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Plating onto tungsten carbide

June 10, 2010

Hi all,

I've tried to do electroplating for a while now and I start to realize that it's more to it than meets the eye so I decided to look for help. I'm a PhD student working on high pressure research with diamond anvil cells and in our group we have a cell where one piece is slightly too small. It's a cylindrical 12.935 mm in diameter tungsten carbide seat that actually should be press fitted into a hole with diameter 12.95 but unfortunately it's lose. We can buy a new one but it's expensive and will take weeks to get here so we decided to try to electroplate it but so far without success.

I have access to all kinds of chemicals and to a reliable and tunable power supply but I need some information about what kind of metal and electrolyte to work with. So far I've tried with copper and silver nitrate with copper and gold anodes respectively (with the silver I seem to get electroless plating) but in none of them I get the plated surface to stick to the tungsten carbide.

All I'm asking from the plated surface is that it sticks to the tungsten carbide, that it is fairly ductile so that it can deform slightly when pressed into the hole and that I can control it's thickness.

Any suggestions?

Best regards

Mattias Mases
Student - Luleå, Sweden

June 16, 2010

Look up for a supplier that offers ESD (electro spark deposition) in your area. This process can add a very well bonded layer of hard metal to your WC part. Then you can have it ground to perfect fit. We have done it and it works.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

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