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"Preparing Bismuth for Plating, Plating onto Bismuth"


Q. We have been asked to blacken fishing weights made from bismuth. Lead weights are banned in the UK because swans eat them and become very ill.

I have two options for producing a black finish (zinc and black passivate, copper and black oxidise), but I am interested to know what pre-treatments I should carry out prior to plating. I have checked my normal sources of unusual problems in the plating shop, but I can find no reference to plating onto bismuth. Can anyone help?

I would be equally pleased if there was a chemical blackening process that I could use - so suggestions along these lines would also be helpful.

David Grimes
David Grimes
plating company - Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom


A. Do you need a process for rack or barrel finishing?

tom pullizzi animated    tomPullizziSignature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania

August 27, 2013

Q. I am making a decorative surround trim piece for an antique car. I am wondering if I cast the part in Bismuth, can it then be triple plated.

Wayne Elsworth
- St. Thomas, USVI

April 8, 2016

Q. Can Bismuth be copper plated?

William Reese
UBATC College - Vernal, Utah, USA

April 2016

Hi folks. I've never heard of plating onto bismuth. So, like David, I reviewed the usual suspects, and came up empty; sorry.


But Bismuth reportedly will dissolve in hydrofluoric acid, concentrated sulphuric acid, nitric acid, or oxygenated hydrochloric acid, so -- guessing -- it sounds like it should be possible to activate it for adherent plating.


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

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