Electroplating

Electroplating is the process where an electrical current is used to coat an electrically conductive object - in our case steel wire - with a relatively thin layer of metal. The primary application of electroplating deposits a layer of a metal having some desired property in particular corrosion protection or lubricity onto the steel wire surface.

The wire works as cathode in a conductive solution. The anode can either be the metal to be deposited or insoluble anodes usually made of activated titanium. A rectifier provides a direct current to the cathode causing the metal ions in solution to lose their charge and plate out on the wire. As the electrical current flows through the circuit, the anode slowly dissolves and replenishes the ions in the bath. In the event of insoluble anodes, the metal to be plated must be periodically reloaded in the bath as these anodes are drawn out of the solution.

The line consists of a set of polypropylene working basins and a set of tanks made of polypropylene welded plates. Collecting pipes feed the working basins and the bath is pumped from the storage tank located below using vertical pumps. The alignment of all working basins allows for the straight line guiding of the wire, without any deviation or easy threading.

The most critical point of the line is to have a perfectly clean wire entering the plating line. To obtain a perfect adherence of the metal on the steel, it is thus essential to remove all soap and oxide residues originating from the previous drawing and heat treatment process.


View of an electrolytic deposition line with insoluble anodes
View of an electrolytic deposition line with insoluble anodes