Electrochemical Metallizing, Tooling Design, and Application 880870
Electrochemical metallizing (ECM) has been widely used in aircraft maintenance and OEM applications, but is far from reaching it's potential. Although ECM has been around for more than twenty years, it still represents a small part of metal finishing as a whole, thus making information describing the process not readily available.
Most of the problems experienced with the process, aside from solution contamination, stem from improper tooling design, and will be the focus of this paper.
Tooling and other areas covered will be as follows:
Anode design: choosing proper anode design for the job.
Flow-thru anodes: for more efficient distribution of electrolytes.
Precision build-ups: plating to size.
Solution and anode cooling: to prevent over-heating of solutions at the anode/work-piece interface and the effects on the deposit.
Masking techniques: how to make the tape work for you by reducing high and low current density problems.
Heavy build-up: depositing .050″ or more.
This paper will cover areas which help us get closer to creating ideal ECM conditions, therefore improving repeatability and opening doors to new applications.