Electroplating 101

A Small Introduction to Plating and Coating

Gold plating

Gold is a yellow colored precious metal. This means that it will not oxidize in air. Because of this gold retains uniform electrical conductivity over long periods of time. It is ideally suited for gold electroplating applications. Gold plating offers good corrosion resistance, good solderability, and when alloyed with cobalt, it has very good wear resistance. Gold is commonly used in electrical switch contacts, connector pins and barrels, and other applications where intermittent electrical contact occurs.

Gold Plating & Gold Electroplating Specification

Specification: MIL-G-45204 Gold Plating, Electrodeposited

  • Type I 99.7 % gold minimum; hardness grade A, B, or C. Gold plating used for general-purpose, high-reliability electrical contacts, solderability, and wire wrap connections.
  • Type II 99.0 % gold minimum; hardness grade B, C, or D. A general-purpose, wear-resistant gold. It will not withstand high-temperature applications because the hardening agents in the gold plating will oxidize.
  • Type III 99.9 % gold minimum; hardness grade A only. Gold plating for semiconductor components, nuclear engineering, thermocompression bonding, and high-temperature application.

Gold Plating & Gold Electroplating - purity and coating thickness

Co-deposited impurities can make soldering more difficult, and for this reason high purity gold plating is preferred. Soldering requirements are best achieved when gold electroplating coatings range between 0.00005 and 0.0001 inch (50 and 100 micro inches) thickness.

Gold Plating & Gold Electroplating - Hardness Grades

  1. 90 knoop, maximum
  2. 91-129 knoop, inclusive
  3. 130-200 knoop, inclusive
  4. 201 knoop, minimum

Gold over silver is not recommended for electronics hardware.

When gold is applied to a copper rich surface such as brass, bronze, or beryllium copper, metal ions from these base metals will diffuse into the gold layer and degrade its hardness and non-oxidizing properties. An antidiffusion underplate such as nickel (electroless or sulfamate) should be applied to prevent this. We recommend electroless nickel under gold where part flexure of deformation is not expected and a bight finish is desirable. Where part flexure or deformation is expected, we recommend sulfamate nickel as the underplate because of its higher ducility.

Taken from Proplate.com

Contact Us

For all quotes, consulting, questions, etc.
Contact: Mike Reeder
E-mail: michaeldreeder@hotmail.com

Phone: 713-645-6921
Fax: 713-645-3583
Mobile: 832-722-6703

Email Request for Quote or drawings to:
Feel free to call my cell phone after normal business hours. We offer 24X365 service when our customers require it. If you have questions about any coating, CALL. We are the coating experts on your team.

If Mike is not available, other points of contact:
Carlos Palma (VP, Operations)

Lisette Rosas (Office Manager)

As a metal finishing engineer, I will consult with you on which coating or specification best meets your requirements. If you do not find what you are looking for on this website, please call me. We are always looking for new challenges and will invest in new capabilities as demanded by the market. If we cannot perform the coating process, I will refer you to one of our esteemed competitors who can help you.

Oh yeah, Se habla Espanol! Everybody speaks Spanish here except the Canadian immigrant (our Senior Coatings Chemist).

Mike Reeder

Physical Address:
Delta Specialty Coatings LLC
5738 Heiser Street
Houston, TX 77087

Mailing Address:
PO Box 87460
Houston, TX 77287-7460