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topic 10695

Formulation for blue nickel plating

An ongoing discussion from 2001 through 2015 . . .


Q. I am in search for a good formulation for Blue Nickel plating on brass article. The brass will be dull nickel plated first. After blue nickel plating the surface will be lacquered.

Nagaprasanna Bettadhapura
- Auckland, New Zealand


? Yikes, I don't even know what you're talking about. Sorry. "Blue nickel plating"?

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


Q. Blue nickel plating formulation of Nickel sulphate 50 g/l;Nickel ammonium sulphate 40 g/l;Zinc sulphate 40 g/l;Potassium thiocyanate 20 g/l; Ammonium sulphate 30 g/l; 3 butylene 1.4 diol 0.5 g/l at 50 °C with nickel anodes has been used for blue nickel plating for decorative application.We have been facing some problem of inconsistent color. Can you please let us know if there is any better formulations are available for this process

Nagaprasanna Bettadhapura [returning]
- Auckland, New Zealand


? Maybe you could be referring to Nickel/Cobalt formula?

Don Leaman
- Orrtanna, Pennsylvania

April 22, 2008

Q. I would also like to find out more about the blue plating process. The method of getting a blue polish finish doesn't matter. Nickel, Cobalt, Electroless, Anodized or not.

I know its being done but it's rare. And there is limited searchable information available with a google search.

How can I find out more? I would really like to plate some blue parts.

Tony Colette
- Canyon Country, California

October 14, 2009

A. Try a plating from a solution with 20 g/L of NiSO4.6H2O, 180 g/L Potassium pyrophosphate K4P2O7, 20 g/L K2CO3 and 12,0 up to 13,5 g/L Potassium cyanide (KCN).

Prepare first the Potassium pyrosulfate solution, then under strong stirring add the Nickel sulfate solution, add the Potassium carbonate. Let cool to room temperature. Add the final Potassium cyanide. Don't worry, no HCN will evolve as the cyanide will be complexed completely by the Nickel.

First the Nickel forms a Nickel pyrophosphate complex (green), then with the Cyanide it forms a Ni(CN)2 - pyrophosphate complex (yellow). It could be a K4Ni2(CN)4P2O7 complex. Do not add more KCN as the K2Ni(CN)4 tetracyanonickelate complex will be formed (orange). This complex is very stable and a plating is not possible anymore.
So finally you've got the solution. Plate at 0,1 - 0,2 A/dm2 under slowly stirring with Nickel anodes or stainless steel grid.

Now comes the point, check the plating time, as you will get a nice blue color after 1 minute 45 seconds up to 2 minutes 30 seconds of plating. If you plate with a Nickel underlayer you will get a grey-blue color and now comes the trick, if you plate after a Nickel (Watt as ex.) then you plate a Gold 2N or 3N layer and finally the blue Nickel you will obtain nice sky blue color. As it's a complex plating process and not purely metallic deposition. it's not easy to reproduce 100% the color. But it's working. Work with air exhaust as during plating a small amount of HCN evolves. The finished and cleaned Blue Ni surface is very sensitive to acids. Just protect the surface by lacquering.

lionel zollinger
Lionel Zollinger
- Bangkok, Thailand

Blue Gold Plating

August 30, 2015 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi

Anybody know about any Blue plating (Not blue chromate) like Blue gold plating Or Rhodium blue plating etc over brass metal. If any stable plating, please tell me.


Sanjeev Tanwar
Chemical Engg, - Chandigarh, India

August 2015

A. Hi. We appended your inquiry to a thread where Lionel offered a very interesting answer. You might also see US patent 4,416,742 "Black or Blue Rhodium Plating"


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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