Shop owners want to take as many precautions as they can to reduce pollution during the electroplating process. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this during the masking and processing stages.
One way to reduce pollution and improve your shop’s health and safety is to choose a suitable masking material for a job. Factors you should consider include the skill required to use the material, part size, shape, and weight, chemical resistance of the maskant, chemical resistant of the adhesive, temperature limitations of the maskant, cleaning requirements, resilience of the maskant, sealing abilities, specifications of clients, ease of maskant removal, and cost of disposal.
UV curable masks are one type that generally meets project requirements and can minimize waste. They are most commonly used in acid-based stripping, anodizing, plating, chemical milling, plasma spraying, painting, and blasting. There are two common types of these masks. Burn off UV curable materials offer the best adhesion and resilience. However, they have a long curing time. This type can be quickly incinerated without a trace. Peelable UV curable masks are long-lasting, resilient, and offer good adhesion. This type has a short curing time, and the non-hazardous material can be easily peeled after the product is finished. Aside from this, when plating tanks have no anodes, it is possible to go without masking materials.
To reduce pollution during processing, you need to ensure that you control the operating parameters. You want to perform regular and accurate solution analyses. Use deionized water and inert anodes to keep the solution at the correct levels. During these checks, you should remove any dropped parts and other contaminants. Also, use proper filtration techniques and perform regular bus bar maintenance to ensure minimal waste during processing.
Shop owners can reduce the amount of pollution and waste produced during the electroplating process. The most common areas that can use improvements are the masking and processing stages.