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topic 29724

Electroplating monel alloy on steel


Q. Monel (Ni-Cu alloy)is an excellent alloy against HF environment. I want to electroplate it in lab on steel. I plan to electroplate alternate layers of Ni & Cu or Cu/Ni (I don't know if there is any difference?) and then subsequently heat treat it--from different baths of Ni/Cu solutions or from same bath. In any case what should be the solution compositions and operating parameters. If electroplating is not possible then is there any simple (not more costly then electroplating )lab preparation method available? . Any kind of results from plating are acceptable.

Mazhar Ul Islam
student - Islamabad, Pakistan

Electrodeposition of Alloys
by Abner Brenner


A. Such things are very difficult, but not necessarily completely impossible.

The trick, if I can be so cavalier as to write off something so difficult as "a trick", is that copper will deposit preferentially from simple salt solutions, due to being more noble by 0.6 volts, so you must chemically complex it in a workable fashion.

There is no substitute for Brenner's exhaustive tome, "Electrodeposition of Alloys", which has a whole chapter just on copper-nickel and copper-iron alloys. It might be available in a university library. Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 21, 2016 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I've been unable to find cabinet hardware in a cupronickel/copper-nickel finish. Therefore, aside from casting my own, I'm wondering if it would be possible to to a cupronickel plating. What would happen if you put both a copper AND nickel sulfate into the water?

Ryan Mathew
Hobbyist - Blaine, Minnesota, USA

November 2016

A. Hi Ryan. Sorry but there is no chance at all of that working. There is a 0.6 volt difference between copper and nickel, which means the deposit will be essentially 100% copper even when you mix equal quantity of nickel into the solution. I'd suggest looking into patinas of some sort for decorative purposes. Good luck.


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

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