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topic 59222

Tin-zinc plating isn't alloyed, but a layer of zinc & layer of tin

April 1, 2013

Q. We are currently purchasing parts with a tin-zinc plating called out as a replacement for Cadmium. We were seeing issues with the plating and decided to do alloy analysis via XRF and EDS, which yielded very different results. Upon cross-sectioning a part, it was discovered that a nearly pure tin layer had plated over a zinc base layer. Our plater does not believe that this is possible, but the photo appears to show it to be the case. Any ideas on whether or not this is possible and what could cause this issue if it indeed is plating in layers?

Chris Renis
Engineer - Chicago, Illinois, USA

April 1, 2013

A. Hi. This seems to require really careful study. I would never accuse anyone of fraud based on such flimsy evidence, but it sounds like one possibility could be that it actually is a layer of zinc done in a zinc plating tank followed by a layer of tin done in a tin plating tank. Really interesting!


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