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Lead plating or coating of brass electrical connectors


Current postings:

August 7, 2021

Q. How to plate copper with lead?

aziz khan
- pakistan peshawar

"Modern Electroplating"
by Lowenheim
from Abe Books

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August 2021

A. Hi cousin Aziz.

sidebar I realize that this question was a follow-up to Geoff Smith's reply on topic 4153 about hard chrome plating of gun barrels, but unfortunately we can't let threads wonder too far off topic because then the readers can't find stuff scattered across 60,000 postings on other subjects; but worse, google 'de-lists' duplicative content and then our pages pretty much fail to exist for potential readers :-(
So we moved your inquiry about electrodeposition of lead to here.

This page should give you a general intro to the topic, and feel free to ask more detailed questions, but Lowenheim spends 21 pages on lead plating so it's a bit difficult to cull it to a one-paragraph answer appropriate to a forum like this :-)

Luck & Regards,

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

Closely related historical postings, oldest first:


RFQ: Lead plating or lead coating is virtually impossible today, but we have a need for it. We manufacture electrical connectors for heavy duty equipment, specifically battery connectors for lead/acid batteries. The connectors are made of brass. Most connectors are tin plated, which is readily done. We also have a need for lead plated or coated battery connectors. Conventional lead electroplating is virtually impossible today because of environmental regulations. We have been advised to source this overseas; we would rather do it here. We are open to all suggestions, all ideas.

John S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Racine, Wisconsin

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is outdated, but technical replies are welcome. No public brand/source suggestions please ( huh? why?)


A. You should look in Nov. 1998 Plating and Surface Finishing. There is a list of 13 companies which plate Lead.

George Shahin
George Shahin
Atotech - Rock Hill, South Carolina


A. I would check with manufacturers of the plating solutions to see if any of them sell solutions in the USA and who might be a jobshop.

Technic sells solder plating processes. I would guess that they also sell lead. Would solder possibly do?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


A. Last year I spoke with an individual who had a request similar to yours. Since Lead plating is in the same category as other heavy metals (cadmium, etc.), we suggested looking in another direction. First, we suggested a tin/zinc alloy on the brass. Then, just in case there was any migration of metals, a flash of nickel plating with tin/zinc on top.

To the best of my recollection, this alloy filled their need. I cannot tell you if they went on to use a plater for that purpose. The sacrificial alloys were originally intended for deposition on steel, but we have deviated from that in certain cases to satisfy a need.

I would suggest that you get a few pieces test plated with this alloy to test the corrosion resistance in your particular application.

ed budman eb sig
Ed Budman [dec]
- Pennsylvania
With deep sadness we advise that our friend Ed passed away Nov. 24, 2018


A. I don't see the problem with Lead plating, we do tons of battery connectors every year, mostly for the Europeans. I have had no problems with our environmental mob -- simply by removing the lead before it gets to the waste stream of the plant.

Dave Brackenridge
aerospace plating - Germiston, South Africa


RFQ: Lead coating on heavy copper needed.

Mike H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is outdated, but technical replies are welcome. No public brand/source suggestions please ( huh? why?)

How to electroplate lead on printed circuit boards


I want your help on the matter "how to electroplate lead on pcb" . it will be a great help if you describe the electroplating process of lead on copper such as the electrolyte, catalysts used and the voltage rating, etc.

Sooraj Mathai


Coombs' classic "Printed Circuits Handbook" [affil. link to book on Amazon] may be what you want. But I'm not quite clear on the question. Usually solder is plated on traces on the traces for solderability, but sometimes as an etch resist for work in process. Lead-free is the current standard, and pure lead would be plated onto circuit boards only very rarely. We can try to provide short answers to specific questions, Sooraj. Good luck.

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

September 8, 2010

A. LEAD PLATING process is not so tedious, but controlling the uniform deposition and also monitoring the effluent is, we are manufacturing cell connectors made of Copper, Aluminium & Terminals made of Brass, since 1985.

- Bengaluru, Karnataka, INDIA

January 18, 2012

Q. I have a small plating shop doing Tin & Copper Plating. Now I started on lead plating for battery hardware purpose (lead is sulfuric acid resistant).
I have a Lead Fluoborate chemical bath. Many times the lead plated nuts and bolts rust early on. The purpose of Lead Plating is not met.
I require assistance for lead plating on MS nut & bolts used for battery purpose and which are not corroded by the acid fumes.

Dhananjay Kukade
plating shop - Pune, Dist Maharashtra, India

January 25, 2012

A. Give an undercoat of copper / brass before lead plating to your MS bolts / fasteners.

Kishore Phadnis
- Mumbai, Maha., India

May 5, 2014

Q. I wish to start lead plating job work. Please do guide me how to start, what salt is used for lead plating, and other processes?

kamal chhajed
kamal traders - kota rajasthan india

April 2014

A. Hi Kamal. Ed Budman asks that we consider more environmentally friendly alternatives like nickel plating followed by tin-zinc plating -- have you considered and dismissed that? Dhananjay Kukade uses lead fluoborate as his lead plating salt and it's probably your best choice. Kishore Phadnis suggests an undercoat of copper/brass if you are plating steel. Please try to engage in the conversation and tell the readers what your substrate is, what kind of parts you are plating, etc.

But if you would rather be referred to books, "The Canning Handbook" [affil. link to book on Amazon, ... on AbeBooks] has a good 4-page subchapter on lead plating suggesting fluoborate; Lowenheim's "Electroplating" [affil. link to book on Amazon offers a 4-page chapter and explains why fluoborate is usually the reasonable choice, while his "Modern Electroplating" [affil. link to book on Amazon] offers a 21-page chapter which also covers the sulfamate and fluosilicate alternatives. Best of luck.


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

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