

I am an industrial engineer and given this task to reduce gold consumption in plating. I have no ideas at all. Can I have your advise of where to start?

Thank you,

Karen Lee
- Singapore

February 2014

A. Hi Karen. I am not laughing, nor disrespecting you, but the idea that someone who knows little about the topic has been assigned to lead the project may be problematical -- people spend entire careers specializing in gold plating -- so you'll probably have a lot to learn before you can deliver what has been asked.

The first question to ask is probably "Why are we gold plating?". Is it for decorative reason, low voltage contacts, corrosion resistance? With a clear understanding of just exactly what you are trying to accomplish with the gold plating, you will be in a position to start thinking about where the gold is going, and whether it's possible to apply less thickness or on a smaller area, or to employ a technology that uses less gold or none.

Please get back to us when you've got an answer on that. Best of luck!


Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 19, 2014

A. The general answer to your question is the same for all types of plating.

-plate only the thickness required and no more.
-operate the plating bath at the lower end of the gold concentration range that is specified.
-minimize dragout.

And, of course, you should have some type of recovery for your rinses.

Lyle Kirman
consultant - Cleveland Heights, Ohio

February 21, 2014

A. I do not know the exact need, but you can investigate about pulse plating, maybe it can offer an alternative.

Daniel Hernandez Guerra
- Bucaramanga Santander Colombia

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