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Acid Zinc Plating Brightener Q&A

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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
June 18, 2017

Q. Hi everyone!

We are actually running an acid zinc line and we use two brighteners: first one is sodium benzoate 1-10% in solution (carrier) and the second one is chlorobenzaldehyde 1-5% solution (bright) ... and I really want to understand what happens in there?

Tried to find some information on the internet but got no success.

Hope you can help.


Jorge Lim
- Sinaloa, Mexico
May 14, 2022

A. Hi Jorge. The general way in which organic brighteners work is that they are attracted to the high current density areas, tending to shield them so that more plating occurs in the low current density areas for better covering & throwing power, while simultaneously discouraging growth of large crystals in favor of more & smaller, harder, and less porous deposits. This is obviously a simplification, but I don't know if anyone truly fully understands all of the chemistry going on within the boundary layer.

Here is the USA, and in many other countries, virtually no shop attempts to formulate their own brighteners from raw chemicals; rather they purchase proprietary chemistry which is the result of extensive R&D. You are certainly welcome to formulate your own brighteners, but that is the reason so little literature is available on the subject.

Luck & Regards,

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

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