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"Zinc Plating of brake components?"

January 21, 2010

As a toolmaker of 20 years, I was surprised that a vendor I use for plating parts returned some brake parts I sent for yellow zinc plating.
Essentially he said that the process would weaken the parts, which consisted of the cast calipers (stripped down) and mounting brackets etc (Not disks)
I never mentioned what the parts were for, so I am curious as to if there is any truth to this or if the vendor is being over cautious.
Any suggestions?

Alan Geraghty
Toolmaker/Car restorer - Ireland

January 22, 2010

Many OEM and rebuilt calipers are Zinc plated. There's no reason to expect a problem.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

January 25, 2010

Hi Alan,
Your plater might be referring to hydrogen embrittlement. If the material is hard (say > 37 Rockwell c) than it is going to be susceptible to embrittlement. A 4-12 hour bake in an oven at around 375 F should in most cases solve that problem as long as it is baked immediately after it is plated. That is my best guess on what he is talking about. Either that or you caught him on a bad day.

Trent Kaufman
Trent Kaufman

electroplater - Galva, Illinois


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