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topic 11320

Economical zinc/tin alternative?


Being not that familiar with the latest plating advances, I am inquiring if there has been any devlopment in a more cost advantageous plating over zinc and/or tin. I have been given the cost reduction project to find alternative (less expensive) plating. In reading some previous inquiries, it seems that these are still the most economical.

How does black oxide compare? The parts being plated are numerous manufactured (usually CR steel) parts such as brackets, stems, covers, housings, terminals, screws, etc, and at various plating thicknesses. Most finished goods do not see extreme environmental conditions. They are used for controls in the appliance industry. Any insight to possible alternatives would be appreciated.

Nicole Bullard
- Chicago, Illinois, USA


Costs are relative, of course, so you may not agree when I say that zinc plating is dirt cheap. But it's certainly less expensive than any other plating; and it's less expensive than mechanical plating, galvanizing, or any other method of putting a sacrificial coating on the surface.

Depending on the particular parts, painting may be less expensive. Black oxide may be marginally less expensive than zinc plating (again depending on the parts), but it does not offer much corrosion resistance at all.

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

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