Silver Plating Stainless Steel for an Electrical Application
My company wants to plate magnetic stainless steel (430 alloy) with silver for an electrical application. We are finding that we get rust in less than 24 hours in a 5% salt spray test with any of the combinations of plating materials we tried. These combinations include Nickel/Silver, Copper/Silver,Copper/Nickel/Silver, and Palladium-Nickel. I don't know the details of the plating processes used. I do know that the plating materials are cathodic with respect to the Iron in the stainless steel so it is not totally surprising corrosion occurs. I know that Zinc is anodic with respect to the Iron. Can Zinc be used as a barrier layer? Any other suggestions that may help solve this problem would be greatly appreciated.David VanZoest
- Mesa, Arizona, USA
Try a gold strike on the stainless and follow with silver. The gold will provide good adhesion for the silver and also a little extra corrosion protection. Another letter on this site promoted a chloride gold strike directly on stainless. I have also heard this recommended by the gold process tech support people.
microwave & cable assemblies
Mesa (what a place-a), Arizona
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