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The process of electroplating and how it is used to protect products.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The process of electroplating and how it is used to protect products SYSTEM CHOICE, OBJECTIVE AND RESEARCH Select 1.1: The selection of a system suitable for study within the prescribed context and time scale The system I have chosen to study for my report is on the protection of metals by a process called electroplating. The address of the company I will visit: Pro-plate metal finish company Manor trading estate 17, Armstrong road Benfleet Essex SS7 4PW Tel: 01268 752037 Outline 1.2: An outline of the nature of the system and explanation of why it is appropriate to investigation The nature of the system of electroplating is a process for depositing a thin layer of metal on, usually, a metallic base. Objects are electroplated to prevent corrosion, to obtain a hard surface or attractive finish. When I visit the electroplating I will investigate this process in more detail by asking the employees specific questions to gain an outline of the process. I decided to investigate this process because many products are coated in metal to gain an attractive and protective finish. The diagram below will be a basic layout of what I will investigate. Section 1, system choice, objective and research Define 1.3: Define the objectives of the study and include an analysis of the main elements of the system, identifying criteria that it meets There will be certain aspect that I will need to follow to ensure this report is related to all the objectives, the main elements of electroplating are focused on the below objectives: - I will need a basic knowledge of the process of electroplating and how it is used in the coating of metallic products or materials. - I want to find out why products are coated by electroplating rather than just being manufactures in the certain material they are being coated with. - How the work force ensure there's safety in the workplace is kept to high standards - How the employees take certain precautions to ensure quality control and quality assurance are kept when electroplating. ...read more.

Middle

The nickel ions will be attracted to the cathode, which has the raw component e.q. steel, thus coating the metal on the cathode part with nickel. The chloride ions will then be attracted to the positive part, anode and therefore the process is complete. The reason that nickel is attracted to the raw component is because the cathode, containing the raw component has a negative charge and the nickel has a positive charge and therefore opposite attract. Section 3, analysis of information and conclusions Research piece 2, secondary information This research describes how electroplating works and what types of electroplates are available. "Electroplating is the electrochemical process of depositing a metallic coating on the base material of an object when it is immersed in a plating solution in such a manner that a suitable low voltage electric current flows through it, causing the metallic coating to be attracted to the object to be plated. Electroplated finishes, including: Chrome plating, Copper plating, Nickel plating, Sliver plating, Zinc plating brass plating, cadmium plating, chromium plating, hard chromium plating, gold plating, tin plating and zinc plating". The description of electroplating is the same as the research in research 1, but this research has the types of coating available. Research piece 3, secondary information This research was obtained from a website that gave relevant information on what a metal finish and what electroplating is. WHAT IS METAL FINISHING? "Metal finishing is the process of changing the surface of an object; for the purpose of improving it's appearance and/or durability". A metal finish is the altering or changing of the surface by a process, to improve the appearance and the resistance of the metal. ELECTROPLATING "Electroplating is an electrochemical process used to deposit a metallic coating on the base material of an object by immersing it in an electrically charged solution so that a suitable low voltage electric current flows through it, causing the metallic coating to be attracted to the object being plated". ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also another factor that could be improved that is in terms of the safety of people in the company is that there should be more visual warnings like a safety goggles notice or wearing gloves notice. In the feature if this company wants to ensure it is reaching its full potential in the efficiently. It should use more types of subsystems to lower the cost, materials and chemicals used in the coating of raw components. What this means is that it should use better methods to clean and electroplate the metal instead of using method that work, but do not work as efficiently. Section 4.2 Summarise the effectiveness of their approach to this study There was defiantly some very effective procedure to this system that had enlightened me about the process of electroplating from start to finish. But there were some features in the processes that disturbed me like the removal of the hydrochloric acids and degreasing agent once it has been used. This made me think of the way it is dumped into sites and the environmental issues, which arise from theses chemicals. I was delighted about the amount of quality control that had gone into the system because it assured me that the electroplated product would be fault free and effective to the user. This gave me a different perception on the many items that have been electroplated and the amount of work or labour that had gone into it to make sure it is fully assured for the end user. The company that I visited had made full use of the subsystems and had used them precisely and concisely to make sure they were efficient. Overall I found this study to be interesting and successful because it challenged me to find new concepts that are around us. In future I would like to go into further detail with different types coating methods and the chemicals used as I have chosen chemistry and physic as my a levels and this will help me to understand the system more closely. ...read more.

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