Electroplating Laboratories

© Fraunhofer IPA

We offer our customers experimental know-how, the necessary technical equipment and accompanying chemical and metallographic analysis.

Our services range from consulting, process development, design and construction of plants in cooperation with plant engineering partners right up to the seamless integration of new technologies into your factory.

Automated laboratory plant

Our automated laboratory plant is a small electroplating facility built to industrial standards on a 60 l scale. It features a complete three-stage pretreatment section as well as two versatile plating stations, including comprehensive rinsing equipment and peripherals such as filter pumps. The plant can be used for a wide variety of projects and is fitted with the latest control technology.

Electrolytes can be tested and further developed under practical conditions. For example, on behalf of customers, we carry out impartial endurance tests on electrolytes to test the behavior of organic additives and their degradation products or to obtain information about the long-term stability of anodes. The versatility of the plant is reflected in the projects it has been used for up to now, starting with electroforming copper foils for battery applications and chromium plating projects right through to implementing AI approaches in electroplating systems.

Project example:

Electrolyte test benches

An evolutionary process over a period of 15 years has resulted in development platforms for electroplating research and development that are unique in the world. The goals we set ourselves when setting up these systems have not only been achieved but have also been and continue to be met through our ongoing further development work. We aim for high efficiency and informative value in experimental operation coupled with maximum reproducibility of the tests and scalability of the developed processes for the benefit of our customers.

Today, these systems enable us to take on projects in process development that cannot be accomplished with conventional beaker or immersion bath setups. We use them to develop all types of electroplating electrolytes, and also have specially adapted test benches for hard chrome plating and anodizing. The test benches are supplemented by various standard samples, e.g. to map current density profiles, and a sophisticated evaluation logic. Our customers benefit from scientifically-founded, reproducible and scalable process developments tailored to their specific requirements.

Project examples:

Anodizing plant

Anodizing processes, especially hard anodizing processes, necessitate development facilities with a special infrastructure, such as rectifiers and cooling systems. Our 80 l scale anodizing plant is equipped with a powerful cooling unit and flexible rectifiers, including pulse rectifiers. This allows us to carry out developments on all light metals relevant to anodization on the scale of a small industrial anodizing plant in order to meet diverse customer objectives. Successfully handled topics range from increasing the energy efficiency of anodizing to the selective adjustment of defined layer pore sizes.

Glove boxes

To develop certain processes, such as those for electroplating extremely  nonprecious metals for energy storage applications or for corrosion protection, layers may need to be applied in the absence of atmospheric humidity and oxygen. Our glove boxes are specially designed so that we can develop electroplating processes under different atmospheres. We use these fundamental approaches in projects in order to develop completely new coatings, for example for electroplating specific aluminium alloy layerss or lithium layers.

Project examples:

Chemical analysis

The chemical analysis laboratory is comprehensively equipped and adapted for electrolytes used in electroplating. An integral part of the electroplating technical center, the laboratory is an important facility which we use to support process development projects. We also use it to analyze electrolytes when helping customers with production issues, for example. In addition to analyzing the basic inorganic and organic constituents of electrolytes, we specialize in analyzing the degradation products of various organic additives. Even more important than our equipment is the decades of experience our experts possess in electroplating electrolyte analysis and their understanding of the interactions between the various components in the electroplating production process.

Our expertise:


Layer properties can only be tailored to specific applications if they can also be measured. Our metallography laboratory is therefore equipped with all the necessary resources to work on coating plating development projects. In addition to our range of equipment, our expertise in preparation is also of particular importance. Especially when it comes to assisting customers with damage claims. Here, the smallest flaws often have to be worked out by means of manual preparation in order to establish the causes of defects for our customers. Conventional metallography is also supported by special measuring techniques. For example, we have developed a system for integrated tribology and corrosion (tribocorrosion) measurements that is unique in the world.   

Our expertise:

This might also interest you

Electroplating expertise at Fraunhofer IPA

Process development for electroplating

Projects in electroplating (in German)