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topic 60712

Artistic electroplating of an engraved recessed area

March 5, 2018

Q. If I cut a picture into a sheet of either stainless steel or aluminum would there be a way to electroplate the cuts to produce a sheet of metal with a picture inlaid of a different metal, for example aluminum sheet with bird outline cut in it then cuts filled with copper, then polish to have copper bird picture in the sheet?

Brandon Herman
- Kissimmee,Florida,usa

March 2018

A. Hi Brandon. This sounds like no particular problem. Just mask the non-engraved area, do the plating, and remove the masking. There is the practical problem, of course, of either acquiring sufficient experience to do it yourself, or finding a shop willing to do it.

Both stainless steel and aluminum require somewhat specialized pretreatment before plating, so it would be easier to, for example, nickel plate an engraving in a brass or copper plate. Good luck.


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

March 6, 2018

A. Hi Brandon

You will find it easier to mask the surface first and engrave through the mask. Touch up any scratches in the mask and then plate. Masking after engraving inevitably ends up with maskant in the etched areas where it is difficult to remove.
This is standard practice for making metal name plates and printed circuits.
If you use photoresist or screen printing to apply the design, you can etch the substrate instead of engraving.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

March 2018

A. Excellent point Geoff!


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

March 11, 2018

thumbs up sign Thank you for your help

Brandon Herman [returning]
- Kissimmee Florida usa

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