Palladium has a silver-blue color, low density and low melting point. Its unique properties make it useful for a wide range of plating applications. It can be plated with nickel and silver, as well as gold. In combination with nickel, palladium can resist cracking under stress in ways that either metal alone cannot. It is often used in applications that require heat, such as a barrier between base metals. It is also commonly used as a replacement for cyanide gold in electronic connectors.
Plating with this alloy produces a deposit that is glossy and malleable. It occludes little hydrogen and is highly resistant to corrosion, such as nitric acid. In addition, it can be plated to a very thick thickness with few cracks and excellent adhesion properties.
Aside from its anticorrosive attributes, palladium nickel is also much harder than gold. It can withstand the extremes of heat that are common in industrial processes and other demanding environments. It can also be plated to provide a barrier between different base metals that must be separated for specific applications.
Palladium plating is also very stable, making it less sensitive to fluctuations in temperature or chemical concentration during the plating process. This makes it an ideal choice for use in applications that require frequent handling and transportation. Xometry offers several types of Pd-Ni, including Type II – a popular palladium-nickel alloy that combines 80% palladium with 20% nickel. This is the most frequently used alloy for gold-plate alternatives, such as electrical connectors and contacts.