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Hard chrome plating on Aluminum Bronze possible?



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An ongoing discussion beginning back in 2004 ...

2004

Q. I have an Aluminum Bronze (SAE660 ^C95400) part that will need a wear surface for a lip seal. Due to space constraints I cannot put a wear surface on by mechanical means. Can Aluminum Bronze be plated with a hard chrome or similar material? The surface material will need to have a Rockwell hardness of no less than C30.

Michael Kegel
graphic arts equipment - Vancouver, B.C., Canada
^


2004

A. Chrome would be an option. Just remember it is very brittle and if it is plated very thick (over 0.001-0.002") the underlying bronze may not be able to provide enough strength for every situation and the chrome might crack and spall, just like a sheet of glass put on a bed. If you need only 30Rc look for something less hard but more elastic, such as nickel.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
^


2004

Q. Thank you for the response Guillermo. We went with electroless nickel at .0005" thickness and it seems to be holding up well in testing. Btw- in my posting I meant to write that the parent material is Aluminium Bronze C95400 and not SAE660 bearing bronze in this instance.

Michael Kegel [returning]
- Vancouver, B.C., Canada
^


December 8, 2009

? As a matter of interest, how do you pretreat the aluminum bronze before the electroless plating? We have a current inquiry to plate some aluminum bronze components with a Watts nickel solution, and I would like to be able to guarantee excellent adhesion.

Geoff Slater
- Auburn, Alabama
^



September 17, 2018

Q. I want to plate 125 microns Hard chromium on Aluminium Bronze (ASTM B-150 UNS C 62500).
Kindly tell me the pretreatment method for the same.
I need to get good adhesion since I want to finish grind the plated surface to size.

Regards,

Ashish Kulkarni
- Belgaum , Karnataka, India
^



December 25, 2019

Q. I would like to echo Geoff Slater's question about electroplating over aluminum bronze. An hour's long Google search turned up only a single reference from a 1920 book claiming it was possible, but I'm skeptical:
The aluminum oxide layer that gives aluminum bronze its excellent corrosion resistance may be somewhat non-conductive and therefore make traditional electroplating difficult. It's a guess, but a zincate / electroless nickel process may be required instead.
Can someone please comment on this? I would love to be proven wrong as I prefer electrodeposition.

Felix Winkler
- Oakland, California, USA
^


December 30, 2019

A. Because of the lack of information online regarding the electroplating of aluminum bronze, I decided to plate a C95400 test coupon with 24K acid gold. The plating was applied directly over a recently cast & quenched piece that had been polished, electrocleaned, and dipped in dilute sulfuric / hydrofluoric acid mix.
The plating turned out well, adhesion appears to be good and coverage uniform.

Felix Winkler [returning]
- Oakland, CA, USA
^

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