The Barrel Electroplating Process

H&E Plating Canada offers Barrel Plating services as the fastest, most economical means of moving metal components quickly through electroplating production lines. In an industry where time frames are tighter than ever, you can count on this proven plating process to propel your product through our Toronto plating shop and onward to the next step in your supply chain.

Barrel Plating Lines Operating Daily:

How Does Barrel Plating Work?

Also known as Drum Plating, barrels slowly spin as they are submerged in a sequence of cleaning, electroplating and passivating chemical solutions. The metal components within the barrel tumble as they are cleaned and plated. Typically, these parts are small relatively lightweight hardware that is resistant to damage and deformity.

Examples Of Metal Components Suitable For Barrel Plating:

  • Screws
  • Bolts
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Studs
  • Short Rods
  • Stampings
  • Formings
  • Electrical Components
  • Rivets
  • brackets
  • Small Custom Hardware, Etc

    The barrel below is nearly 7 feet long and capable of processing up to 350Lbs of electroplated components in one load! The 2 large cables at the ends of the barrel are called “danglers”. These will deliver the electrical current during the plating process.

A barrel used for metal plating in Toronto

The barrel in this image has been loaded with 200lbs of copper electrical components for tin plating. The parts spread from one end of the barrel to the other and complete the electrical circuit between the 2 danglers. This is the optimal barrel load for these specific items. It is important to remember that not all materials are created equally. An optimal load in a 7 foot barrel can range from 50lbs to 350lbs depending on the metals, dimensions and dynamics that occur during the tumbling process.

The most common plating barrel sizes found in Toronto, Ontario are between 3-5 feet. At H&E Plating we have a vast arsenal of barrel sizes with differentiating features to best serve the endless variety of custom components arriving at our docks every day since 1958. We service your purchase orders efficiently as possible, in terms of turnaround time and quotation as per your custom electroplating specifications.

Benefits of Barrel Plating:

The Benefits are simple: Barrel Electroplating saves our customers time and money and allows them to invoice their customers sooner. It provides your company an opportunity for higher profit margins and timely cash flow.

Here’s How > Barrel Electroplating Features:

  • Plating orders can be quickly loaded and unloaded by fewer workers in a shorter period of time, relative to Rack Plating
  • Tumbling action can speed up the cleaning process as the parts essentially polish themselves inside the barrel
  • Tumbling action that occurs in the barrel creates a very uniform plating thickness over the entire dimension of the components in a short period of time
  • Natural agitation of fluids in tanks by tumbling action makes chemistry/quality maintenance more simple
  • Loads can be spun dry in our custom industrial dryers in a matter of minutes
  • Loads are quickly packed back into the same containers they arrived in without need for special wrapping/protection



How Does Electroplating Work?

This is a fun, educational animation.

Need help with a Plating Specification?

You can find common ASTM specs on our Zinc and Cadmium Pages

We are working on a more complete Spec Database at the moment. In the meantime, the link below is a great resource.

Click For Specification Database

For any additional information, please call our Electroplating company at



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