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"Masking for selective nickel and silver plating"

January 8, 2016

Q. Hi sir/madam
I have big problem in plating. Actually I want to make nickel and silver plated rivets, similar to bimetal contacts.

The rivet base material is copper so I was apply first nickel plating and after silver plating on whole rivet.
And after I was masking the rivet head from wax but wax is not stand on head in barrel plating. I used hole plate and fix it rivet and hanging the copper plating bath.
But this process is very long and the rivet is not caught the current supply. So I want simple method or how can pass the current for plating area. Anyone have any idea about the same please guide me.

Tanmay soni
- Bangalore Karnataka india

January 2016

A. Hi Tanmay. I am not completely understanding your process steps, but it seems that you tried masking with wax and then barrel plating but it didn't work because the wax on the rivet heads did not hold up to tumbling action. So you tried racking or wiring the parts, and found that it was very expensive and not trouble-free either.

If I am not understanding the problem, it sounds to me like you just need to use a more robust masking material in your barrel plating process. There are all kinds of sprayable, brushable, and dipable elastomer masking materials that will hold up better than wax, as well as platers tape, and PVC or silicone caps. It sounds pretty easily solvable to me. Good luck.


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

February 15, 2016

A. Depending on where you want the silver and where you want the nickel, you can plate the entire part with silver over nickel and strip the silver down to nickel. For example if the head of the rivet is where you want the silver, make a fixture to hold the rivet so only the stem is sticking out and strip the silver off exposing the nickel.

Casey Weizel, President
Foresight Finishing LLC
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- Tempe, Arizona

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