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topic 4263

Looking for a liquid metal plating to paint onto copper


We have made several Hollywood style searchlights for use in advertising grand openings and sales for our clients. Most of the components are modern equipment, but the main transfer of electrical power from the generator to the searchlights is handled by a brush and copper slip ring assembly from the World War II era. We are having some minor problems with these assemblies which we believe we have narrowed down to the copper slip rings. Due to their age, they are slightly pockmarked. We believe that this can cause tiny fluctuations in the power that that are leading to our problems. Since this is our busy season with these, I cannot take them apart and have the rings nickel or silver plated.

Is there a commercially available liquid coating or painting (nickel, silver or other electrical conducting alloy)that can be brushed onto this copper to smooth out these pockmarks and enhance smooth electrical conduction?

Ed G
- Red Hill, Pennsylvania, USA


You might try electrospark deposition. It's a local, low temperature process that more or less welds a coating onto the surface. It might allow you to build up the pits and solve the problem. The units are relatively small.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
PVD Consultant - San Diego, California


This sounds like a good application for brush plating, Ed. No disassembly is necessarily required, as long as reasonable access can be gained to the slip rings you need plated. See our Products & Services/ Chemicals & Equipment directory and search for "brush plating". Good luck!

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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