plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Common electrolytes for electroplating solutions
October 16, 2012
Q. How are you~
I'm doing a research for electroplating especially niobium, tungsten and Molybdenum.
My question is...
Is it possible to have a common solution for these metals?
Do common solutions exist for all metals in electroplating?
If so, what are those??
If not, could you explain why?
Thank you for your response
- Norman, Oklahoma, US
A. Hi Dongil. When we speak of electroplating we generally mean aqueous-based electroplating from sulphate, chloride, fluoborate or similar acid salts, or aqueous electroplating alkaline solutions such as hydroxides and cyanide double salts.
We cannot electroplate highly active metals from these aqueous solutions because the electrolizing current will reduce and release hydrogen gas from the water instead of reducing the metal. As far as I know there is no way to electroplate any of those three metals from aqueous baths.
There are alternate methods to apply a plating/coating of those metals, however, possibly including electroplating out of molten salts or ionic solutions, or using PVD processes.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey