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"Plating nickel over lead and brass"
February 10, 2010
I have a customer that needs a part electroplated that is lead cast around a portion of a brass piece. I need to plate this in bright nickel. Do I need to use different activators for the lead and the brass? Also, will the nickel plate directly to the lead or is it necessary to plate copper first?Dan Dregallo
Plating Shop Employee - Cambridge, Ohio
February 11, 2010
Lead forms insoluble salts with Hydrochloric and/or sulfuric acids. You must acid treat in about 30% fluoboric acid at room temperature. A copper strike is not necessary but a nickel fluoboric plating solution strike to cover the lead would be perfect. If you do use a simple watts type bright nickel, then "go in hot" so that you cover the lead before the chloride and sulfate start to form that insoluble salt.
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
Garner, North Carolina