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"Barrel plating of flat parts"

An ongoing discussion beginning back in ...


Q. Hello:

We have a flat part that we are attempting to run in our barrel zinc line. We are having great difficulty in keeping the parts from sticking together. Do they make any type of insert or auger to break those parts apart as they tumble in our barrels? Suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

John Doyle
PM Industries - Springdale, Arkansas


A. Without further information i.e. part size, barrel size,type of barrel, type of electrolyte, etc., answers can not be too specific. I will just give you some of the old "tried and true" (or possibly just old plater's myths) methods for overcoming "nesting".
1. Hang a chain between the danglers to break up the mass
2. Mix the load with other parts or shot or "dog bones" to encourage tumbling and less nesting
3. Wedge plastic rod (or even broom sticks) in an X configuration inside the barrel to knock parts apart during rotation.
4. Reduce load size, use a larger barrel, etc.

Gene Packman
process supplier - Great Neck, New York


A. Sometimes nothing will work! If you do not believe this, go to a machine shop that has jo blocks in their QC section. I have seen numerous blocks that were "ringed" together and you could pick up a fairly long stick with many blocks from either end and they would stay together like they were super glued. If your parts are perfectly flat and have a trace of moisture, they will stick like they were glued.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Washers nesting and not getting cad coverage

September 7, 2018 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. We are plating thousands of washers (they pair with a grommet) per QQ-P-416 [link by ed. to spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil] , TY II Cl 2. The indention in the washer makes these want to nest with each other while processing so the washers that are nested only get coverage on the exposed portion. Any suggestions to keep them from nesting within each other? I can rack them, but costs get so high.
Thanks guys. First time poster but enjoy reading what you guys write.

J Lewis
buyer - Fort Worth, Texas USA

September 2018

A. Hi J. We appended your inquiry to a thread which explains the usual methods, while acknowledging that complete success may be impossible with some washers that were designed without barrel plating in mind. Best of luck.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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