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topic 18522

Conductivity and Throw


If the conductivity of a plating solution is increased(i.e. by adding acid or cyanide), then will the throw of that solution also be increased?

I would expect that solution efficiency would increase due to increasing conductivity since resistance losses would be less, however, usually increased efficiency results in loss of throw, right?

Mike Brewington
- Salisbury, Maryland, USA

First of three simultaneous responses -- 2002

I believe you are right on all counts, Mike.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


Second of three simultaneous responses -- 2002

There is throwing power and there is micro throwing power. The first is the mass of metal that you can plate and the second is the ability to plate in tiny crevices and recesses. Sometimes when you increase throwing power you will get a very poor (bad) plate. Speed is not always the optimum.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Third of three simultaneous responses -- 2002

Some years ago elder people (over 40) used to learn by reading pieces of paper glued together called books. They still exist and come in all sort of fashions and specialties. Internet, though fast and powerful still can't beat a good specialized book. About your question, there is also something called polarization that plays an important role in throwing?

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico


Efficiency and throw increase with increased conductivity in acid solutions. But in cyanide copper solutions raising the cyanide content above the upper limit will decrease the efficiency because of the tight complexing of copper allowing hydrogen to be plated in preference to copper. the same is true of zinc and Cadmium solutions except it takes a very large excess above the optimum to cause a significant difference.

don baudrand
Don Baudrand
Consultant - Poulsbo, Washington

(Don is co-author of the
book "Plating on Plastics")

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