IP Plating (Ion plating) Stainless Steel
Ion plating or IP plating is one of the newest and most advanced surface finishing processes. It produces a harder and more durable coating with a higher brightness than that produced through traditional plating methods.
Experiments have proven that the plating obtained through IP plating is five to eight times better than that obtained through conventional methods in terms of wear and corrosion resistance.
Throughout the jewelry industry IP plating is available in a range of colors, and the most common are black, brown, rose gold and yellow gold.
Ion plating involves adding a titanium nitride layer, which has a high chemical stability, to the stainless steel component to be plated. This added plating metal (for example to produce a rose gold color) normally does not exceed 0.3 urn in thickness. At extremely low pressure this solid metal vaporizes. It then becomes electric ions when heated and bombarded by electrons known also as plasma. Accelerated by a magnetic field, ion plating is carried out in a vacuum environment.
The greatest advantage of this process is that the titanium nitride produced is both harder and chemically more stable than that produced through traditional plating methods. The term “permanent coating” can be appropriately applied in this case.
Since this technology reduces the plated material used by a large amount it helps to reduce the cost of the plating process. Developing the ion plating technology to replace the traditional “wet” plating method is a major trend in the jewelry industry.