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topic 1651

Plating on teryllium and beryllium copper


I would like to get some feedback on procedures for plating on teryllium and beryllium copper. I have been processing this material for many years, but have had varying results with adhesion. I have a process that is approximately 95% effective. If any one has any suggestions I would appreciate them.

Jeff Mills
metal finishing shop - Gorham, Maine



Many of the Be/Cu parts that we plate have been heat treated. In which case we use adnodic etching in a 10% sulfuric solution to remove the oxide scale caused by the heat treating process... then plate in an acid copper strike. From there you should be able to plate just about anything with good adhesion.


Gary Chester



Cyanide. Works every time. In the prep and in the bath. The plater's best friend.


Dave Kinghorn
Dave Kinghorn
Chemical Engineer
SUNNYvale, California


I am looking for a source of teryllium. Could you give me the name(s) of someone I could contact for availability and pricing ?

Regards, Rich

Rich Penman
- Ogden, Utah


Brush Wellman supplies beryllium and beryllium compounds. As far as preparing beryllium for plating, I found a PDF file from Los Alamos (unclassified) that deals with the subject at

They say to electroclean cathodically in 50 g/L KOH for 3 minutes at 0.5 amp/sq. in. using stainless anodes. Cold water rinse. Etch as anode in 50% vol. phosphoric acid with 10 mL/L hydrochloric acid for 5 - 10 minutes at 0.5 amp/sq. in. Cold water rinse. Immerse for 1 minute in a solution of 100 g/L ammonium sulfate and 50 mL/L sulfuric acid. Cold water rinse. Plate.

Christopher Hawkins
- Bridgeview, Illinois, USA

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