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Plating onto Calcium Carbonate or Seashells


I am interested in finding out how to plate a decorative coating on porous calcium carbonate. The part I want to plate is very much like a seashell.

Bruce M. Clemens
Stanford University - Stanford, California


You will see the general approach for plating miscellaneous non metallic objects of art at

Two cautions: first, these hints cover only the very basic ideas; it is not easy to do this kind of plating, and you will be faced with much experimentation and development effort. Second, a porous carbonate will probably dissolve almost explosively in acid; you will need to seal the item very effectively in some kind of wax or lacquer before you start the plating process.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey



I agree with Ted again. I would recommend an immersion process. This would allow for more detail to be preserved. Additionally, you would have a larger selection of coatings to select from, and a cost savings.


Todd Miller
Oceanside California

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