April 10, 2015
The Alice Made This Nanotechnology range of cufflinks and lapel pins is produced using an industrial electroplating process used in the British defence, aerospace and electronics industries. It may sound complicated, but the basic principals go back to GCSE chemistry.
An electric current is used to form a complete metal coating on an electrode (an electrical conductor) by reducing dissolved metal cations (positively charged atoms). This process is called electrodeposition. In the circuit, the part to be plated is the cathode (our cufflinks) and the anode is the metal which will plate our products. We use 24 carat gold, pure rhodium, silver and copper.
Both components are immersed in an electrolyte solution which contains dissolved metal salts and ions that allow electricity to flow. Once the current is flowing, the metal atoms are oxidised at the anode so that they dissolve into the solution. At the cathode (our cufflinks), the dissolved metal ions are reduced and plate the cathode.
The process produces a wonderful high polish finish with reflective properties.