Gold Plating – Fashion or Function?

A-U…yes you! Did you know there is more to gold than fashionable accessories?  More than half of the world’s gold is used for jewelry but its functional properties are desirable among numerous industrial industries.  Gold plating can be found as far as the rover on mars to the very electronic device you are using right now.  

What Is Gold Plating?

Gold plating is the process of coating the surface of another metal with a thin layer of gold.  The earliest known use of gold plating goes as far back as ancient Egypt.  Egyptians would plate jewelry and various objects using a method known as “gilding”.  In modern times, Anoplate uses electrochemical methods, where electricity and chemistry unite, to create gold plated parts for the aerospace and electronics industries.

What are the functions of gold plating?

  • Electrical Conductivity

Gold is highly conductive with only silver and copper beating it to the podium.  High conductivity is important in electronics to ensure minimal resistance for the smooth transfer of energy.  High resistivity can lead to overheating and slower data transfer. 

  • Corrosion Protection

Gold is the noblest of the metals, one could say it’s the ruler of corrosion protection due to its resistance to oxidation and chemical attack.  Corrosive products can increase resistivity so although silver has better conductivity, gold is favored in aerospace and electronic components that are exposed to harsh environments.  

  • Solderability

Gold is highly solderable, a must have feature when electronics need to be joined to form a permanent connection.  A frequent cause of electronic equipment failure is a result of poor solder joints.

  • Infrared Reflectivity

Gold is 99% effective at reflecting infrared light which can be used to protect satellites from solar heat.  The gold on an astronaut’s space helmet isn’t just fashionable, it protects them from harmful radiation.

  • Wear Resistance

Gold alone is too soft to withstand everyday wear but with just a pinch of metallic hardeners (<0.3%) a more durable deposit is created known as Hard Gold.  Hard Gold has a lower coefficient of friction and provides wear resistance to electronic components that see multiple mating cycles such as connector pins and shells.   

Once you look beyond fashion it is easy to see that gold has a unique function in industrial applications.  From space exploration to gaming systems, there is more to gold than meets the eye.  Anoplate offers gold plating with varying degrees of purity and hardness for all applications and functions.  With years of plating experience and a team of engineers, Anoplate is ready to engineer a surface finish that meets your needs.


Anoplate provides gold plating for function NOT fashion. We do not plate jewelry at Anoplate! 


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