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topic 12223

Can a Bimetallic Al/Cu Chassis be Plated?


I have an application where I swage a copper plug into an aluminum chassis. I'd like to electroless nickel plate the entire chassis after the swaging process. Can this be done? I assume it may be a problem because the cleaning processes used for each metal is different and may etch the other. Any info or suggestion would be helpful. The plating/coating needs to be electrically conductive. Currently I plate the chassis and plug separately and conductively bond the plug into the chassis.

Dave Laidig
- Chandler, Arizona, USA



Electroless Ni can be done. You have to use a mild cleaner, zincate the assembly and go to a cyanide copper, followed by a Ni strike and then the EN. None of this will damage your two metals. A good prior cleaning of both parts before assembling together with a judicious elimination of potential contaminants in the joint will obviously help success (no drawing greases or silicon compounds is a must).

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

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