Barrel Electroplating

The Barrel Plating Process:

The barrel plating process involves placing the items in a barrel-shaped cage that is manufactured from nonconductive materials. The cage is then submerged into a tank containing the appropriate chemical solution, while a slow tumbling action is used to commence the plating action. A key factor in the barrel plating process is that the individual pieces establish a bipolar contact with one another, which results in greater plating efficiency. However, it's important to note that because of the heavy amount of surface contact the pieces have with each other, barrel plating is generally not recommended when engineering or oranmental finishes are required.

Benefits Of Barrel Electroplating:

Perhaps the most important and obvious barrel plating advantage is that it enables a large volume of parts to be plated simultaneously, which can result in significant time and cost savings.
Other key benefits include:
  • The entire process can be performed in one vessel, including cleaning, rinsing, pickling and sealing, which results in less handling and greater overall efficiency.
  • A wide variety of parts can be processed using the same equipment. As a very general rule of thumb, if a part can fit into the barrel, it is likely capable of being barrel plated.
  • The cascading tumbling action resulting from the barrel rotation, combined with the bipolar contact between the parts usually results in a more uniform finish than other processes, such as rack plating, can provide.
  • Barrel plating systems generally require a lower equipment investment than other plating systems, which can be passed on to the customer in the form of a reduced cost for plating services. Most barrel plating processes can be executed with the standard equipment; there is not typically a need to add special fixtures, part carriers or agitation equipment.