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Aerospace Metal Plating

Aircraft parts and components are highly vulnerable to atmospheric corrosion, one of the primary concerns among worldwide aerospace manufacturers. The damage inflicted by corrosion goes far beyond cosmetics, as it can penetrate deep inside titanium, steel, aluminum and magnesium components to weaken their structural integrity.
Applying metal coatings like zinc-nickel is a highly effective solution for protecting many component types throughout the aerospace industry. Zinc-nickel plating acts as a sacrificial coating, which can absorb much of the corrosion before it reaches the actual substrate.

KC Jones Plating Company offers an extensive lineup of metal plating and surface finishing solutions for a comprehensive industry range, including aerospace. In addition to providing superior corrosion resistance, our metal plating increases a component’s durability, surface hardness and shine. We are an industry leader in electroless plating within the aerospace industry, having been one of the pioneers that established zinc-nickel (Zi-Ni) plating as a legitimate alternative to cadmium plating.

KC Jones Plating Company specializes in surface finishing and metal plating for parts across various applications in the aerospace industry. Besides offering industry-best corrosion resistance, our plating services provide finishes that increase hardness and durability while enhancing a part’s overall appearance. We have delivered high-performance plating solutions to automakers for decades, including the operation of multiple rack and barrel systems for the Big 3 Automotive and Tier 1 suppliers.

Benefits of Automotive Metal Plating Services

Our surface finishing and metal plating processes offer many benefits for automotive components, including the following:

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Protection against corrosion is the most significant advantage that metal plating and surface finishing provide. These plating processes enable vehicles to stay on the road longer by reducing the maintenance and repair costs associated with rust and corrosion.

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Applying the optimal plating to critical automotive components increases hardness and limits the impact of wear and tear, resulting in extended life spans. Longer intervals between repairs and replacements lead to increased cost savings and lower consumer ownership costs.

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Nickel coating processes with low phosphorus content work well for improving conductivity in electronic components while increasing bonding capabilities and maximizing resistance to alkali solutions.

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Improved adhesion

In processes like electroless plating, some coatings enhance the adhesion of overlying plated metals or secondary protective coatings.

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Enhanced appearance

Many surface finishing processes add smoothness, luster and shine to automotive components, increasing the aesthetic appeal and overall product appearance.

Types of Aerospace Electroplating We Offer

Aerospace components benefit from various protective metal plating methods, as each technique offers different advantages. The ideal plating for a specific part depends on the type of metal it’s protecting, the degree of protection needed, the desired hardness and the product’s appearance. Several of the primary metal finishing treatments we offer for the aerospace industry include:

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zinc-nickel plating

Zinc and nickel plating form an alloy that's one of the most effective solutions against corrosion and offers superior performance in elevated temperatures, plus exceptional abrasion and scratch resistance. These coatings often combine with passivation layers to provide increased protection.

upper receiver of several Glock-19s plated in electroless nickel boron

Electroless nickel-boron plating

KC Jones applies more square inches of nickel-boron plating than any other company worldwide. Our trademark nickel-boron plating process exceeds the protective performance of hard chromium, making it a practical solution for aerospace components. Along with being exceptionally resistant to wear, nickel-boron is one of the most environmentally friendly plating solutions.

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Miccrolloy® Bronze Plating

Bronze plating is popular in aerospace applications because of its outstanding wear characteristics and ability to withstand severe grinding. Our proprietary Miccrolloy bronze electroplating is often less expensive than solid bronze and other metal plating substrates. This finish works well for plating various aerospace parts, including cylinder block faceplates, pistons, rotors, landing gear systems and more.

Zinc-Nickel Plating by KC Jones Replaces Cadmium in the Aerospace Industry

Landing gear components containing high-strength steel alloys need sacrificial protective metal coatings for added durability and to perform safely in service. In the past, some high-strength steel aircraft landing gears used cadmium as a coating to prevent corrosion. Unfortunately, cadmium is highly hazardous to the environment and has health risks because it is a known carcinogen associated with respiratory tract problems, kidney failure, liver damage and bone mineral density loss.

Although cadmium has been the standard coating for high-strength steel alloys for decades, the United States Air Force has recently targeted it for elimination.
Zi-Ni has a much lower environmental impact than cadmium. Low hydrogen embrittlement (LHE) alkaline zinc-nickel specifically complies with Air Force environmental objectives while meeting all of the performance requirements of the original high-strength alloy designs. This compliance signifies the approval for plating landing gear components and enables aerospace manufacturers to cease using cadmium plating.

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Advantages of Partnering With KC Jones for Aerospace Metal Plating Solutions

At KC Jones, we’re proud to be among the industry leaders in delivering the most innovative plating and surface treatment solutions. Our team was instrumental in streamlining the use of zinc-nickel over cadmium coating, quickly becoming one of the most preferred finishing solutions for aircraft components.

Our team goes above and beyond to meet the needs of our customers, from providing tailor-made plating solutions to offering assembly and fabrication services to performing custom testing. We prioritize open and honest communication throughout the entire customer experience.

In addition to our strict in-house performance standards in manufacturing, we hold various accreditations, including recognition from the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP) and ISO 9001:2015 certification. Many of our plating services meet the requirements of initiatives like the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS).


Our engineering team leverages decades of expertise, cutting-edge technology and innovative plating processes to solve your toughest challenges. Our aerospace metal plating solutions are just one example of our many superior services. Connect with us online today to learn more about how a partnership with KC Jones can benefit your business.