Silver Plating: Uses And Limitations

Silver Plating: Uses And Limitations

Silver is a metal that, like gold, has been used for centuries. As coinage, jewelry and flatware, is has been more ornamental than anything else. Today, technology has advanced its cause as a practical metal. While still called upon for its decorative appeal, silver has made its own mark in the trades. As silver plating, it is now making its way into various modern applications.

Uses for Silver Plating

Silver plating remains popular for jewelry. It also is popular for cutlery and other forms of flatware. This precious metal, however, is currently making inroads in the electronics industry. It major use in this industry is for electrical contacts and electrical connectors. It also employed for anti-galling on such things as bushings and static seals. Other companies that employ silver in their components are the telecom and automotive industries.

Why Silver Plating?

Industries turn to silver for many reasons. They are both practical and aesthetic ones. In several cases, silver plating acts as a less expensive replacement for gold plating. Silver is also as decorative as gold is and capable of imbuing the base metal with similar properties.

With a brilliant white luster, and being both ductile and malleable, silver has its advantages over other metals. Pure silver is slightly harder than gold. Yet, this is not its major selling characteristic. More importantly, silver has the highest electrical conductivity of the two elements. In fact, pure silver, in terms of both electrical and thermal conductivity, towers above, not only gold, but also all the other metals.

Methods for Silver Plating

Silver plating may be applied in one of several ways. Methods include:

* Rack fixture
* Barrel plating
* Wired

The range of metals that are frequently silver-plated include:

* Aluminum stainless steel alloys
* Brass
* Copper and copper alloys
* Stainless steel
* Stainless steel alloys

Generally, silver plating specifications will explicitly supply such things as treatment, thickness and the finish. Such a finish falls into one of three categories:

* Matte
* Semi bright
* Bright

Clients may also specify the finish be accompanied by a post treatment of chromate to improve the component’s resistance to tarnish.

Limitations of Silver Plating

Tarnishing is one of the issues of using silver. Environmental situations may affect the ability of silver plating to act effectively. These include specifically those setting where silver plating may be subjected to high humidity. Under such conditions, silver may crack or flake. This may strip the base substrate bare and nullify any properties imbued by the silver.

Silver Plating

Silver is a favorite substitute for gold in many industries. In addition to silver being less expensive to use, it has superior properties of electrical and thermal conductivity. An aesthetically pleasing metal, the automotive, electronics and telecom industries overall find silver plating to function in a manner that meets their needs perfectly.

Professional Plating, Inc. is a plating company that specializes in the plating of industrial metal parts – both large and small. Its metal plating services include everything from electroless nickel plating to barrel plating to gold and Silver Plating. From 1983, they have provided innovative and high quality electroplating services for our clients. Their professional staff has taken great pains to meet all standards and specifications. As a leader in their field, they can help you gain the edge you need to become successful. To learn more, visit them online at proplate.com.

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