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topic 2310

Conductive Coatings for Brass and Copper plating


We are a low voltage lighting manufacturer.
We sell various track plated in nickel, copper and brass that is charged with 12 volts. The material plated is aluminum. We also have a brass track that we plate in copper and nickel. We no problems with the nickel plated tracks.

This is the problem (or excuse me) challenge:

The track needs to conduct electricity (12V) over the entire plated surface. This presents a problem with the copper and brass finishes. Without lacquering the track of course it tarnishes. If we lacquer the track it is the not conductive.

We are able to get around this where each fixture grips the track. A brass cone pointed set screw cuts through the lacquer to the conductive plated aluminum. This screw is able to conduct the small amount of power needed to power the single 50w bulb. The problem is at the power feed that feeds the entire track.

Is there a brite decorative conductive COPPER plating that will not tarnish? Without using a lacquer.

Is there a brite decorative conductive BRASS plating that will not tarnish? Without using a lacquer.

Is there a conductive coating that can be apllied to protect the plating (in place of a lacquer)?


Tim Brown
- San Carlos, California


I can't guarantee that these solutions are good enough to solve your problem, but I would suggest at least trying:

1). Chromating the material; copper and brass will accept chromate.

2). Benzotriazole. I'm not a chemist, so someone may be able to explain better, but this material helps clean copper and keep it tarnish free.

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

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