Discover our complete solutions portfolio covering Cathodic Protection and Corrosion management - PCB design and plating - Functional and decorative plating - Electrocoating - Acoustics
Elsyca V-PIMS
A revolution in digital PIMS combining Pipeline Corrosion Integrity Management System (PIMS) and computational modeling capabilities
Elsyca IRIS
Deep analysis of AC threats supporting efficient mitigation systems computer-aided design
Elsyca CatPro
Graphical simulation platform for cathodic protection and DC stray current analysis of pipeline networks
Elsyca CPManager
3D CAD-based software simulation platform for the computer-aided design and analysis of cathodic protection installations
Elsyca ACTA
Unique solution offering accurate, disambiguated, and tailored risk ranking report of pipeline networks
Elsyca PlatingManager
Leverage a digital twin of your plating line to predict plating performance and increase manufacturing capacity
Elsyca PCBBalance
The world’s only PCB DFM software that applies automated and optimized copper balancing to your PCB design and panel layout.
Elsyca PCBPlate
State-of-the-art graphical simulation platform for enhancing the plating performance of your PCB panel and pattern plating processes.
Elsyca ECoatMaster
CAD independent software platform for the simulation of the automotive electrocoating process of a body-in-white (BIW).
Elsyca EPOS
Simulate the performances of electropolishing processes based on a virtual mock-up of the electropolishing cell.
Elsyca AnodizingManager
State-of-the-art graphical simulation platform for analyzing the production performance and quality of anodizing processes.
Elsyca CorrosionMaster
CorrosionMaster identifies corrosion hot spots and predicts corrosion rates, enabling engineers to look at alternative material combinations and/or coating systems, or investigate corrosion-mitigating measures.
Elsyca LeakageMaster
Improve vehicles interior acoustic comfort by performing upfront virtual smoke tests.
Elsyca MeshingMaster
Automatically creates meshes for a variety of applications such as acoustics, CFD, thermal analysis, etc
Elsyca XPlorer
Interactive simulation results viewer for Finite Elements results
Elsyca XPlorer3D
Analyze, Understand and Get Immersed in your results

Engineering solutions for cadmium plating applications

Blog Post

Engineering solutions for cadmium plating applications

Context and Challenges

Cadmium coatings have excellent properties for which an adequate substitute has not yet been found. Different alternatives for different applications have been suggested over recent years (aluminium coatings, zinc nickel coatings, etc.) but none of these holds all the properties that made cadmium such an important coating.

Despite environmental pressure, cadmium continues to be widely used is industrial application such as fasteners, electrical connectors or aerospace components.

In particular for aerospace components, long lasting corrosion protection on complex geometry components is required. Achieving the minimum layer thickness is often impossible when using only the main tank anodes. In practice, brush plating patch-ups or other manual plating operations seem to be common.

Manual operations are problematic because not only they are entirely operator dependent and thus very irreproducible, but also because there is no traceability.

Understanding that a component should be plated consistently throughout different shifts, Elsyca's Advanced Engineering Services (AES) team aims for user-friendly solutions where the operator's responsibility is limited to loading and unloading the part and launching the rectifier program.

The current distribution is ensured by the tooling configuration itself, resulting in a reliable, reproducible, traceable and operator independent result.

Tooling solutions typically consist in a collection of current robbers, insulating shields and auxiliary or conforming anodes. If conforming anodes are fed by multiple rectifiers, this will additional control of the current density distribution over the part. When required, Computed Aided Engineering (CAE) work is extended to fluid flow simulations, in order to ensure minimum electrolyte refreshment around the part and elimination of gas pockets. Tooling and support fixtures design account for practical limitations with respect to manufacturability, hardware cost and maintenance issues.

Elsyca's solution

Elsyca has range of AES available for cadmium plating, starting with the electrolyte characterization, where the electrochemical properties of a cadmium bath are collected.

A process diagnostic can be quickly achieved with a Plating Feasibility Analysis where the plating process performance can be simulated for the existing or foreseen plating tank and tooling configuration. These valuable data can be used internally for further process improvement or for marketing purposes, in order to demonstrate the plating performance to an end-customer.

Elsyca has a vast experience in Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) projects that encompass the development of cadmium plating tooling for complex components, thereby delivering a complete plug-and-plate solution. Once the tooling is mounted around the component and the rectifier program started, the tooling solution will deliver the correct amount of current to each surface area of the part. This guaranties not only a plating performance that by far outperforms state-of-art cadmium plating operations, but also rules out the lack of reliability as caused by manual interventions. An example of the plating performance that can be obtained from an Elsyca developed tooling configuration for a landing gear part can be found here.

In the context of a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) project, Elsyca's Advanced Engineering team will develop an optimal tooling solution by iterative simulations using Elsyca's PlatingMaster software package. Starting from the component and infrastructure geometries and respecting all practical limitations, a complete tooling solution is designed. Such tooling is designed to deliver an optimal current density distribution, avoiding excessive local current densities and deposits out of specification. The deliverables of a CAE project include the 3D CAD files of the tooling assembly and the complete bill of materials. Optionally 2D technical drawings can also be generated.