Umicore’s Electroplating business makes LEDs shine brighter

Umicore is not only a leading recycler, producer of catalysts and of rechargeable battery materials but also a key producer of sophisticated material for LEDs.  LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are semiconductor devices that glow when an electric current is passed through it. Umicore’s electrolytes are used as coating for LED carrier systems.

By a technique called electroplating a thin metal layer is put on a product to change its appearance or surface behaviour. The coating protects product against corrosion or adds value through its brilliant metallic surface. It enables, for example, brighter and better resolution on the displays of smartphones, tablet PC’s and TV’s with an even lower energy consumption.

Thomas Engert, Vice-President Electroplating explains: “Our detailed electroplating knowledge helps customers improve their overall process performance. We support our customers from the early development stage with test samples manufactured in technical service centres, and provide continuous on-site technical service support.”

Worldwide Umicore’s Electroplating business develops, manufactures and sells electroplating products for a wide variety of applications such as LEDs, jewellery, car bumpers and tyre rims, office furniture, bathroom equipment, telecom switchgear, electronic devices and even airbags. From its headquarters in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, the business unit works with an international customer base and ships 1,500 products to 60 countries. Customers are serviced and supported through local or global sales and service teams.

Innovation is key and recent improvements include next-generation products that not only reduce the quantity of silver required in the electroplating process but also lead to cost reductions.

In this video we explain how Umicore’s Electroplating business unit is enabling LEDs to shine brighter than ever and give the floor to one of our customers, Shenzhen ChongHui Surface Technology Development in China, who explain why they chose to work with Umicore.