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"What Brightener for Acid Zinc Plating of Wire?"

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Current question:

December 27, 2021

Q. We are trying first time to operate zinc acidic galvanizing line with zinc chloride and ammonium chloride and carrier and brightener; we have no technical support. We are trying to operate the line of 10 parallel wires to be plated in four plating baths of 330 lt capacity each. We could not reach the required brightness. We work at pH 4.6, brightener 4 ml per lit, carrier 40 ml per lt. During our start up we face black foam at end of first bath; sometimes the final product surface has black coloured area then disappearing. Would like advice regarding the brightness and the optimum specification.

Mohamed ben zyada
- tripoli, libya

December 2021

A. Hi. Regarding the black foam, please see "Black Tar on surface of Acid Zinc Chloride bath" on thread 40095.

Can you run a Hull Cell panel to get an idea what is going on?

Luck & Regards,

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

Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

January 16, 2011

Q. Ours is a small electrogalvanizing unit for mild steel wires. And we are having a continuous line wire galvanising plant for 4.0 mm to 2.0 mm dia wires. Sometimes we are ordered to finish with mirror bright zinc colour. The branded 'Zinc brightener' does not suit our requirements and hence we require to make our own composition. We need help for the names of chemicals and its composition.

Ranjit Singh
- Calcutta, West Bengal, INDIA

ASM Metal Handbook
9th Edition, Vol. 5

"Surface Cleaning, Finishing & Coating"
from Abe Books

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January 18, 2011

A. Hi, Ranjit. There are a dozen or more brands of bright zinc plating solution, so if you are dissatisfied with what you are using, there are numerous alternatives. Please tell us the general composition of your bath your bath (cyanide, sulfate, chloride, etc.) because many wire platers use zinc sulphate but zinc chloride solutions would usually be used when brightness is wanted.

The composition of chloride zinc brighteners has been trade secret for many decades (ASM Metals Handbook, Vol. 5 says ALL are proprietary) so I don't think you'll find published literature on the subject. Unfortunately we can't post hints except references to published information because we have no way of knowing whose knowledge is legitimate and who is engaging in crowd-sourcing of industrial espionage :-)

Sometimes these brighteners aren't mixtures anyway, but are organic compounds synthesized from precursors, which it is not possible to mix from generic materials, but good luck and hopefully someone will point us to literature. I think your time may be better spent searching for another supplier than in trying to make your own, but good luck either way.


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

June 18, 2017 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi to all,
I'm working on acid zinc baths. What do you recommend for making parts more bright?
I mean what chemical materials should be added and in what ratios?
Best regards,

Phahad Hashim
- Dubai, UAE

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