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Zinc Plating effects on Fasteners

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Electroplating is the process of adding a thin layer of metal to a workpiece of a different base metal. It is common for jewelry, as it is an inexpensive means to improve visual beauty by adding a layer of gold or other attractive metal.

When it comes to mechanical fasteners such as bolts and nuts,electroplating a steel or iron component with zinc provides functionality and reliability that is more than surface deep. Steel is the most common base material for mechanical fasteners, and it provides adequate tensile and shear strength to assemble components in an expansive range of industries and applications.

However, when used alone, steel is susceptible to corrosion, chiefly in the form of oxidation. When the steel is exposed to moisture and oxygen, a chemical reaction occurs on the material surface that weakens the bond of the metal atoms and develops iron oxide, better recognized as rust. Rust degrades the bolt’s strength, dimensions and lifecycle. Continue reading