Electroforming and complex shape electroforming
Complex shape electroforming is becoming the go-to process for today’s engineer or designer. The use of either precious and non-precious metals in designs is guaranteed to enhance their appearance whilst maintaining and safeguarding their quality.
Complex shape electroforming is now widely used by an extensive range of industries, from the delicate intricacies of jewellery making to big boys in the aeronautical and electronics industries. Its use is not to be confused with electroplating, in which an item is surface coated.
Electroforming is a process whereby the article is actually formed using appropriate metals. This technique comprises three layers that follow a precise system of metallurgical science. A shape or form, called a mandrel, is created from a fusible alloy that the plating will not adhere to, however it must retain the desired shape. The mandrel is then coated in the base metal.
A layer of the chosen precious or non-precious metal is applied and then a final layer of a non-metallic protective coating. The process is completed by carefully melting out the fusible alloy which leaves behind a hollow but strong item. This means the finished item maintains the fine details of the original object but is free from fine tool marks or blemishes, which are often found in hand finished articles. There is also no risk of shrinkage or twisting.
What Are the Advantages of electroforming?
For the last two years our technicians, in collaboration with a world renowned expert in electroforming processes, have been developing automated machinery for this process. Alongside this our extensive research, particularly the feedback we have received from our customers and their experience with our products, has enabled us to create an innovative, automatic gold alloy electroforming machine.
This development has brought major advantages to the jewellery making and watchmaking industries. These advantages include exceptional accuracy in weighing, measuring and density of the electrolyte during the weighing phase. This has helped to consistently reduce the process time.
It is a known fact that during this process very aggressive vapours are developed and how these can affect the delicate balancing process. Our development provides maximum protection to the electronic balance. Electroforming is a superb process when your designs call for a complex or lightweight finish.
Both Fast and Cost Effective
Whenever the decision is taken to create a new design, be it a new car, a precision tool or a beautiful piece of jewellery, the first main concerns involve how much it will cost and how quickly it can be out in the market.
This is where complex shape electroforming is a leader in the field. The electroforming method is a leader in the economical use of metals to produce items with complex shapes or those that call for a more sensuous and sinuous shape, whilst retaining strong but delicate characteristics. This enables producing thin, hollow items as well as three-dimensional shapes that have a low weight and uniform wall thickness.
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Many pieces can be made simultaneously so that varying numbers of each design can be produced economically. Metal usage is reasonable and as no metal is lost during the process no wastage is generated.