Silver plating is a practice that is done fora variety of reasons, on both individual and commercial levels. Silver plating is sometimes added to other metals simply to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the item. It is also used as a way of increasing the conductivity of another metal, particularly in electronic devices. Regardless of the reason for plating an item, the process is the same. All it takes is a few basic supplies, and you can add silver plating to just about anything you can think of.
Before you can plate, it is important to make sure that your parts are free of tensile stress, pits and cracks, miscellaneous metal or non metal inclusions, and tool marks. All of the above if not addressed properly before plating will cause reel problems immediately during or after plating and sometimes may go unnoticed until it is in the hands of the customer. The most common silver plating problems are poor adhesion and voids in plating coverage. Electroplating with silver should only be done after all mechanical and thermal operations and treatments have been completed. These include heat treatments, forming, bending, machining, soldering and welding. A proper under-plate should be applied such as a copper, nickel, or combination of the two with copper first then nickel. Also just as necessary and can be done without under-plating is the use of a silver strike prior the final silver plate. Finally an anti-tarnish coating may or may not be applied to the silver plating. This is dependent on whether or not the silver must withstand tarnishing.