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Nearly every die cast material needs a coating for corrosion purposes. Typically for components that have cosmetic finishes, the best under layer for finishing is nickel. It has great adhesion properties and acts a barrier for the skin. To give you an idea, we would cast the component and then put a layer of nickel plating on the part to create a foundation for the cosmetic coating whatever that may be, satin chrome, PVD, etc. See more surface finishes, here!
With the continued rise of wearables and fitness trackers, the concern is when the coating would scratch off leaving a nickel to skin contact that creates challenges for die casters and suppliers in the consumer electronics industry. Buyers with sensitive skin can develop a rash from metal wearables containing nickel. Resulting in bad press for your business. With a 15% of Dynacast’s customers coming from consumer electronics, our Dynacast Singapore facility set out to find a solution.
Highly-Cosmetic Nickel-Free Plating Options
For years, to combat the allergic reaction caused by the nickel to skin contact, companies would make the components using MIM with stainless steel or machine it from aluminum or steel billet. Depending on the complexity of the component, die casting could be the more economical choice over MIM and it is almost always more cost-effective than machining from billet. We are talking about saving several dollars on part cost, which adds up very quickly with high volume runs. But businesses have to do what is necessary to prevent any sort of legal liability from an unhappy customer.
Enter Dynacast Singapore with a great alternative. Nickel-free plating options for die castings that won’t leave consumers with awful skin rashes. This coating is used as the base layer before the cosmetic finish and it can be used on almost any material—though it works best on aluminum and zinc alloys. This gives design engineers the ability to design more freely.
The ability to design and make zinc and aluminum components for wearable market and offer them allergy free products has opened up a plethora of opportunities in the consumer electronics industry. These die casting options are lower in cost than their current components.
This new coating can be utilized in the virtual reality and medical device market as well. With over 18 different color options the possibilities for this coating are endless. Contact our team today to discover more about our nickel-free plating option and how it can better serve your business needs.