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topic 20963

Direct Silver Plating onto 304 Stainless Steel (or steel)

A discussion started in 2003 but continuing through 2018


Q. Dear Sir,

I am looking for information on DIRECT SILVER PLATING on 304 Stainless Steel without any under coat of Ni or Cu etc. Can you please help me. This information is required because of academic curiosity to conduct further investigations on the subject.

G Ananda Rao
Indian Institute of Science - Bangalore, Karnataka, INDIA

"Electroplating Engineering Handbook"
by Larry Durney
from Abe Books
info on Amazon


ASM Metals Handbook
0-15V 0-5A


A. Ideally the stainless steel should be cleaned in a suitable alkaline cleaner, followed by a good cathodic cleaner. It is possible to plate straight on to stainless steel by using a silver strike (based on cyanide) but the preferred route is to use a copper cyanide strike, followed by silver. The essential thing is to get the metal oxides off the stainless steel and cyanides are quite good at that.

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


A. Direct silver plating bath for stainless steel:

20 gm. silver chloride
40 gm. potassium carbonate
40 gm. potassium ferrocyanide
Stainless steel anodes, if you want to use silver anodes add 100 gm.sodium sulphite/ from one Russian book.

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

2003 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I am looking for the process of Silver Plating on Low CARBON STEEL / Stainless Steel Wires of SWG 36.

Manish M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Kolkata, West Bangal, India

July 2012

Hi Manish.

As you see, we appended your inquiry to a previous thread which may answer it for you. It is best to copper plate then silver strike first. A responder in letter 38532 also suggests this sequence. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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How to silver plate nichrome

July 7, 2018

Q. How can I do silver plating on nichrome based metal plate?

sandip panchal
shree chamunda silverplating works - Ahmedabad, gujarat, india

July 2018

A. Hi Sandip. As a silver plater you already recognize the several steps involved in silver plating, and you already recognize the various things that can go wrong or cause difficulties, such as poor adhesion, poor coloration, poor throwing power with heavy thicknesses in one area and low thicknesses in another, etc. What problems are you having and what are you trying to silver plate -- nichrome wire, strip, or individual items? Are you brush plating, rack plating, or barrel plating? Can you use a nickel strike? Are you using conventional cyanide silver? Do you do cyanide copper under it?

Nichrome is deliberately of high resistance, so it is possible that its resistance is causing you problems with your racking or barreling arrangements. It is difficult to activate, like stainless steel. It is also difficult to etch.

Please be specific about what you've tried and what specific difficulties you are encountering. Thanks!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

July 13, 2018

Q. Sir, I tried to do copper plating on it but the coating is never sustained … I even used sodium cyanide for doing silverplating, but same thing happens again. The layer is never sustained on the metal.
So my biggest question is: is electroplating on nichrome possible or not?
And i've also done everything … I used copper sulphate, sodium cyanide, barrel plating …

sandip panchal [returning]
shree chamunda silverplating works - ahmedabad, gujarat, india

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