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Ion plating is one of the most advanced surface finishing processes in the trade. In traditional processes, the gold coating on the surface of the case can be rubbed off easily. Ion plating makes the gold plating more durable, more wear resistant, and also has a higher brightness.
Ion plating involves adding of a titanium nitride layer, which has a high chemical stability, to the component to be plated. To this is added a gold coating, normally not exceeding 0.3 urn in thickness. At low pressure-one thousandth of mercurial pressure-solid metal vaporizes and becomes electric ions when heated and bombarded by electrons, known also as plasma. Accelerated by a magnetic field, ion plating is carried out in a vacuum environment.
The greatest advantage of this process is that the titanium nitride produced is both harder and chemically more stable than that produced through traditional plating methods. Experiments have proved that the plating obtained through Ion plating is five to eight times better than that obtained through traditional methods in terms of wear and corrosion resistance. The term "permanent coating" can be appropriately applied in this case.
Since the technology reduces the gold material used by a large amount, and the automation process also calls for a smaller number of staff, it helps to reduce the cost of the plating process. Developing the ion plating technology to replace the traditional "wet" plating method is the future trend. HKPC has mastered the basic techniques, including the 1 N14 gold color, which is difficult to control. HKPC has also created some new plating colors, for example pink, blue, and two tone gold.
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