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Must parts be rack plated for RoHS compliance?

May 18, 2010

Q. I am having a small stamped and bent sheet metal part fabricated from AISI 1008-1018 CRS in the US. I have a specification for zinc with trivalent chromium. One vendor who has outside finishing applied, has given me feedback that the parts must be racked (hung) to be RoHS compliant.

This is the first time I've encountered this in 5 years of specifying this finish. I cannot find anything definitive. Is barrel application acceptable? The pricing difference for such a small part (22 x 13 x 1.5 mm, with a hole) is tremendous, thus the question.

Ken Tenney
engineer - Winchester, Virginia, USA

First of two simultaneous responses -- May 19, 2010

A. Rack vs barrel has nothing to do with RoHS. There could be something in someone's spec that forbids barrel plating, and that would more likely be for dings on the edges.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses -- May 20, 2010

A. Ken,

RoHS applies to the finished item, not on how the part is manufactured. There is nothing in RoHS that restricts plating to only rack plating, barrel plating is perfectly fine.

RoHS is concerned with hazardous substances on the finished item, not on the process, and certainly doesn't go so far as to specify plating techniques.

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK

May 20, 2010

A. Hi. I think I would hazard the theory that the plater wants to steer you toward rack plating because his rack line has been converted to RoHS-compatible trivalent chromating whereas his barrel plating line is still running a hexavalent chromate :-)


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

May 21, 2010

thumbs up signI appreciate the responses here and will convey them back to the vendor who made the suggestion that racking was required for RoHS compliance. (We have not selected them for this part, but they need a fair chance at gaining business on future jobs.)

Ken Tenney
- Winchester, Virginia, USA

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