Frequently asked questions
Where can I get information for right electroplating and general beginner guides from?
The first step for everyone who want to enter the world of hobby electroplating and who need information about the correct realization of refinement and lating projects is reading our beginner's guide. It will provide you with answers to all questions about hobby electroplating like pre-treatment or preparation, currentless procedures and many more - for free and easily understandable. Download here...
Which purpose has the surface treatment of metals?The surface refinement of metals can have two reasons. First the decorative refinement that serves primarily the improvement and individual creation of objects. Secondly the functional surface plating that serves for protection against corrosion, attrition and abrasion, as well as the improvement of the electric conductivity. However, many procedures allow to combine the decorative element of the surface refinement with the functional one. Anodising and bluing, for example, improve the objects aesthetically and protects them from corrosion as well.
Who is the target audience of the Tifoo products?
Our products allow private clients as well as commercial customers to electroplate different objects by themselves and give them metallic surfaces. This is a great possibility for all of those who want to create e.g. individually designed objects (jewellery, art, ornaments). Higher corrosion protection, creation of bright surfaces (e.g. gilding different objects) or functionalization (e.g. making them conductive) of surfaces are possible. That’s why you have reasonable and immediately feasible DIY possibilities for realizing you projects with our products. This saves you a lot of waiting time you would have in bigger electroplating companies.
Can beginners also use the Tifoo products to electroplate by themselves? Is working with the Tifoo products dangerous?
The products from Tifoo are designed and developped in a way that beginners and inexperienced users can obtain impressive results after a short time while working without any danger. You will have detailed instruction manuals and assistance for all products and applications for the right handling of the products (instruction manuals). When you keep these indications and those on the product labels in mind, you can already enter the world of electroplating. Some products however are included in the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances and therefore only available for commercial customers (you’ll find an overview in the category “commercial customers”).
Which material can be plated with the Tifoo products?
In general, you can plate every common metal and alloy like e.g. steel, iron, nickel, copper, etc. For gilding stainless steel and chrome, our Tifoo Gold Electrolyte Flash (click here for the product page) is advisable, while for hard gilding, our gold electrolyte Midas with a gold content of 8 g/l is more appropriate (click here for the product page).
Can I electroplate wood or plastic?You can also electroplate non-conductive material. Surface like wood, plastic, organic and synthetic material can be pre-treated with so-called conductive varnishes in order to make them more conductive. Conductive varnishes contain special binding agents and particles that render the varnish conductive. Brushing or spraying are possible application methods for the conductive varnishes. Our product range contains conductive varnishes based on silver and copper. Additionally, we have uploaded some videos on our YouTube channel that explain how to electroplate non-conductive material. Therefore, you will be able to decorate and create individually objects fabricated with a 3D-printer, out of wood and plastic as well as glass. Click here to get to the video "How to gild 3-D prints" and "Gilding plants and flowers".
What about aluminium?
Aluminium can also be electroplated with a special combination of Tifoo products. First, use the Tifoo Nickelstar (currentless nickel-plating) to deposit a thin nickel layer on the aluminium. On top of that layer, you can gild e.g. with the gold electrolyte Midas or apply another finish, as nickel can be plated with almost every electrolyte.
The most common procedure for plating aluminium is the so-called anodizing. With that, you can protect aluminium and dye it at the same time with every imaginable colour. It is for example well-known for the Apple IPOD, whose casing is anodized, too. Many parts of high quality wheels / mountain bikes are frequently made of anodized aluminium. You can now order an anodizing kit in our online shop, which allows you to anodize and dye aluminium parts of every kind by yourself.
What about chromium?
Even chromium can be electroplated with special methods. In most cases, the chromium layer has to be removed first. The gold electrolyte "Flash" can gild chromium directly. Detailed information about electroplating chromium can be found in our beginner's guide in chapter 5.6.
Can I know beforehand how my workpiece will look after electroplating?
In our gallery, you can look at our own samples and objects refined by clients and convince yourself about the results. Additionally, you will find testing pieces in some of our products on which you can try the refinement before the treatment of the actual procedure. You an also contact us any time - for example by telephone (0049 941 29020439) or the contact section and ask for visual aids.
What’s the difference between pen- and tank-plating?
Pen plating works similar to a brush and the metal is literally painted onto. It’s an especially elegant method for treating e.g. immobile objects or big surfaces. Please keep in mind that pen plating needs significantly more time to create thick layers.
Tank plating allows you to simply hang the object into the corresponding Tifoo plating solution, and after adjusting some voltage and you’ll already have a metal layer with a thickness according to your needs. You can find information about both techniques in our Tifoo Plating Guideline. Download here...
Not everything clear yet?We will gladly answer to every further questions. Have a look at our YouTube channel or contact us via our contact form or call us at 0049 941 29020439.