The benefits of selective electroplating in electric motors

27th November 2023
Sheryl Miles

Tom DiCillo, Midwest Territory Sales Manager at SIFCO ASC, explores the significance of selective electroplating for electric motors.

This technique has become increasingly relevant for enhancing the functionality and durability of these essential components.

Electric motors, pivotal in sectors like automotive and manufacturing, face challenges due to continuous operation or prolonged use. These conditions lead to mechanical stress and wear, resulting in degradation of internal parts. High temperatures exacerbate this, harming insulation materials and other crucial components, thereby reducing efficiency and increasing wear.

A solution for wear and tear

Selective electroplating serves to replenish metal in specific worn areas of a component. This targeted deposition effectively restores the part's functionality and extends its operational life. This process is not only cost-effective but also sustainable, reducing the environmental impact associated with replacement. It enhances the motor's lifespan, reliability, and consistent performance. Moreover, this technique significantly reduces downtime, boosting productivity in industrial processes.

The selective electroplating process is carried out with great precision. Technicians deposit a specific metal layer onto only the damaged or worn area of a component. This precision maintains the original dimensions and tolerances, crucial for electric motor repair where deviations can affect performance and efficiency.

Selective electroplating in complex components

This method is particularly useful for components with intricate geometries. It allows for precise metal deposition in hard-to-reach areas, making it an effective repair technique in various industries. Selective electroplating conserves materials, reduces costs, and ensures the repaired components meet or exceed their original specifications.

The SIFCO Process targets key application areas such as bearing housing, commutators, and rotor journals. For example, it plates bearing housings with Nickel Deposit to combat fretting corrosion. This process can restore worn or corroded contact areas to factory-like condition, enhancing electrical conductivity and protecting against damage in harsh environments.

Despite concerns about the use of chemicals labelled as 'hazardous,' selective electroplating is safe, requiring standard personal protective equipment and a sensible approach to health and safety. Its particular application minimises waste and disposal requirements. Additionally, it contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing chemical and material usage and waste.

Training SIFCO ASC’s comprehensive training programme is vital for the maintenance and longevity of electric motors. It covers theoretical and practical aspects, equipping participants with an understanding of selective electroplating principles and best practices. Addressing the industry’s skills gap, SIFCO ASC also offers re-education courses for facilities needing to train new operators.

Efficiency in electric motors is crucial for transportation, infrastructure, and industrial processes. The SIFCO Process, endorsed by the EASA and meeting various specifications, is a trusted method offering benefits such as quality, durability, cost savings, portability, and time savings. This method stands out as a reliable solution for maintaining and repairing electric motors.

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