Metals and even plastic materials can be coated by plating for corrosion protection, adhesion promotion or decorative reasons. In some cases protective oxides present naturally on a metal can be deliberately grown as with anodised aluminium and aluminium alloys. These platings can fail during manufacture or during functional life.
LPD Lab Services has a lot of experience in failure investigation of these coating systems and plating bath chemistry. Examples of typical work includes:
- Measurements of the thickness of anodised aluminium coating by cross-sectional SEM/EDX.
- Delamination of anodised layers on aluminium engineering components.
- Anodised aluminium process optimisation using SEM/EDX to assess mechanical keying components to adhesion and XPS to investigate surface chemistry to evaluate for optimum adhesive joints and paint applications to minimise delamination.
- Electroless nickel plating and copper seed layer on plastic components cross section investigations.
- Galvanised zinc coating thickness measurements on steel by cross section by optical microscopy and SEM/EDX.
- Poor electroless nickel coating adhesion associated with organic or ionic contamination in the plating bath by GC-MS and ion chromatography.
- Electroplating failure investigations.
- Routine plating, CVD and PVD coating thickness measurements by XRF.
- Degradation of protective coating on die cast zinc.
- SEM Cross-sectional analysis of nickel plated collet.
- Assessments of pore and crack density of automotive chrome coatings.
- Coatings and layer measurement.