plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Voltage & amps for gold plating aluminum
October 15, 2010
Hi,I'm new to gold plating, and the worst part is that my interest is in plating aluminum. The aluminum parts I want to plate are not small (20" x 25"). So I wanted to know how much voltage and amp should I use on plating such size.Hosam Adel
Hobbyist - Portland, Oregon, US
December 22, 2010
Well the technique behind the plating is not really the plating, but electrocleaning, First of all you'll have to clean the Aluminum parts properly using an Ultrasonic to remove the strains , oils and dirt in it. Second use a steam wash as it will remove any type of balance dirt on top of the aluminum parts. Next step is to dip the parts in electrocleaner and clean it for 2 to 3 minutes. Take it out and wash it from DI water After the process you can identify whether all the strains has removed from a small experiment. Hold it by your hand and see whether the water drops flow downwards without any Hazel, if so that means the surface is very clean, if not the water drops will stick, that means it was not properly cleaned. Then try the gold plating process. Its quite difficult to say that you should increased up to this level, it should born from you through the experience.The gold will deposit properly if you plate it with low voltage for a longer period rather than doing it with high voltage for shorter period. if you follow this process I am sure you can succeed.
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
December 22, 2010
Hi, Tharanga. I have not heard of electrocleaning aluminum. I would have suggested zincating followed by alkaline electroless nickel plating before the gold plating. But if electrocleaning of aluminum works, I'm interested to hear more. Thanks.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey