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FAQ

What is electroplating?
What metals can Red Sky plate onto?
What is rack and barrel plating?
Will plating "fill in" scratches in the surface or pits due to casting porosity?
Why is a nickel underplate used when gold plating?
What is the minimum order?
How long does it take?
How thick is the gold?

What is electroplating?
Electroplating is a process of coating a metal object with a layer of another metal. Using an electric current positively charged metal particles (ions) move through a liquid solution (electrolyte) and deposit onto the negatively charged object.

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What metals can Red Sky plate onto?
We can plate onto most metals, including: brass, bronze, copper, steel, stainless steel, tin, pewter, nickel, silver, gold, gold filled material, and others. We are not equipped to plate aluminum items.

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What is rack and barrel plating?
There is two common ways to handle parts for plating. Rack plated objects are wired or hung individually on a plating rack. Barrel plated objects are placed as a group in a six-sided cylinder and processed together. Items that are hand finished, or are likely to nest or tangle usually need to be rack plated. Items that have been mechanically finished (tumbled) can usually be barrel plated.

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Will plating "fill in" scratches in the surface or pits due to casting porosity?
Plating does not fill small defects on the surface the way that paint flows and covers or levels the surface. The deposited metal follows the contours of the surface exactly and because it is usually more reflective after plating the scratches and pits become more apparent.

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Why is a nickel underplate used when gold plating?
The primary purpose of nickel as an underplate is as a barrier to prevent the base metal from diffusing into the gold layer and tarnishing. Nickel also can brighten the surface and adds hardness to the finish for longer wear.

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What is the minimum order?
We have a $100.00 minimum per order and we charge a 5% hazardous waste fee. We also have a $50.00 minimum per final finish (such as 14K, 24K, Silver etc.), thickness of precious metal, or process method (rack, barrel, sandblasted, etc.)

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How long does it take?
We ship out most order within 5 working days after receiving them. New accounts that require process development or extremely large orders may take longer.

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How thick is the gold?
Red Sky Plating has the capability to plate gold anywhere from a flash (about 2 millionths of an inch) up to 120 millionths of an inch. We measure gold thickness using state-of-the-art x-ray fluorescence. We will provide a written certification of gold thickness on request.

The thicker the gold plating the better the wear ability. We recommend that you choose thickest gold plating you can afford. Keep in mind your market niche and the way your items are being advertised when deciding gold thickness.

Gold electroplating is regulated by The Federal Trade Commission. The following information has been gathered from their publication, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16 - Commercial Practices Part 23.

GOLD FLASH OR GOLD WASH: Gold electroplating of not less than 10 karat fineness and a thickness of less than 7 millionths of an inch.

GOLD ELECTROPLATE: Gold electroplating of fine gold a minimum thickness of 7 millionths of an inch can be marked or described as gold electroplate or G.E.P.

GOLD PLATE: Fine gold coating, deposited by any means, a minimum thickness of 20 millionths of an inch.

HEAVY GOLD ELECTROPLATE: Gold electroplating of fine gold a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of and inch. Expressed in metric measure this is 2.5 microns.

VERMEIL (pronounced VER-MAY): Sterling silver electroplated with fine gold a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch. The existence of a metal anti-tarnish barrier must be disclosed.

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