How a factory uses zinc-nickel plating deposits on computer parts

Computers come with a lot of moving and stationary parts that conduct electricity or are otherwise essential to a computer’s function. Some of these parts, especially copper heat sink fins, need to be protected from corrosion as they work. To fully protect them, factories must use electroplating to install zinc and/or nickel deposits on every surface of these copper parts.

The electroplating process outlined in this factory tour video uses conductive metal racks for a process called rack plating. This process is more expensive than barrel plating, but it comes with a few benefits, including better control over the finish on each surface of each part.

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Some of the parts plated in this video include VGA slot covers, PCI-E expansion slot covers, and motherboard trays. All of these parts are included in most computer cases and must be resistant to humidity and corrosion in general.

To electroplate these parts, workers first place them on the conductive racks. Then the racks are submerged in a cleaning solution. Once the parts are clean, they are electroplated with an atom-thick layer of zinc and nickel. These zinc-nickel plating deposits keep the parts pristine throughout their lifespan.

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