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Bright, reflective, inexpensive and easily applied finish over copper?

Nope, I am not a plater. Nor do I have any experience in plating. Yes, I am clueless! And no, I am not going to do the plating.

Here is the situation. We are putting an optical target on a printed circuit board. The target consists of simple stripes about 1/10th inch wide and are the copper conductors. The target is etched just like normal printed circuit traces. However the target needs to remain bright and shiny, but bare copper corrodes in fairly short order.

The coating does not have to be mechanically strong. It is just a surface for light to reflect from. It does need to be smooth. It will be inside a sealed motor, so while it will get up to a maximum of 85degC, it will never see any nasty weather or ugly environments.

The coating should be inexpensive and easy to apply. A wash of some kind would be easy.

Michael Lipphardt
Potential customer - Warrensville, Hts, Ohio, USA
May 29, 2008

May 28, 2008

Hi, Michael. If I've understood, bright copper would meet your needs. if that is the case, then a dip in benzotriazole [on eBay or Amazon affil links] preservative followed by a lacquer or clear coat sounds easiest.


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

Is the clear coat required with the benzotriazole preservative?

Michael Lipphardt
- Warrensville Hts, Ohio, USA
May 30, 2008

May 30 2008

Benzotriazole is a preservative which does not require a subsequent lacquer or clearcoat; it's fully functional by itself. But like anything else, it has its limits. I don't know whether just a wipe with benzotriazole will meet the corrosion resistance needs of your product or not. Sorry.


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

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