Welcome to the extended Applications Overview:
Electroplating: Electrodeposition of a metal (or metal alloy) from an electrolyte solution onto another component. The item to be plated (substrate) is connected to the cathode. Direct current (DC) is sent through the anode. The process of coating an item (substrate) with a metal by means of electric current.
Electropolishing: A similar set-up to electroplating, except that the part to be polished is made the anode. Areas of the part featuring occlusions, sharp edges, burrs, etc., become areas of high current density (current flows first to these areas from the cathode). Since the part is made anodic, dissolution occurs, smoothing and eventually brightening the part.
Electroforming: Uses a mandrel upon which a metal (or metal alloy) is electrodeposited. After the process, the mandrel is removed, leaving only the electrodeposited material.
Anodizing: Process of coating primarily aluminum, titanium and magnesium through the use of an anodic circuit. Produces a thin film of aluminum oxide on the aluminum part. A variety of colors are available in aluminum anodizing through subsequent dye processes and in titanium/magnesium anodizing through voltage control.
Electrochemical Etching: Similar to electro-deburring. Specific areas of the part are etched away. Sometimes referred to as “forced corrosion”.
Electro-Deburring: Similar to electropolishing. Focus is on actually dissolving burrs, and not necessarily on polishing.
Electrowinning/Electroextraction: Process of removing metal ions from a solution, whereby specific metals are plated out of the solution.
Electrocleaning: A similar set-up to that of electroplating, except that no electrodeposition occurs. The scrubbing action of the gases produced by applying electric current break up particles (dirt) and sweep them away from the part. There are two common types of electrocleaning: cathodic cleaning and anodic cleaning.
Cathodic Electrocleaning: also called direct cleaning; results in hydrogen gas being generated at the part surface. It is commonly used with parts containing nickel, cobalt, chrome, lead, and some precious metals.
Anodic Electrocleaning: opposite of cathodic electrocleaning, where oxygen gas is generated at the part surface.
Periodic Reverse Electrocleaning: Both cathodic and anodic electrocleaning are performed, alternating between the two, to gain the advantages each produces.
Electro-Activation: Not commonly used. Typically utilized after electrocleaning where acid dipping/activation is required. The rectifier circuit enhances the activation process, often speeding it up.
Electrochlorination: Process of disinfection and anti-fouling; effectively converts a sodium chloride solution to sodium hypochlorite (bleach) utilizing either a combination of fresh water, salt and DC power, or a combination of sea water and DC power.
Electrocoagulation: Process of electrolytically separating contaminants in waste water. Typically used in paper pulp mills, steel mills, canning facilities, truck washing operations, and electroplating facilities.
Spark Plasma Sintering: A high speed powder consolidation process utilizing pulsed current to activate the consolidation and reaction-sintering of materials. Processes conductive, non-conductive and composite materials to any level of density. Results in a significant savings of time and energy with the ability to retain nanostructures.
Cathodic Protection: Applies a small charge (DC or pulse) to a metal object to control the corrosion of the metal surface. Common applications include pipelines, large storage tanks, ships, and metal reinforcement bars (rebar) in concrete structures.
Xenon Short Arc Lamps: A specialized type of gas discharge lamp utilizing pulsed current with xenon gas at high pressure. Produces a bright light similar to natural sunlight. Commonly used in movie projectors, search lights, and various scientific/industrial research and test programs.
Lasers: Continuous wave lasers are driven by DC current to produce an output that is continuous over time. Pulsed lasers utilize pulsed current to produce output in pulses of a specific duration at a repetitive rate.
Ultraviolet (UV) Curing: Utilizes a highly-regulated DC power supply to power UV LED’s to cure ink.