Platinum is considered one of the most precious metals. Presently platinum deposits are concentrated primarily in South Africa and Russia. The price of platinum has historically ranged from $350-$450 per ounce with a few exceptions and more recently the price has increased to $1400 to $1800 per ounce.
Pure platinum is a tin white metal, it is malleable ductile, and harder than silver. It does not tarnish in air, dissolve in acid, and it has a melting point of 3224 degrees F. In nature it is generally found as part of the Platinum Group Metals (PGM’s); Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Iridium and Osmium.
When platinum was first discovered in Columbia back in the early 1700’s the natives called it “platina,” meaning silver of little value. However, over the years as refining processes were developed, there were many uses found for this valuable metal. Today worldwide demand exceeds 5.5 million ounces. Approximately 20% of the goods manufactured in the world contain platinum or are produced using platinum.
Platinum electroplating is used to coat electrodes that are used in the water purification, refining of oil, and in the manufacturing of fertilizers, acids, and explosives. The automotive industry uses platinum plated catalytic converters to treat automobile exhaust emission. In the medical industry, platinum plate is used on instruments such as catheters and connectors for surgical equipment. The electrical and electronics industries use platinum plating for low voltage and low energy contacts. In electroplating, platinum is often used to coat titanium, niobium, or stainless steel anodes. It is also used in the jewelry industry. Platinum’s luster is much purer than silver or gold, enhancing the brilliance of gemstones and diamonds. Platinum plating does not tarnish or oxidize and it is hypoallergenic – very few people ever experience an allergic reaction.
Platinum electroplate coatings typically range from 0.5 to 5 microns depending on the application. It is applied utilizing a rack fixture that is submerged in a chloroplatinic acid or a sulfate based platinum solution. The finished product will range in color from tin white to a matte gray finish depending on the base metal finish, activation process, and the thickness of the platinum coating.
Silvex has the capability to platinum plate on brass, castings, copper, invar, kovar, steel, stainless steel, and titanium on items up to 24 inches in length.