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topic 1219

Titanium vs. steel anode baskets for Cyanide/Rochelle Copper Plating


Q. We are currently using titanium anode baskets in a cyanide copper plating solution used to plate zinc diecast. Do you see any problem with titanium? There doesn't seem to be any information regarding titanium as an anode basket, only steel.

The move to titanium was made because the steel anode baskets slowly dissolved. I have read information as to why steel would dissolve but I don't think it applied. The titanium baskets have been working very well. Have we missed something? Any recommended articles/texts?

Jeffrey A. Guernsey


A. I've used them for years, no problem. Just make sure you fill them with OFHC Copper in that Cyanide Bath.


Dave Kinghorn
Dave Kinghorn
Chemical Engineer
SUNNYvale, California

September 29, 2010 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. We are doing copper on inside surface of cylinder. Presently using copper pipe as anode. Can we use Titanium Baskets for rochelle copper plating. If we can use baskets we will save on wastage. If yes, which type of titanium is recommended?

Prasad Patwardhan
Plating shop owner - Ahmadnagar, India

October 2, 2010

A. Hi Prasad,

Recommend to use zirconium anode baskets (fill up with oxygen free copper slugs) whose anti-corrosive performance in rochelle copper plating bath is significantly higher than titanium baskets.


David Shiu
David Shiu
- Singapore

February 7, 2012 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Can you suggest which material should be used for anode baskets in cyanide copper plating?
copper cyanide 60 gm/ltr
potassium cyanide 6.5 gm/ltr
rochelle salt 20 to 45 gm/ltr
ph 13
temperature 60 °C

1) stainless steel (304/316)
2) mild steel
3) titanium gr-2

Vishal Pandya
- Mumbai, Maharastra, India

A. Hi Vishal. I'd suggest the titanium, or follow David's suggestion to use zirconium. Steel baskets work okay and have been the choice for decades, but there is a tendency to form iron cyanide complexes (prussian blue) which are not easily handled by conventional wastewater treatment.


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

Can steel anode baskets cause oxidation of copper cyanide plated parts?

March 30, 2014

Q. Hello, my question is, do you know about any problems from using iron (steel) anodes in copper cyanide baths? I have an argument about whether it could cause future oxidation of copper plated iron pieces. I think it is not a possible cause, but I have not got any data about this.

Thank you for your answers.


March 2014

A. Hi Mauro. Steel anode baskets for copper cyanide plating were already the conventional approach when I entered this industry more that 45 years ago. I do not believe that they have any bad effects on the plating, but that they can complicate wastewater treatment.


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

April 8, 2014

thumbs up signThank you very much Ted.

mauro krasmik [returning]

Anode baskets for copper plating since titanium is no longer available

April 10, 2016

Q. I need your help regarding Copper Plating. We use copper slab, so we required a cage in which the Copper can be held inside the solution during the process. Which material cage is suitable for the cage as now we hang the copper directly and this causes the wastage of copper?

Currently we are using Titanium cage as highlighted in pic, but now it is not available so please guide me for this. Kindly suggest me so we can overcome with this issue.

Warm Regards,

Dheeraj Pandey Delhi, India

June 2016

A. Hi Dheeraj. I can't understand why titanium anode baskets have become "not available"; it seems unlikely from here -- are you sure?

You didn't say what copper plating solution you use, but it doesn't look like an acid-based one considering the lack of any blue coloration. If it is an alkaline non-cyanide plating solution I think you can probably use steel baskets. If it is a cyanide plating solution you can use steel baskets, but it might cause some difficulty in wastewater treatment through the generation of cyanide compounds non-amenable to alkaline chlorination. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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