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"Economical iron electroplating; How to make up ferrous sulfate solution"

Current question and answers:

February 8, 2021

We are looking for economical iron electroplating on copper.

Thanks and regards

K Singh
- Delhi India

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Electroplating and Electroforming
by Blum & Hogaboom
from Abe Books

February 11, 2021

A. Soft and thick deposits iron plating bath:
Ferrous chloride 300 gms
Calcium chloride 335 gms
Water 1 lit
6,5 A/dm2,90 C,pH 1.1,5

Hard deposits:
Ferrous chloride 240 gms
Potassium chloride 180 gms
water 1 lit
35 C, 3,5 A/dm2

According to Blum,G.;Hogaboom,W. Principles of electroplating and electroforming, New York 1949.

Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb Croatia

February 19, 2021

Q. Hi Good day
For the below process [from thread 37918] what do we maintain the pH level of the electrolyte solution?

A. I have found a simple and reliable plating solution for plating hard iron onto copper soldering tips:
1 liter Ferrous (II) Chloride 0.86 Molar (11% conc),
240 grams Ferrous Sulphate heptahydrate FeSO4.7H20, and
150 grams Sodium Citrate Na3C6H507.

I use about one cup of solution with a malleable cast iron washer in the bottom as a spent anode. Just hang the soldering tip into to solution as the cathode at about 50-100 mA and plating time and finish will vary with temperature and current. This produces a very hard and durable iron finish at low temperatures.

Michael G.


Khushwant Singh
- Delhi NCR

Previous closely related Q&A's starting in:


Q. Hi,

First thank you very much for reading my message. I am fully appreciative of those who respond to my question. I want to set up a tank with nickel^ferrous sulfate plating solution. This solution will be used to plate on copper material. Those who worked with solution before, please advise me what we need to set up the tank and how to make up a solution. My questions are: what chemical compositions pH range and what chemical used to adjust pH What type of anode How to avoid chemical solution from oxidation Any more information will be very much appreciated I have some information from Metal Finishing Book but it is not enough. I like more information from those who actually had worked with this solution.

PS: We want to use Ferrous Fluoborate solution but since there aren't company products for this solution anymore; therefore, we are trying different solution such as Ferrous sulfate instead.

Thank you so much,

Hanh Truong
manufacturing - San Carlos, California, USA


? What do you want to know about, nickel plating or ferrous sulfate? One has nothing to do with the other. If you get a little (lot?) more specific, maybe we can give you some direction.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida


thumbs up sign Thanks for replying. I meant ferrous sulfate. Sorry for the mistake.


Hanh Truong [returning]
- San Carlos, California

A. Hi, Hanh. Iron plating baths like these are not widely used; that's probably why you are having trouble locating a supplier. Iron plating is important in soldering iron manufacturing but not much else these days :-)

As mentioned in letter 37918, Lowenheim's "Electroplating" offers six formulations for iron plating baths. The simplest is probably the 240 g/l FeSO4.6H2O bath operated at ph 2.8-3.5 and temperature of 32-65 °C, current density 400-1000 A/sq. m. (You must avoid air agitation to keep from oxidizing the dissolved iron).

The same thread also offers, a reader's suggestion for a simple bath.

There are manufacturers of ferrous sulfate based iron plating solutions; you can buy the process from them and get with it all of the tech data information about installing and operating it. Alternately, you can do a literature search on "iron plating" and "soldering iron" and learn a great deal about how to plate iron onto copper.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. There are some chemical companies which can still supply the ferrous fluoborate solutions you may need.

Columbus Chemical Industries in Wisconsin does sell this as a solution.

Sherry Brock
chemical supplier - Columbus, Wisconsin

Please see also --

Topic 25982 "Iron Electroplating (Electrodeposition of Iron)"

Topic 28532 "Steel plating of copper etchings/engravings"

Topic 37918 "Electroplating of iron onto copper soldering iron tips"

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