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topic 59235

What electrode material for palladium brush/pen plating

April 13, 2013

Q. Dear all, can anyone advise, I would like to plate sterling silver rings (jewellery) with 9 kt gold (cyanide) as a gold plated inlay. I need a diffusion barrier between the the two metals. I cannot use nickel so intend to use palladium as it is readily available and reasonably cheap; I do not want to use white bronze either. I would be pen plating the diffusion barrier and tank plating the 9 kt gold with a resist on the ares where I do not require the plating to be. So my question is what material to use for the pen plating electrode, I have to hand stainless 316, carbon and titanium if any if them are suitable.

Steve Thompson
- Lincolnshire UK

April 16, 2013

A. Palladium baths usually require a platinum or platinized titanium anode.

Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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April 19, 2013

thumbs up sign Hello Neil, thank you for the response - appreciated.

Steve Thompson [returning]
- Lincolnshire UK

April 17, 2013

A. Steve, why don't you want to use white bronze? This is the standard barrier layer now nickel is banned. There are very few metals that will give a suitable barrier layer for your needs, but if you want to run the gauntlet bit, how about cobalt? It doesn't come under the nickel directive, so as far as I am aware, it is legal. However, you must ensure you use pure cobalt as most cobalt salts also contain nickel and this will co-deposit. I know my suggestion is rather unscrupulous, but you are tying your hands with not wanting to use white bronze. Before you embark on using cobalt, just check the legislation! Alternatively, you could resurrect iron plating, but you will need to make sure that the gold is non-porous or it will corrode. Your choice of anode will be dependent on what barrier layer you select

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

April 23, 2013

thumbs up signHello Trevor, thank you for the response, I have struggled to get white bronze here in the UK especially in small quantities, it was my first choice. I have gone for white palladium with a platinized titanium electrode (the pen part), I can use the palladium for other uses so it does cut down on the collection of bottles that I have! Interesting that you mention iron I would not thought of that one!
Interestingly the items came today so it will be interesting to see how it all comes out, if I get chance I will post some pictures in due course.

Best Wishes

Steve Thompson [returning]
- Lincolnshire UK

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