galvanoplastie pichard balme scaled



Put it in to win

Electroplating is a generic term for all techniques used to apply coatings to a substrate by electrochemistry. In other words, it is a process that consists of placing a conductive piece in a chemical liquid under current. The moving ions present in the liquid are deposited on the surface of the piece in order to obtain a particular plating. The role of the electroplater is to check the baths, equipment and treatment products. They must be diligent, organised and a perfectionist, as the pieces must be submerged for a specific period of time.

Once the piece has been polished, satin-finished or sandblasted, it is transferred to the surface treatment workshop for pre-treatment. It is then taken over by the electroplater, who carries out preparatory operations which are: ultrasonic and electrochemical degreasing, depassivation, rinsing and drying. For ultrasonic and electrochemical degreasing, the piece undergoes drastic cleaning to remove all particles and impurities that have stuck to the surface. This is essential for the success of the galvanic coating. Without it, the surface cannot be completely covered.

Types of electroplating

Time for electroplating

At Pichard-Balme, we practice the three types of electroplating, all of which are electrochemical deposition techniques.

Immersion or ``frame`` electroplating

In a so-called ``classic`` bath, i.e. in a bath with electricity, the metal piece is immersed and connected by a support. The bath must of course be carefully filled with electrolyte, which is a conductive liquid substance. This is the ideal process for plating high quality series.

Silver barrel electroplating

This process is ideal for galvanising large volumes. The current comes into contact with the mass of metal pieces in the barrel. Between 1,000 and 3,000 pieces are thus passed through the current and plated in equal amounts. We also have small barrels that can be used to treat the surface of micro pieces.

Electroplating with a stylus or pad

The principle is to use a felt pen soaked in the bath compound and directly connected to the current. The lead of the pen or felt contains metal to be deposited. It is therefore possible to deposit metal by rubbing and drawing on the piece. This technique is particularly popular for two-coloured coins.

Final stage

Increasing the nobility of the metal

After being plated with metal, the pieces are then rinsed, dried or dipped in another bath if they require several layers and then checked for conformity.
Ultimately, the goals of electroplating are to deposit thin protective layers or bright deposits.
It can also be used to change the nature of a metal, to increase its nobility or to give it a certain appearance.
This process also increases the life of the piece with respect to corrosion or abrasion.

Our guarantee

Pichard-Balme Certified ``zero discharge``

We are also certified “zero discharge”: none of our chemicals leave our internal processing circuit. Finally, our operators work according to strict safety rules and strictly respect the standards related to the treatment operations and the equipment to be worn.