Monthly Archives: May 2016

Research & Development of Plating for Multiple Industries

Research & Development of Plating for Multiple Industries

Project description: 

Companies ranging from start-ups to mature industries have used Prodigy Surface Tech’s specialty services to aid in the research and development of plating new products. Our 1000 square foot Class 1000 clean room plating lab enables us to test new materials or processes in a tightly controlled environment. Our extensive in-house clean room plating analysis lab allows for the control of composition, purity and by products during the development of new plating applications. Our staff of graduate level scientists with a range of chemical, metallurgical and mechanical expertise is available to consult with customers throughout the development process.

Multiple types of inspection and testing equipment including X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, atomic absorptions spectrometer, scanning electron microscope, micro focus X-ray and adhesion testing equipment can be used to analyze failures within the class 1000 clean room plating lab. Conformance to specified performance requirements can be verified once the development phase is complete. We also provide professional assistance in taking the process from lab to full scale production without losing the required precision and quality. For additional information about our research and development of plating programs, please contact us directly.

Plating for the Microwave Industry

Plating for the Microwave Industry

Project description: Prodigy_0002_iStock_000067394209_XXXLarge

The plating services Prodigy Surface Tech provides for the microwave industry include plating on alloys of copper, nickel, iron and aluminum. A core competence is plating of refractory metals such as molybdenum, tungsten and tungsten-copper composites. Projects for plating for the microwave industry typically entail the plating of small components that measure approximately 0.25” in length, 0.3” in width, and 0.03” in thickness. However, microwave industry plating parts as small as a grain of sand or larger than a notebook can be accommodated. Nickel and gold are two of the most commonly plated materials for microwave applications because of their conductivity, bondability, brazability and corrosion resistance.

To properly perform nickel and gold plating on some components, work must be done in a reducing atmosphere furnace at high temperature.  This is typically referred to as clean firing or sintering and may take place before or after the plating process.  The plating and adhesion are tested using a variety of techniques including X-ray fluorescence, energy dispersive spectroscopy, standard microscopy, bending, baking and scoring in accordance with applicable Mil-Spec, AMS, and other industry standards.  Prodigy Surface Tech is NADCAP, ISO 9001: 2015 and AS9100 Rev. D certified serving customers in the most demanding industries. For additional information regarding custom plating projects completed for the microwave industry, please contact us directly.

Platinum Plating of Titanium for the Semiconductor Industry

Platinum Plating of Titanium for the Semiconductor Industry

Project description: Prodigy_0003_iStock_000006630207_Large

Prodigy Surface Tech is one of only a few companies providing platinum plating over titanium substrates commonly used in the semiconductor equipment industry. A primary platinum plating over titanium application is components used for copper plating wafer tools. Prodigy Surface Tech platinum plates a variety of components for this application some up to 24” in length or 18” in diameter. Occasionally, special tooling is used for even larger sizes.

At incoming inspection, wafer tool components are inspected to ensure the absence of porosity, burrs or welding flaws that could compromise plating quality.  Our plating and quality departments utilize modern controls to monitor the entire process while specialized annealing is used after plating to aid in adhesion.  Mechanical testing and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy are used to verify conformance of the wafer tools to all applicable industry standards and customer specifications. Our comprehensive research and development lab can analyze components at the end of a production cycle in order to improve process and durability.  This allows us to maximize value for our customers.

As a NADCAP, ISO 9001: 2015 and AS9100 Rev D certified plating company, customers with the most demanding quality requirements rely on us for all of their premium quality plating needs. For additional information about this project or our ability to plate titanium substrates with platinum, please contact us directly.

Nickel and Gold Plating for the Military Industry

Nickel and Gold Plating for the Military Industry

Project description: Prodigy

Prodigy Surface Tech has extensive experience working with customers in the defense industry providing premium quality plating services meeting all applicable standards. For the highlighted project, we provide nickel plating and gold plating of nickel-iron alloy components for a manufacturer wishing to outsource the plating process. The nickel underplate offers good adhesion to the substrate and provides a diffusion barrier for the gold plating. Gold plating delivers excellent corrosion resistance with unique bonding and brazing properties allowing high strength attachment of electronic devices.

While the customer had previously completed all plating in-house, they determined that focusing on their core competence while allowing a premium quality plating company to provide plating services made better economic sense. Our technicians mirrored their processes and were able to improve the yield and reliability of the finished product. Specialized tooling and engineered racking also aided in the success of this project. Because this project was for a customer in the military industry, we were required to provide ITAR registration as well as comply with all applicable Mil-Spec standards and customer specifications. Adhesion testing, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and standard microscopy were used to verify conformance of the plated parts with all outlined quality standards. Parts related to this project are typically processed in one to three days after arrival at our facility. For additional details about the custom nickel and gold plating project for the defense industry, please contact us directly.