plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Bronze Plating: Cyanide vs. Alkaline Pyrophosphate
March 15, 2010
We are a lighting manufacturer in California and want to set up a tank for bronze Plating of brass parts. I understand that the traditional bronze plating method requires the use of cyanide, and we would like to avoid this if possible.
Is the Alkaline Pyrophosphate method as good (or adequate for brass lamps) and if so, can someone recommend the chemical make-up for a 150 gallon tank and where to purchase the chemicals?
Manufacturer - Sacramento, California, USA
March 16, 2010
Hi, Chuck. Everything has advantages and disadvantages. No one would use cyanide, and suffer the wastewater treatment uncertainties and risk the physical dangers if it weren't better, including cheaper :-)
But pyrophosphate can work, and is available from the site's supporting advertisers EPI (Electrochemical Products Inc.) [a finishing.com supporting advertiser] and Zinex; and they will offer technical data sheets for the setup.
One further possibility is to follow bright nickel plating with a bronze-tone electrophoretic lacquer. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey