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topic 4353

Protective exterior copper plating


I made a copper-plated steel outdoor public sculpture 2 years ago. I was told the copper plating would produce a protective barrier for the steel that would patina over time. The steel is already beginning to rust and corrosion is already invading between the plate and steel. Is there a copper plating process suitable for exterior applications? Is it possible to replate the sculpture properly?

Thank you.

Randy Gledhill
- Toronto, Canada


Hey Randy,

Porosity of the copper plate will lead to the steel rusting. Yes, I think you can strip and replate. The Copper plate will have to be very thick on the order of 0.05" and over in order to stand up to the weathering. At this thickness the plater is almost electroforming and will need to watch the stress levels of the deposit.

Hope this helps,

Fred Mueller, CEF
- Royersford, Pennsylvania

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