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Treatment cycle for Brass plating of steel


I wish to know how to go about plating steel items to have a brass finish. I do have suitable power supplies.

Jonne Gers
Gers Services


The literature on this topic goes all the way back to Faraday! A typical cycle would be:
1. Alkaline Degrease
2. Reverse alkaline electroclean
3. Direct electric acid
4. Bright Watts/Sulfamate nickel
5. Brass plate in Cu/Zn Ammoniacal cyanide bath.
6. Lacquer
The finish should knock your eyes out!

Dave Kinghorn
Dave Kinghorn
Chemical Engineer
SUNNYvale, California

November 30, 2008

Hi, Jon. Dave has given you the cycle, and you can find more complete info on the treatment cycles in the "must have" plating books, but here are two more things to keep in mind. First, think carefully about whether you can install a cyanide brass plating line or whether non-cyanide brass is more realistic these days. Second, what some shops do is bright nickel plate, as Dave has described, but then go to a brass toned lacquer or e-coat and skip the brass plating completely.

Obviously, you should see test parts before you decide whether these alternatives will be satisfactory. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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