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Nickel and Gold Plating onto Bronze Workpiece

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Q. Hi All
I'm looking for some information on how to electroplate Nickel and Gold onto a bronze work piece

This work piece will be used in telecommunication equipment and if you someone could help specify potential micron thickness they would deem applicable for the Nickel and Gold layers

I am tasked to design a process that will be able to carry out the task and if you could explain the action of the solutions you suggest.

Also if possible can you advise after gold plating if there is any post treatment necessary for this application

I would appreciate any help regarding this !

Many thanks

Ryan McG
- Cork, Ireland
December 8, 2022

Q. Hi,
Any update on this ?


Ryan McG
- Cork
December 19, 2022

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A. Hi Ryan.

We have a number of threads about plating on bronze including 11395, 28477, 31565, and 60064.
If I was ever involved with a plating cycle for bronze castings, I don't remember it, but I would think that copper plating before the nickel plating is highly advisable because nickel can be a finicky process which doesn't work great on mixed metals like brass and bronze and castings. 5-10 microns is probably enough.

Then the nickel plating, and again 5-10 microns sounds like a reasonable number.

The gold is tougher to say for the simple reason that it is a precious metal, so no matter how little you apply, someone will think you should apply less. Indeed that story has been in progress for many decades, with gold thicknesses on both decorative & engineered parts now being just a tiny fraction of what they were 50 or 60 years ago. So I'll say 2 microns of gold, leaving room for others to say that's too much. High purity gold, if thick enough to be pore-free, is extremely corrosion resistant and does not require any top coat.

Samples should be plated at your anticipated thicknesses before you get too deep into the design.
Luck & Regards,

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

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