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Electro plate aluminum?

I need to mount an EMC-RFI shield box over load cell and pc board, Since anodized aluminum is an insulator I can't simply bolt a steel box to it. Can the aluminum be nickel plated (or other conductive material)? How about Iridite? Is that a good conductor? Product will be used indoors in hospital environment.
David Hale
- Carol Stream, Illinois, USA

First of three simultaneous responses -- 2006

1. mask the contact area in the anodizing tank, or
2. Yes, you can electroplate tin, nickel, zinc, or other, How To books are available from finishing DOT com or
3. There is a proprietary process on the market for electroplating silver in the pores of anodizing and hence making it conductive, cannot name proprietary on this link.
robert probert
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
supporting advertiser
Garner, North Carolina

Second of three simultaneous responses -- 2006

Yes aluminum can be plated with a conductive metal coating. Ask your local plating shop if they can plate aluminum or tell you who does in your area. The process we use is etch, desmut, double zincate and nickel strike. Then you can pretty much plate whatever you want on it.
Hope this helps
Trent Kaufman
Trent Kaufman
electroplater - Galva, Illinois

Third of three simultaneous responses --

Aluminum can be nickel plated. Anodizing has to be removed first for the same reason (little or no plating current would flow thru an anodized part). If your part can be deanodized w/o problem, any good plater will be able to plate it with Ni, Cu or many other conductive metals. Iridite is not a good conductor either.
Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

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