Cadmium – An Industrial Plating Option

Cadmium – An Industrial Plating Option

What is Cadmium?

There are various metals that can be utilized when it comes to plating, using various different plating methods. Some offer different benefits than others. One metal that is used for various purposes is Cadmium. Cadmium is a by-product of the production of zinc. Cadmium is highly toxic and is not meant to coat any surface that is in direct contact with food. In fact, Cadmium plating is mostly used in Aerospace, transportation, by the Marines, for consumer electronics, construction & manufacturing. It offers superior protection for both brackish & aquatic applications due to it being highly resistant to corrosion.

What Is Cadmium Plating?

Cadmium Plating was first recognized as a form of protective coating in the 1920s. It is often compared to Zinc Plating in that it is similar. Cadmium plating can be applied with many different plating methods that include electroplating, mechanical cadmium plating, or ion and vacuum deposition. So what is it exactly that sets cadmium apart from other coating materials? Cadmium plating has a number of different properties that set it apart from other types of metal plating which include:

  • Highly Resistant To Salt Water Corrosion
  • Provides An Exceptional Bonding Surface for Adhesives
  • Acts As A Great Electricity Conductor
  • High Level Of Solderability
  • Naturally Resistant To Both Mold & Bacteria
  • Can Easily Be Applied In A Thin, Lightweight Layer
  • Easily Coats Complex Shapes & Hard To Reach Contours

Also when compared with zinc, Cadmium retains its original appearance longer and is superior to zinc in marine and industrial environments. Because of Cadmium’s lubricity, it is also preferred for moving parts, as well as parts that are made out of cast iron. It is a soft white metal that, when plated onto steel, cast iron, malleable iron, copper, and powdered metal, functions as a “sacrificial coating,” corroding before the substrate material. It is extremely important that you keep in mind that Cadmium is extremely toxic and can hurt the surrounding environment and those living within it if not disposed of correctly.