Design Plateability Analysis

Description

A "Design Plateability Analysis" allows for an early stage evaluation of the manufacturability of a specific part design in relation to the electroplating process(es) that it will be subjected to.

It is well know that part design characteristics such as protruding edges or recessed areas pose additional challenges to the plating process. Essentially a "Design Plateability Analysis" starts from the CAD model of the part and consists of a plating process simulation using customer specific process parameters. It allows for an up-front identification of the risks for plating below minimum layer thickness specifications in recessed areas, and for plating above maximum layer thickness specifications and occurrence of layer quality issues.

Based on a "Design Plateability Analysis", parts can be largely subdivided into 3 major categories:

  1. Parts that can be plated in a typical plating tank set-up with only the main anodes being active.
  2. Parts showing problem areas: a proper tooling design (like shields, current robbers, and auxiliary anodes) can adequately tackle the problem areas.
  3. Parts that have severe problems with meeting layer thickness specifications and layer quality over a major fraction of the surface area to be plated. The only possible action is to go for a CAD redesign.

For each DPA, Elsyca delivers a detailed report and the binary simulation results files. These files can be viewed using Elsyca XPlorer, allowing for a full and interactive analysis by the customer.

Elsyca performs DPA's for parts to be decoratively plated on an almost daily basis (for example chrome plating of a car grille part or gold plating of a bracelet), but also functional plating applications can benefit from a plateability analysis, including for example the zinc nickel and cadmium plating process of landing gear parts, or the platinum bond layer plating process on a nozzle vane segment.

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