Plating on plating on plating

Could there be benefits to fabricating alloys, “quasi-alloys” and heterogenous conductor materials by a method of applying (in plethorae) platings of differing metals (perhaps in specific periodic orders) to construct macroscopic conductors or radial parts thereof?
I’m not sure where goes the line between such a heterogenous structure and what might be considered an alloy due to plating thickness.

Could this be used to tailor conductors whose skin-effect becomes (even more) negligible in the audio band? For example.
Now, why I would primarily like to distinguish such hypothetical composite materials from ordinary alloys is that, as I understand it, an alloy will always be inferior in terms of its lattice where imperfections caused by dissimilar atoms in non-perfect alignment would essentially create “distortion” (or something along those lines)
This technique, if applicable, might allow for what could essentially be considered alloys (for minimal thickness plating) but within which we’d have individual pure continuous bands of each constituent.

If this would in practice be ultimately expensive and time-consuming, do tell. Still, hypothesize on the possible properties.

The speed and control of laser-assisted plating/etching might be relevant.
Here’s a good article in Chinglish:

I don’t think so… plating has a couple of inherent issues. First, the thickness is difficult to control; I would think the behavioral difference for example between 1 micron and a 3 micron thickness can be quite significant. Second, the metallurgical structure of a plating will vary throughout it length.

Yes, this would perhaps need either more precise plating methods than available today, or significant manufacture time (->money)

What about chemical vapour deposition… Okay okay. Maybe just “no”. For now.

Let’s rather discuss the hypothetical properties of such a design, in perfected form.
Or just sensible multiplating in general. (As in, probably meaning solely two layers of plate) It has structural benefits in certain applications, it might have benefits in signal transmission. Or durability of conductors.

I think you are confusing plating and coating… two different things. PVD (physical vapor deposition) and CVD (chemical vapor deposition) are two different coating methods. You can build structures within both types, but the thickness of each methods is vastly different PVD can be sub-micron, but typically more in the 3-10 micron range. CVD is rarely below 10 micron and typically 14-24 micron thick.

I’m not sure either would be suitable for conductivity however…

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Do you mean something like Furutech’s NCF?

That’s just the typical plating of an alloy on top of another alloy. The OP as about using plating as a way to “build” layers/structures to change conductive properties. Not exactly the same thing…

From wikipedia:
“Recently, a method of layering non-magnetic and ferromagnetic materials with nanometer scale thicknesses has been shown to mitigate the increased resistance from the skin effect for very high frequency applications.[15] A working theory is that the behavior of ferromagnetic materials in high frequencies results in fields and/or currents that oppose those generated by relatively nonmagnetic materials, but more work is needed to verify the exact mechanisms.[ citation needed ] As experiments have shown, this has potential to greatly improve the efficiency of conductors operating in tens of GHz or higher. This has strong ramifications for [5G]”

So even nanometer scale layering is possible today. We have to get the investors ready to marry this technology with the audio cable business!
Of course, plausible theory will be needed first.

Mr. Galen, your input would be appreciated on the possibilities. Note however, this can stay hypothetical to a point - current manufacturing techniques don’t seem to exist yet for analog cable. We can of course talk about digital too.

Most all the current designs are nor fully vetted to the buyer as to HOW and WHY the design “work” the way they do. Design, design, design not materials is the bigger piece of the pie, and better materials require the foundation of the design to show an advantage.

Yes, audio has skin depth but the limited depth of penetration for GHz to benefit audio is dubious. Multiple smller wire can surely improve skin depth current coherence but the reason you use smaller wire is NOT specifically to improve skin depth coherent , but to manage the Vp non linearity through audio with adjustments to the DC properties. The skin depth comes along for the ride, and isn’t a bad thing but it isn’t “THE” thing you are trying to fixing.

Why buy a YUGO car with racing tires when a Ferrari with MS street tires will simply annihilate it? Get the design right. Until that is properly vetted…no new materials need apply. Second, the vetting of HOW the existing design works will rat out materials that act in the RF or DC region and aren’t beneficial to audio.

Else where I’ve shown where changes in conductors can be a problem not a benefit to certain attributes. Get the big stuff right. Most have little to no info on their cable’s operation and thus no idea what will improve it, or break it, with new materials and their properties.

I know good EM design seems boring, and we all want to goof around with exotic materials with NARROW ranges of true benefit…and of course apply it to 20 KHz audio (that’s like DC to a GHz cable!). Until I can figure out how to get the foundation right, I’ll never sell a house built with anything new above it. The benefits from proper EM design far outweigh any so called exotic material and some actually make things worse, not better, in the audio band.

Just saying,
Galen Gareis


Sure. Absolutely agree, though…
Few are materials scientists / metallurgists and cable designers simultaneously.
I do hope I’ll personally be able to dabble in both fields someday, for now I’m content on being a curious and passionate novice. In time…

It does NOT!

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I was absolutely not suggesting the referenced nanoscale multilayer technique should be applied as is to audio cables. Just thinking, if it’s possible starting from that scale, could there well be methods of actually producing macroscopic cabling that’s at least partly incrementally layered with uniform differing materials (not necessarily nanoscale), for example a “gradient” of copper and silver, possibly aluminium, that would appropriately impede the higher frequencies towards the surface and we’d have better EM propagation coherence for a single conductor?

Please correct me if this is actually impossible.
I don’t know…