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topic 6312

Zinc/Tin Plating


Hello, I would like to electroplate tin onto "pot-metal". The pieces are small and the quantity is not sufficient to have professionals do cost effectively.

Can I first copper plate with electroless or traditional electro copper? From here can I then plate with zinc? Any help is greatly appreciated. One last question, is there a non-toxic way to strip chrome plate from the same pot-metal items?

Thank you


Mark Robidoux
- Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA


You need to decide whether you really mean tin or you really mean zinc as there is little similarity in the metals or the application procedures.

Possibly the reason that professionals can't do your project "cost effectively" is that your expectations for economy are too high because they don't yet include the cost of responsible management of waste products. In calculating the cost of doing it yourself vs. having it done professionally, have you allowed for the cost of disposal of the F006 hazardous waste that the operation will generate?

Plating copper onto diecastings without cyanide will involve proprietary pyrophosphate solutions which may be beyond the capability of the non-professional.

'Toxic' has a legal meaning related to hazardous waste management, but when used to refer to a process chemical to be used by an individual, it can be a pretty meaningless word today. Do you mean that the stripping solution should be harmless? If so, forget it--dissolving away hard, rugged, corrosion-resistant materials like chromium and nickel requires aggressive chemistry.

I wish I could offer a more promising response, but my opinion is that electroplating should be left to trained professionals. Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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