Frequently Asked Questions

Zinc Plating Questions
What is zinc’s advantage over other plating options?

Zinc is unique in that it is a sacrificial coating. When you witness white corrosion, this is the zinc sacrificing itself and protecting your steel product from corroding. However, when there is no zinc left on the surface, the base material itself starts to corrode, known as red corrosion. Zinc plating is a soft, ductile, and functional coating that allows for further use out of your steel parts. Click to learn more about zinc plating.

What is the difference between zinc barrel electroplating and zinc rack electroplating?
Zinc barrel electroplating uses the rotation of a barrel to promote part-on-part contact, which facilitates the transfer of electricity and chemistry for proper zinc adhesion. Barrel electroplating is ideal for plating fasteners, stampings, and other parts that are small to mid-sized. It is also great for parts with blind holes as it minimizes bleed out and air pockets. The part-on-part contact, though, does leave scratches in the zinc, so this may not be ideal for delicate or highly cosmetic product. Click to learn more about zinc barrel electroplating.

In contrast, the zinc rack electroplating process involves hanging steel product on racks that are then submerged into our plating bath. Product is fixtured to these racks by customized tooling (much of which was specially designed by Plateco) that allows for the transfer of electricity for zinc adhesion. Zinc rack electroplating is ideal for large, complex, or delicate parts. Click to learn more about zinc rack electroplating. Click to learn more about zinc rack electroplating,

What is zinc mechanical galvanizing?

Zinc mechanical galvanize is a barrel process. It is conducted by “cold welding” (impacting) powder zinc into the products surface using media (glass beads). The mechanically galvanized zinc deposit can be as thick as 0.003”. This process creates a zinc deposit that is more porous and therefore relieves hydrogen naturally within 24 – 48 hours of being processed so there is no need for hydrogen embrittlement relief. Click to Learn more about zinc mechanical galvanizing.

What is passivating?

Passivation is the process of chemically treating stainless steel to remove free irons from the surface. Plateco passivates in accordance with ASTM A967 and many other specifications.

What sizes can Plateco plate?

We can plate parts that are as small as a nail or as large as 14’ 5” in length and up to 1,000 lbs.

Is cleaning important in the zinc plating process?

In short, yes.

When steel parts are manufactured, the heat treating, welding, and brazing processes can dehydrate them and bake oil and flux onto their surfaces. These surface contaminants can hinder the zinc plating process. For proper zinc adhesion, parts need to be thoroughly cleaned, which is why Plateco has dedicated over half of their tanks to just the cleaning and readying of product for superior zinc adhesion. One benefit of Plateco’s cleaning capabilities is that our cleaners are built directly into our lines, so there is not need for precleaning, which gives you a faster lead time as well as a more cost-efficient price. Click to learn more about our cleaning capabilities.

Is a passivate coating necessary for zinc plating?

This all depends on the specification that you are using for the plating of your product. Depending on the specification, a passivate may be necessary to obtain the required corrosion resistance. The passivate coating protects the zinc deposit and helps prolong the life of the part.

What types of substrates can Plateco plate with zinc?

Plateco can plate steel, brass, nickel, castings, and almost anything with iron on the surface. Stainless steel and aluminum are not able to be plated with zinc. However, Plateco does have the capabilities to passivate stainless steel.

Is Plateco REACH, RoHS, and ISO compliant?

Yes, we are REACH and RoHS compliant with all passivate (trivalent) coatings that we offer. Hexavalent coatings are not considered REACH or RoHS compliant. Plateco is also ISO 9001:2015 compliant. We would be more than happy to provide you with these certificates of compliance if you would like.

What is hydrogen embrittlement relief, and does Plateco offer it?

Hydrogen embrittlement is a theory that during the plating process, hydrogen ions seep into micro-cracks on the surface of the part. Over time, these hydrogen ions can make the part brittle and susceptible to failure. Hydrogen embrittlement relief, or baking, zinc plated product relieves product of this hydrogen and allows parts to maintain their strength and hardness. 

Plateco does offer a hydrogen embrittlement relief bake, and we take a different approach than our competitors. As opposed to a large industrial like oven, Plateco uses a conveyor belt oven that is over 90’ in length. This oven allows us to bring all parts up to temperature within 30 minutes, hold them at temperature, and cool them down. 

Since we are truly bringing parts up to temperature, the passivate that was deposited on the parts is not able to withstand such high temperatures and it dehydrates as a result. For that reason, the parts must go back to our production lines to get the passivate deposited. This is important as the passivate is what provides parts with the protection for hours to white corrosion.

Why is Plateco’s return rate so much lower than other platers?

There are a number of reasons for Plateco’s incomparably low reject rate:

  • An unwavering focus on zinc plating – Plateco does not dabble in multiple plating processes; we only focus on zinc plating and are experts in the field of zinc plating for this reason.
  • State-of-the-art technology and specially designed tooling, much of which has been developed at Plateco.
  • An unmatched combination of automatic and human monitors designed to immediately identify and correct any deviations from targeted parameters in the plating process.
  • An unmatched focus on cleaning and preparing your product for zinc adhesion.
  • A team of knowledgeable, talented, and passionate artisans who take pride in their ability to plate your parts with unmatched quality!

Click to view our current return rate.

How long has Plateco been in business?

We are proud to say that we have been a family-owned, perfection-obsessed zinc plating company since 1974!

Read more about Plateco’s history!

What is Plateco's environmental policy?

Environmental responsibility is a crucial priority at Plateco. We love our city and state, and we are committed to keeping our environment as clean and safe as possible for our employees, families, and neighbors. We even have our own water treatment facility directly on site. The 100,000 gallons of water that we release into the Reedsburg municipal water supply each night is treated in-house and is actually purer than it was when we brought it into our facility that morning.

What are Plateco's terms and conditions?
General Terms and Conditions

  1. 2.0% service charge (24.0% APR) will be added to all invoices past due
  2. Quotations are valid for 365 days
  3. Strip and re-plate will be double the plating price
  4. Price is based on 2% fall out for barrel plating and 1% fall out for rack plating
  5. All standard plating processes will have a lead time of 5 business days
  6. Price does not include packaging
  7. Quotes are generated off information supplied by the customer at the time of estimation. Any additional information after this quote will be subject to requote.

Quality Related Terms and Conditions

To acquire the highest quality the following is recommended:

  1. Sample required for quality and price approval prior to production
  2. Part must be made of plating quality steel
  3. Part must have sufficient drain/flushing holes
  4. Welded areas must be clean of burnt oil, slag, flux, etc.
  5. Heat treat scales must be removed
  6. Mating surfaces must be watertight
  7. Part must be manufactured to allow for specified plating thickness
  8. Minimum lot sizes required for some processes
  9. Blind or threaded holes may retain plating solution
  10. Plateco warrants its coatings until acceptance or 14 days of process date.
  11. Purchase order required for all parts
  12. Plateco recommends that all product with a Rockwell hardness of 32 C or greater is relieved of hydrogen embrittlement
What is the lead time on estimates?

Once our “Request a Quote” form is submitted to us (located in the top right corner of this page), we will provide you with pricing within 24-48 hours.

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