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"Canning Black Chrome Plating - Insoluble catalyst component?"


Q. We are a commercial plating plant based in New Zealand. We run a Macdermid/Canning Black Chrome. The catalyst appears to consist of three components. When we mix the catalyst into the solution one component doesn't fully dissolve and forms a fine precipitate. I would like to know:

1. Is this normal?
2. Is this a fluoride compound that is partially insoluble and present to help maintain a minimum concentration of fluoride, i.e., as the fluoride concentration decreases the compound dissolves to replenish it?
3. Would anyone be able to tell me what the compound is?

Simon Lee
electroplating shop - Auckland, New Zealand


Chrome plating only works when there is an almost exact ratio of chromic acid to catalyst. Special partially soluble fluoride compounds can help maintain the correct ratio automatically. Please see our FAQ on Chrome Plating Catalysts.

Chrome Poem

A. Hi Simon. Per the Canning Handbook:


So, yes, it sounds like this solution contains a partially soluble fluoro-silicate or similar catalyst.

There must be a reason you are not asking Macdermid? Obviously, they can't tell you everything about their proprietary products, but they can certainly tell you the answers to your first two questions?

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

thumbs up signYou would think so, we asked but they didn't know.

Simon Lee
- Auckland, New Zealand

January 6, 2014

Q. Hi Mr Simon Lee,

We have a stock of Canning black chrome additive but because it is classed as an export item only from UK, I have been unable to get a datasheet from MacDermid. It appears that you run this process and I would like to ask if you have the additions information datasheet?

We currently run black chrome but the solution is getting a bit tired, and I would like to make up new solution using black chrome addition agent.

I would be most grateful if you could assist me in this matter. Thank you

Ken Perks
- England, UK

"The Canning Handbook of Surface Finishing Technology"
from Abe Books

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January 2014

A. Hi Ken. Simon's posting was from many years ago and we're not sure how to reach him or whether he ever views this page anymore.

But the Canning Handbook has several pages about black chrome plating, with datasheet information on the Econo-Chrome BK bath (assuming that is what you have) =>

The handbook notes that the trademark is owned by DuPont. And although that may be dated info considering the way trademarks, product lines, and companies are bought and sold today, with CEO's playing at pitching pennies, the point is that if you google "Econo-chrome BK", you'll find that it is a widely used bath, not just a Canning product, so you may be able to get a data sheet from other vendors. Good luck.


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

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