-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

on this site
current topics

World's most popular finishing site / Internet's friendliest corner

topic 56043

Copper Plating of MIG wire

A discussion started in 2010 but continuing through 2019

October 30, 2010

Q. How do I make an electrolyte consisting of copper sulphate, sulphuric acid for plating m.s. wire with copper? I mean to ask quantities added to one liter of distilled water. Thank you.

Anil Chhabra
manufacturing electroplated mig wire - Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India

November 1, 2010

A. Hi, Anil

You can try about 12% copper sulfate crystals and 1/2 to 3/4 ounce per gallon of sulfuric acid as a starting point. I understand that copper coating of MIG wire is dead easy in principle; but the world is very quality conscious today, wanting an extremely thin, adherent and pore-free copper coating on MIG wire, and it can be quite a long way from simple copper coating to a very high quality copper coating. The solution probably requires proprietary additives.

I am not from the welding wire industry, but I am under the impression that MIG wire utilized an immersion plating deposit rather than electroplating. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 6, 2011

Q. I am interested to manufacture copper coated MIG wire. I have plant and machinery but don't have complete know-how. When I start plating with copper sulphate with the help of a rectifier I don't get shining spot-free plating; instead I get slightly oily dull pink plating which can be easily peeled off. I tried to dry this coating with boiling water but this is of little help. What should I do to get shining spot free coating with a good speed of wire bobbin (100 rpm)

Anil Chhabra
entrepreneur - Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India

August 9, 2011

A. Acid copper cannot be plated directly over steel must be over some type of coating due to potential.

Daniel Hernandez
- Bucaramanga Santander Colombia

August 9, 2011

thumbs up sign Hi, folks.

I may be in error, but I thought the copper coating on steel MIG wire is an immersion deposit. I'm not suggesting copper sulphate electrodeposition directly on steel, as I agree that you will usually get poor adhesion.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 10, 2011

A. Yes, I can be wrong, I am not sure if an immersion deposit will work! So my answer can mislead some readers! I'm sorry I just wanted to help.

But what Mr Anil says, look pretty near to what happens when you try to plate directly over plain steel and you get an immersion deposit which doesn't have good adhesion.

I talk about acid copper because the letter talks about copper sulfate and a rectifier.

copper sulfate + rectifier = looks like Acid copper

But if you prepare a solution of copper sulfate and immerse iron or steel in it you get an immersion deposit.

Is there an immersion deposit that achieves a good adhesion coating?

Daniel Hernandez
- Bucaramanga Santander Colombia

August 15, 2011

Q. Sir, immersion deposit of copper on steel has not good adhesion property, so I tried with rectifier to get some good quality adhesion which was not there, kindly suggest me if any other option is available. Thanks. With regards,

Anil Chhabra
entrepreneur - Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India

August 16, 2011

A. Immersion deposits, if properly controlled are adherent. The clue is to reduce their concentration and limit immersion time to avoid attack to the substrate. Alternatively, if thicker plate is desired, diluted alkaline copper (either cyanide or non-cyanide) is suitable for deposition directly on iron alloys followed by a conventional copper plate.
G. Marrufo-Mexico

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

September 14, 2011

Q. I am a lab technician of MIG welding wire producer. We have some problems about copper adhesion. In a document I found that ADACID-CU (a heterocyclic compound of nitrogen and sulfur) will improve the adhesion, but I don't know the exact commercial name and also any supplier for this substance.
Thanks for any helpful information.

Masih Golestan
Lab technician - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

September 2013

A. Sorry, Masih, but I'm not finding that word anywhere -- and it's possible that the spelling has become corrupted. But it doesn't sound like it's from a generic chemical naming scheme; it sounds like you are right that it is a proprietary chemical trade name.

Perhaps the way forward is to contact suppliers who offer addition agents and ask them for their adhesion-improving addition agents rather than "ADACID-CU" specifically? I find that googling the search term "mig immersion copper addition agent" leads to a number of papers on the subject. Good luck!


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

September 28, 2011

Q. We are MIG wire manufacturers for welding, these are copper coated by Ionizing method which costs a lot. Am looking for a cheaper solution which gives me lasting coating of copper on my wire. Can you suggest some compound or additive to copper sulphate to stimulate better ionising.

production - Delhi, India

September 28, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I want to copper coat steel wire of SAE 52100 grade. Ordinary dipping in copper sulphate solution is not working as in MS what solution to use copper coating SAE alloy steel wire.

Ashok Rungta
steel wire - Kolkata West Bengal, India

September 30, 2013

A. Hi Ashok. Can you please clarify for us what you are doing? Are you trying to simply immersion deposit copper on this wire when you say "ordinary dipping" or are you trying to electroplate on it? Is there any specification for the copper sulphate solution (such as concentration or pH)? Thanks.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

October 11, 2013

Q. Hi. Sir

I want to copper clad steel wire of 40% IACS grade. Ordinary dipping in copper sulphate solution is not enough plating of copper. In MS wire what chemical to use for plating 200 microns copper coating on steel wire

Amarnath Prajapati
- New Delhi, Delhi, India

October 14, 2013

A. Hi Amarnath. You can't get a coating of even 1% of that thickness by immersion plating; you'll need to do electroplating. And you won't be able to electroplate directly onto steel wire from a copper sulphate solution. The simplest answer is probably a thin flash of nickel electroplating followed by 200 microns of copper plated from a copper sulphate bath (it sounds like you are not talking about MIG wire, but a different application).


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

July 6, 2015

A. Hello,
The copper coating done on MIG welding wires is a loosely adherent Acid Copper Sulphate Coating with an immersion time of 2-3 seconds and a film thickness of 0.1-0.3 microns. The adherence is further enhanced in the wire drawing die post copper plating referred to as skin pass.

I hope the plating experts will have something to add now.

Amit Jain
- Muzaffarnagar, UP, India

Copper Plating of MIG Wire: How to Check Adhesion?

April 18, 2017

Q. Hello all.
Is there any standard method of checking the amount of copper adhered on a MIG wire?
How to check the degree to which the copper has properly adhered?

- Hyderabad, Telangana, India

May 27, 2017

A. AFAIK, there is no standard test. Try winding the wire about it's own diameter, and then examine under a microscope. No peeling or lifting, it is probably okay.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

May 31, 2017

A. Typically immersion coppering baths contain proprietary additives to improve adhesion, level the deposit, and obtain brightness. (There are a number of other functions that the proprietary additives provide, but it is not worth going into excessive or extensive detail here.)

A standard test would be a tape test. While typically the tape test is used on a cross-hatched flat substrate, for wire this is unnecessary.

Tom Rochester
Plating Systems & Technologies, Inc.  
supporting advertiser
Jackson, Michigan, USA
plating systems & technologies banner ad

October 19, 2018

Q. How to check the copper coating thickness in MIG wire?

- kankeyam, Tamil nadu, INDIA

October 2018

A. Hi cousin sakthi. Your question is a bit vague for me. Are you asking what the thickness ought to be according to some standard, or are you asking for a dissolution or micrograph destructive testing method to reverse engineer a sample of a competitor's product, or are you looking for a continuous non-destructive inspection method during production (I personally don't know if that's possible)? Sorry, but it's very hard to understand a question and make fast progress if you don't tell us your situation. Thanks!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

January 26, 2019

Q. Which chemical is used in copper tank for inhibitor. Kindly tell their name. Our capacity is 1160 liter and 20 percent copper solution is used. How much inhibitor to use in this full tank?

Mian saqib
- Lahore,punjab pakistan

See also topic 38006, "Immersion copper coating of MIG welding wire".

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

adv.    EPI banner

Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental Compliance

©1995-2019, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.