5 Industries That Benefit from Selective Gold Plating
Curious about what selective gold plating can do for your company? Here are five industries that benefit the most.
Selective Gold Plating
It’s no secret that gold is one of the world’s most valuable materials. A mere ounce of the stuff is worth over $1,000 (depending on the current market, of course).
And it’s more than its shiny gleam that makes gold valuable. Gold has properties–such as its resistance to corrosion and its insulation against heat–that make it essential in many different industries.
Because gold is so expensive, these industries usually use gold-plated materials rather than pure gold. But, selective gold plating is still an incredibly powerful tool.
Read on to learn more about five different industries that benefit from selective gold plating.
Selective Gold Plating in the Electronics Industry
Your laptop, your tablet, and your phone are chalk full of gold-plated components. Gold plating is so important to electronics that the electronics industry uses a whopping 320 tons of gold a year.
Gold isn’t cheap. So why are electronics manufacturers packing so much of it into their products?
It turns out that gold has remarkable properties not found in other metals. These properties make it an essential component in any well-functioning electric circuit.
Perhaps the most important of these properties is gold’s resistance to corrosion. In other words, gold lasts a long time without breaking down, even in extremely harsh conditions. This is the same property that makes gold a great store of value and a great material for jewelry making.
In electronics, this property is important because an electronic device can only last as long as its internal circuits. By coating components with gold, you protect the interior metals (usually nickel and copper) from corrosion.
Furthermore, gold is a great conductor of electricity. That means gold coated components work as well, if not better, than gold-free components.
This doesn’t mean that every piece of an electric circuit should be covered in gold. You should focus on gold plating components that will be exposed to harsh conditions.
Gold plating is especially important for electrical connectors. These are electrical parts that are connected and disconnected from other electrical parts. These electrical connectors are frequently exposed to air, which makes them a perfect candidate for gold plating.
But corrosion isn’t the only reason to apply gold plating to connectors, gold also has a remarkably low contact resistance. That means that the electrical resistance between two adjacent gold pieces is extremely low. That’s exactly what you want out of connector material.
Selective Gold Plating in the Dentistry Industry
This one probably doesn’t surprise you. You’ve most likely seen someone with a gold plated filling, and you might even have one yourself.
Dentists use gold-plated fillings for more than their aesthetic flair. It turns out that gold is an extremely biocompatible material. Biocompatibility means that gold can be used within the human body without causing infections or an immune response.
Gold plating is also used in other aspects of dentistry, including as a material in dental instruments.
Selective Gold Plating in the Medical Industry
Gold’s biocompatibility also makes it a very useful material in the medical industry. Pacemakers and other internal medical devices are often coated in gold. This protects the device from the patient’s body and the patient’s body from the device.
In addition, gold is radiopaque, meaning that it blocks radiation. So gold-plated instruments are highly visible in x-ray images. This property allows doctors to monitor the instruments without undergoing invasive procedures.
Selective Gold Plating in the Aeronautics and Defense Industries
Few materials are more resilient to harsh conditions than gold. And few industries deal with harsher conditions than aeronautics and defense.
The internal machinery of a plane or a weapon will experience extremely high amounts of heat. It’s also possible that this machinery will be exposed to the extreme cold or even corrosive chemicals and gases.
It is essential that this machinery continues to function as it’s meant to, no matter what the conditions. Otherwise, lives may be lost.
Furthermore, gold is an easily solderable material, so using it in mechanical settings is very practical and easy.
Selective Gold Plating in the Architecture Industry
This one might be the most surprising on the list. Sure, gold-plating can be used to beautify the outside of a building, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the gold-plating of exterior windows.
Normal windows allow pretty much all light and heat through, so buildings with a lot of external windows will often end up overheating. This leads to unhappy residents and high air-conditioning bills.
Here, gold’s ability to insulate against heat and light pays big dividends. By coating the windows in a very thin layer of gold, the architect or engineer can keep out a high percentage of heat without blocking the view.
Currently, coating windows in gold involves an expensive process known as vacuum deposition. In vacuum deposition, gold atoms are essentially deposited one at a time onto the surface. But research is being done on ways to leverage nano-technology to make this process cheaper.
Making this process affordable and accessible will save tremendous amounts of energy the world over.
Selective Gold Plating for Your Company
As you can see, gold plating comes with a lot of benefits. Even if your company doesn’t work in the above industries, you still may benefit from using gold-plated components.
We’ve developed a precise and customizable selective gold plating technique. We’d love to help you get started today.
And if you have any additional questions about gold plating or any aspect of engineering, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.