Zinc-Plated Hydraulic Tubing Services

Gatto was recently featured on the Cover of Tube and Pipe Journal - where we outline successful strategies for effective plating on tube and pipe products.

Overcoming Four Problems with Plated Tubes

The core focus of many finishing companies today is on having the capability to process large volume orders, particularly for the automotive industry. Equipment and processes are geared toward plating smaller parts and simple geometries. When parts meet a specific set of criteria, these processes can be very efficient. However, they may not be the best choice for quality and efficiency when dealing with more complex parts such as hydraulic tubing.

At Gatto Industrial Platers, we not only have the capacity to handle large volume orders, but also the flexibility to process unique and challenging parts. Our extra-large tanks process parts up to 27’ long which makes us a leader in the industry for plating hydraulic tubing.

Below are four challenges with plating tubes that Gatto can overcome:

Rust on the ID

Zinc plating is an electrolytic process that deposits a layer of zinc onto the outside surface of a part. Plating chemistry cannot reach inside a part therefore leaving it bare steel and subject to corrosion. Rust can form on the inside diameter (ID) of a tube within minutes of it being plated.

To avoid corrosion on the tubing ID, Gatto applies a rinse during the post plating process to passivate the inside of the tube. This provides about 7-10 days of corrosion protection on the inside. We also offer a water-based rust preventative for parts that require a longer shelf life.

Our various rack designs ensure the ID of tubes are properly cleaned before plating and that all chemical is drained after plating.

Flaking after Plating

It is common for plating to flake off if tubes are bent after plating. This often happens when the plating is too thick. To avoid flaking we closely monitor and control the plating thickness.

Gatto also uses a custom chemistry that will stay intact if the tube is bent after plating, which allows us to plate tubes in straight lengths and have our customers form them after plating. Plating straight lengths provides a more uniform finish and can save customers money on shipping costs.

Plating Voids

Some tubes have a movable nut or fitting that can prevent certain areas from being plated. Our process allows us to move the nut or fitting to avoid plating voids on the tube. Tubes with a brazed or welded fitting must be free of any scale prior to plating. Weld scale can also cause plating adhesion problems like flaking or blistering.

Mixed Sizes

Many custom applications are low in volume or require parts of different sizes. We provide custom rack designs to accommodate a mixed variety of sizes, quantities and configurations. We can plate tubes up to 27’ in length with a diameter up to 24” and anything in between.

We work with many hydraulic tube fabricators who supply parts for:

  • John Deere
  • Case
  • Caterpillar
  • AGCO

Contact us today to learn more about our tubing services or request a quote.