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Degreasing copper cylinders for chrome plating


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August 13, 2021 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. We burn copper based and steel cylinders by laser. We use liquid as coolant while burning metal. Our problem is we're unable to chrome such rolls especially copper. We have tried anodic degreasing, etc., but no luck. The design burn also becomes unevenly etched or causes patches after chrome.

What is the best chemical?
What are recommended parameters? C.D, Temp, liquid proposed to degrease, time, volt, reverse current degreasing? Cathode material? Thanks in advance.

Kaushik Magiawala
- Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

August 2021

A. Hi Kaushik. We appended your inquiry to a thread where Garry Williams previously offered what sounds like a promising solution. Please try it and let us have your feedback! Thanks.

Luck & Regards,

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

August 21, 2021

thumbs up sign Thanks Mooney. I will try it but I need proportion in which three chemicals to be used. I have sent it to Garry Williams. Regards.

Kaushik Magiawala
Technical Advisor - Ahmedabad, India

August 2021

A. It's just a mix, not a compound, so I don't think there is a 'right' answer; you might experiment a bit because Gary is probably not monitoring his posting 17 years later ... but good luck.


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

Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:


Q. Dear sir.

I am an engraver on copper, zinc, silver, and steel. and now I am trying to go on to electroplating system.

The question is about degreasing, I need help about acid names, quantities, and how to work with a degreasing system.

Thank you for your help.

mitri maalouf
Mitri G. Maalouf
Acid etching and engraving - Kfartey, Metn, Lebanon


A. Mitri,

The best method we have found for de-greasing + de-oxidising copper cylinders prior to chrome plating is a mixture made up of hydrochloric acid , pure turpentine + methylated spirit . This should be pre-mixed and allowed to mature (at least 3 days). Once this has been applied, a good wipe off with meths + a dry wipe, + straight to plating ... good luck, I'll try to get back to you with % of mix.

Garry Williams
engraver/gravure - Lancashire, England

August 21, 2021

Dear Garry,

I am willing to try mix of HCl, Turpentine and methylated spirits. May I know proportion of each? Thanks in advance.

We try electrical too and have not succeeded but if your formula works...salute.

Ours is copper burning using laser followed by chrome plating.

Kaushik Magiawala
Technical Advisor - Ahmedabad

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