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Electroplating and its Military Uses

copper layer electroplating machine

Military forces around the world are very good in combat situations. Indeed, they are trained to face the most difficult challenges and to react quickly when in danger. However, the army is also an entity that pushes forward innovations and technologies. For example, the Internet was used by the military first before it was made available to the public. Another example of the military not hesitating to use a technology is their uses of electroplating and it will be the topic of today’s article.

What is Electroplating?

Before we explain how the military uses electroplating, we think it is important that we talk about what electroplating is.

Electroplating is a process that works with electrical current to reduce dissolved metal cations until they form a coherent metal coating on an electrode. The word electroplating is also used to describe the electrical oxidation of anions onto a solid substrate. The formation of silver chloride on silver wire to create silver/silver-chloride electrodes is a great example of electrical oxidation. Finally, the electroplating technique is usually used to alter the surface properties of objects by augmenting their wear and abrasion resistance, lubricity, corrosion protection or aesthetic qualities, among other properties.

5 steps are needed to perform this process :

  • Strike of Flash
  • Pulse Electroplating or Pulse Electrodeposition (PED)
  • Brush Electroplating
  • Electroless Deposition
  • Cleanliness

Military Uses

The military currently uses and has used electroplating in the past for many applications. Here are a few examples.

  • CARC Painting

    CARC is the acronym for Chemical Agent Resisting Coating. This special kind of paint is specifically designed to protect military vehicles from chemical and biological weapons. CARC paint is meant to create a corrosive resistant shell around the vehicle to keep people riding inside it safe and to keep it operational as well.

    Painting a military vehicle with CARC paint serves another purpose. Indeed, this paint is engineered to resist damage and removal during decontamination processes. Since chemical and biological weapons are extremely dangerous, vehicles that have been exposed to them must be decontaminated as soon as possible. Therefore, it is critical for the CARC paint layer to be able to resist to the decontamination process in order to avoid further damage to the contaminated vehicle.

  • Extra Layer of Paint for Protection

    Electroplating is able to protect very small components and it is able to increase the resistance of metals present on military vehicles to a higher level than they originally were.

  • World War 2

    Electroplating entered the military scene during World War 2. It was involved in every component imaginable from 50-caliber gun barrels (chrome plating) to the Manhattan Project (some components of the infamous project were nickel plated). Every military division from navy to aeronautics praised and took advantage of electroplating for its ability to protect fragile components with a layer of tougher and corrodible metal and to increase conductivity where it was needed.

    Even today, electroplating is still used on many components found on military vehicles to reinforce them.

This concludes this article on electroplating and its military uses. If you are a business owner and you believe that your business could benefit from electroplating components, we invite you to contact a local company that specializes in this process.