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How Cadmium Plating Works

metal components coated on cadmium plating

Cadmium plating is a coating process which provides technical and protective benefits for materials, even in environments where the risk of corrosion is higher due to challenging weather and exposure.

Electroplated cadmium is a versatile and tough metallic coating. Cadmium by itself is a soft white metal that when incorporated onto powdered metal, copper, malleable iron, cast iron and steel becomes a coating that deteriorates before the material it protects. To maximize its corrosion protection, chromate conversion coatings are applied over the plated metal.


Cadmium plating provides an outstanding bonding surface for adhesives, for example, those used more frequently in aircraft manufacturing.


Cadmium is highly toxic, so it can only be used on surfaces that will never have direct contact with food. Companies are required to provide operatives with the proper respiratory equipment, and sufficient ventilation is vital. Its toxicity is the reason why alternatives, including gold, are used.


However, cadmium plating has many technical advantages over its alternatives:

– Outstanding corrosion resistance

– Superior solderability

– Resistance to bacteria and mold growth

– Conductivity and low electrical resistance

– Positive galvanic compatibility with aluminum

– Low-friction and good anti-galling due to its natural lubricity

– Makes a good paint base

– Good bonding surface for adhesives

– Can be used on several substrates like aluminum, brass, copper, iron and steel


Cadmium is a controlled material and can only be used in particular applications.


N&S Aero uses the latest cadmium plating equipment. We’re also actively involved in developing alternatives. Contact us today to learn more!