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topic 23536

Spray finish of silver nitrate, especially on styrene / polystyrene

chrome paint  Gold Touch  J G Nikolas  M and M Metallizing


A discussion started in 2006 & continuing through 2017

(2006)

Q. I'm associated with trading of building materials in Dubai. I wanted to know if it's possible to metallize the surface of polystyrene with silver and the procedure for it ... any help in this regard will be highly appreciated

Ahmed Jawwad Ali
attractive building materials - UAE


(2006)

A. Yes, it is possible to metallize polystyrene but there are many severe limitations & handling restrictions. What are the dimensions of the items you are trying to metallize and what will be the specific end use? We need more information before describing a proper process. Thanks.

blake kneedler
Blake Kneedler
Feather Hollow Eng.
Stockton, California



(2006)

A. Dear Ahmed,

Silver tends to get dark after a while, depending on the air, moisture, and temperature. Thin layers of silver already become ugly after a week.
Silver is not a suitable metal for your plans.

It is much better to use a more stable metal; like gold.

Ruud Kooijman
- The Netherlands


(2006)

A. Polystyrene can be coated with silver and there are many ways of doing it. The problem comes in making it stick. The simplest way is to use polystyrene with about 5% butadiene in it and then etch the copolymer prior to electroless metallising. Alternatively you can use plasma etching to prepare the surface. The best way to do deposit the silver is by silver spray - the old silver mirror process. However, you need top provide more information about what you intend to do and its final end-use.

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



(2003)

Q. Dear sirs
I recently came across a company in the course of my business that had sprayed a silver nitrate solution onto a piece of styrene having first primed with a PU filler. They then used an activator (Acid) which resulted in a superb chrome finish that was then washed over with distilled water before application of a finish coat of a clear PU lacquer. My question is have you come across this process and if so do you have an idea on how to achieve this. I have been trying for several months to find out more information on this process. The whole procedure was done with a conventional spray gun.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Spinks
- Birmingham, West Midlands, UK


(2003)

A. Hi, Trevor,

This sounds like "two-part silvering" wherein silver nitrate and a reducing agent are simultaneously sprayed onto a surface to reduce a silver film onto it. You can probably research the technology successfully by searching for "Brashear process". Good luck.

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


August 19, 2009

A. I have recently got training and bought the system from a company in Shenzhen in China. The process is very simple. Just need the Silver Nitrate mixed with distilled water. Add 100 g Silver Nitrate in 20 Liters of distilled water called solution A; and make Solution B by mixing Ammonia in distilled water 1:20 and spray with a twin nozzle gun.

Base coat is PU, Spray chemicals named K and S wet-on-wet then A+B; and over coat can be PU or UV. You can make silver, gold and any metallic colour. The technology, spray machine and materials are available for sale in China.

Masood Tariq
- Lahore, Pakistan


April 22, 2011

Q. I want to know about silver spray plating technology by 5-gun machine. I read your article but I do not understand "S" wet on wet chemical. Kindly send me info on S chemical.

zarrar ahmad
plating shop - Delhi, India


Polyurethane Sealants

April 23, 2011

A. Hi Zarrar,

There are many suppliers of chrome-look paints, including the advertisers who make this site possible and who are shown in the banner at the top of the page. You can correspond directly with them if you wish.

But this discussion has mixed together a generic discussion of spray finish silvering, with specific instructions from one particular Chinese brand, so it is getting confusing. It sounds like parts K and S of that particular system together comprise a two-pack base coat before the silvering. "Wet-on-wet" simply means that one part is sprayed first, and then the second part is sprayed on before the first part has dried.

Regards,

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


June 14, 2011

Q. I want to know what is the k and s, which is used in the silver spray plating?

ankit adeshra
plating shop - baroda


June 14, 2011

A. Hi, Ankit. Masood explained what k and s meant to him, which I tried to clarify for Zarrar.

It's always difficult to know what shorthand or slang someone is referring to without the complete context.

Still, I'd go with Masood's explanation that they are letters assigned to the two components of a polyurethane base coat by their Chinese manufacturer. You can learn more about this from the wikipedia entry on polyurethanes at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyurethane, or by googling for "two-component wet-on-wet polyurethane". Good luck.

Regards,

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



August 7, 2016

Q. Hi,
Can you please give me some information on tin II chloride dihydrate perfect mixture? Because I'm so sure my mixture on this is having problems. The silver reaction is very slow, yellowish, non stick. My mixture is 5 g/L tin, 10 mL HCl and D.I. water.
Please help.
Thanks

Andy Tan
- Malaysia, penang


August 2016
wikipedia
Tin II dihydrate

A. Hi Andy. Sorry, I do not even know whether tin II chloride dihydrate is a good reducing agent for this particular silvering operation or not.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


August 7, 2016

A. Hi Andy
Any chloride or hydrochloric acid will react with silver nitrate to give a precipitate of silver chloride. It is a standard test for chlorides.
Reducing silver nitrate to produce a silver deposit requires handling strong and potentially hazardous chemicals.
If you do not fully understand the chemistry it would be better to find an alternative process.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire,
       England



August 9, 2016

thumbs up signHi Mr.Geoff,
Thanks for your information. I has successfully found out the problems and at the same time success my formula by using tin II chloride dihydrate and HCl.

Once again, thanks guys

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia penang


August 18, 2016

Q. Hi,
I have a question.
1. How to make my silvering chrome looks whiter and shine?
2. What is the name of chemical when spray on it for easy to blow off the water?

thanks

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia penang


wikipedia
Isopropyl_alcohol
September 2016

Hi Andy.
2. Either isopropyl alcohol or mild detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate can improve rinsing.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


September 26, 2016

A. Tin II Chloride in this process or any Spray Silvering process is to seed the non conductive surface with an active metal that will make the reduced silver stick to it and form the silver mirror, it's prepared by mixing about 5 grams of Tin II Chloride with 25 ml of HCI then adding about 1 L of deionized Water (DI Water); after the piece has been degreased, and its surface tension has been lowered (wetting agent) the sensitizer will be sprayed and allowed to seed the surface for at least one minute but no more than 3 minutes.

Some call it sensitizer or Activator, I have used Zinc Chloride (zinc oxide + HCl) and Magnesium Chloride (salts from the pharmacy) and they have worked just as good.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua


September 27, 2016

Q. Hi,
Thanks for the information.
And how to make silver look like white platinum gold after the silver been done? Any idea what to add in the silver?

Thanks

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia pg


A. Hi Andy. As you can see in the banner ad, companies like Gold Touch [a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and G.J. Nikolas [a finishing.com supporting advertiser] offer the tinted topcoats you seem to be talking about. If you want to do your own tinting of topcoats you probably have to do some reading on paint formulation.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



January 16, 2017

Q. Hi,
Can you please teach/show me the steps/how to re-spray on chrome without removing the faulty chrome?
(Example: peel off touched by finger after spray or some area not turning into chrome).

Thanks

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia, Penang


January 18, 2017

A. If the Silvering did not go well(many reasons for that), what I do is use dilute ferric chloride, clean very well and start again.

But if this happened after the silvering has been clear coat it, then you must wait for the clear to fully cure and start from that as a base.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua, Nicaragua.


January 22, 2017

thumbs up signThanks a lot..

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia, Penang


March 4, 2017

Q. Ted / Marvin,
I have few questions to ask regarding silvering:-
1. How long I can leave the item after silvering without spraying top coat?
2. How long I need to wait to spray top coat after silvering (best results)?
3. Now I'm using Brashear Process preparation solution. On this formulation, there is a (Reverse solution) wrote there. And this is the only step I didn't use it. Is this important for the whole formula? Why and for?

Thanks

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia, Penang


March 7, 2017

!! Hi,
Anyone please help me. URGENT.
What can I do when too much ammonia added into silvering solution?
Now when I spray out the solution it's completely smelling of ammonia.
Help please.

Thanks

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia, Penang


March 8, 2017

A. The most you can wait is two hours, but if you can force dry the piece and then allow for about 15 minutes to cool down, that will be best or one hour air dry.

As for too much ammonia, I am afraid that you just need to use what you have, that is why when experimenting I always try to use the least silver nitrate as I can because its quite expensive, the only steps I know are, Mix 3 grams of Silver Nitrate on about 500 ml of Di water, then add about 3 grams of sodium hydroxide, then just enough ammonia to completely dissolve the silver hydroxide complex, some book references advise to leave a very small amount of the hydroxide at the bottom, just enough to see it, that will guarantee that you are not using too much ammonia.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua Nicaragua


March 9, 2017

Q. Hi Marvin,
Thanks for the top coat information.

Regarding to what you say on my mistake, I don't really understand what you mean on this ("As for too much ammonia, I am afraid that you just need to use what you have").
As what I mean on my question is, I already made a mistake when mixing the solution. What do I need to do to save/undo my failure solution? It'ss really wasting money if I pour the solution away and this solution is 4L not 1L.

Thanks.

Andy Tan [returning]
- Malaysia, Penang


March 9, 2017

A. I am afraid that you would need to work with what you have now (should be able to silver without any issues, just need to use breathing protection). So far there is no way to remedy this without using more silver nitrate to compensate for the extra Ammonia.

Marvin Sevilla
- Managua Nicaragua


March 10, 2017

thumbs up sign Hi Marvin,
I already understand what you mean. I will try it later.
Thanks a lot.

Andy Tan [returning]
- Penang, Malaysia


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