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"Looking for help with more complex high school plating experiments"


I am doing an advanced higher chemistry investigation into electroplating and I am looking for information and advice on bath compositions and items to be plated, so far all we have been able to find information on is simple experiments to plate pennies, for the course we need something more "scientific"... also we have been trying to find information on how to measure the quality of the resultant finish i.e., thickness, appearance, reflectiveness etc.

The school has access to waste disposal and lab facilities of its own (or at local Universities, etc., if that is necessary due to chemicals used) so dangerous chemicals for the most part, can be used. We also have to do a hazard analysis on the chemicals and process we use so any info on that would be appreciated. Thanks a lot

Alastair Leicester
- greenock, ayrshire, UK


You are asking for a synopsis of a huge amount of knowledge. I suggest you look in your library under metal finishing or electrochemistry. Also try contacting the Institute of Metal Finishing, Exeter House, Holloway Head, Birmingham - they are the professional trade association for these activities and are actively promoting the technologies in schools.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


Bath compositions are available from the advanced higher starter investigations booklets - for the (nickel) Watt's Bath, the Neutral Chloride Zinc Bath and the Bright Acid Copper Bath, although by now it is probably too late to advise you of this.

Gary McDowell
- Elgin, Moray, Scotland

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