-- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry
23+ years of serious education, promoting Aloha,
& the most fun you can have in metal finishing smiley
    no popups, no spam
on this site
current topics
topic 6619

Blackening of copper


I have been asked to look into ways of blackening fine copper mesh. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. Thanks

Nick Cooper
- Bridgend, Wales, UK


Investigate the black oxide formulations offered for multilayer printed circuit board manufacturing. They are reasonably easy to control and adherent.

The real question, and not easily read from your post, is why you want a blackened copper mesh. One of the problems with answering questions here is what do you really want? The more information you give us, the better the information you get. Right, Ted?

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida

sidebar (2000)

Hi, James. Yes, it's most efficient to give as much detail as possible :-)

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Thank you I do appreciate it that the more information the better. However, the customer who would like this done is unwilling to divulge more for confidentiality reasons. I too would like to know why he want's it! Thanks again

Nick Cooper
- Bridgend, Wales, UK


Unfortunately it can be abstract (and dangerous) if they give you no parameters except 'blacken', Nick. But in addition to Mr. Totter's suggestion, you've got painting and powder coating, a half-dozen different ways to patinize, either through chemical or flame blackening, zinc plating with black chromate, cad plating with black chromate, black nickel plating, black chrome plating, lamp black, black rhodium, PVD, and our favorite finish, chocolate dipping :-) smiley.

If there is a need for confidentiality, one approach is to retain a metal finishing consultant and have him/her execute a non-disclosure agreement, and be able to work from all the facts :-)

Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

sidebar (2000)


What is the corrosion resistance of the chocolate dip? For 10% white salt. Is there a difference if you use milk chocolate or dark? I really need to know. (It will be a wonderful way to get rid of some of the "unneeded" candy after next Halloween!

Gene Packman
process supplier - Great Neck, New York


Hi Gene!

There are several idiosyncrasies with chocolate post dip. First, salt spray is not a good test since the chocolate will melt and wash away. That's bad. This leaves only the colder areas of the country where it might find any use at all. Then, chocolate is poisonous to dogs, so it can only be applied to areas which cannot be reached by Fido, or Rex, Spot, Tickles, etc. That's bad. In use around the exposed undercarriage of logging trucks, it is a ready and high calorie source of food for the spotted owl. That's good or bad, depending on how you voted in the last presidential election :-0

tom pullizzi portrait
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania

May 2, 2010

My lord. "How to blacken copper". Who cares why? Just answer the guy's question!

don paterson
- Elmira, New York

April 2, 2010

Hi, Don.

Please suggest whether I should travel by ship or by train? I consider it confidential whether I'll be going from Miami to Cuba, or from Los Angeles to Las Vegas :-)

Although the question was answered, we care because:
- If he uses the cadmium plating that we mentioned, or the patinizing process involving arsenic or tellurium that we suggested, and they are use this mesh to filter food products, he will poison people; they may die.
- If he picks a coating that we know to be rather temporary, and Nick warrants it for 10 years, we haven't served him well. If this screening is to be placed behind a viewing glass, or in a solar collector, and he picks one of our suggestions that has a high vapor pressure (like paint or powder coating) it may quickly coat and obscure the glass. If he uses it in a vacuum environment, the cadmium and zinc coatings that we suggested will sublimate, which could be disastrous. We also suggested some coatings that are only good for 140 degrees -- what if his customer intends to use the mesh at a higher temperature than that?
- There is no "right" finish; every finish offers advantages and disadvantages that are important to some applications but of little or no importance in other situations :-)

Thanks and regards,

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 11, 2012

Hi, I have the same question. I have no problem disclosing the needs of the finish though. To suit my need the less reflective, with high light absorption the better. I would like to it be UV stable and last for as long as possible, 20 years or better. It would be exposed to around 150° F and possibly 200 or higher. I don't want poison gases or particles floating around the most of all! Thanks!

Michael Davidson
- Dayton, Ohio, US

March 7, 2012

Hi, Michael.

Black chrome plating sounds quite right to me. It can be very matte & very black, and is used to line the inside of microscope and telescope tubes. The temperature is no problem. You might wish to listen to our podcast on black chrome.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

This public forum has 60,000 threads. If you have a question in mind which seems off topic to this thread, you might prefer to Search the Site

ADD a Comment to THIS thread START a NEW threadView CURRENT TOPICS

Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental ComplianceTesting Svcs. & Devices

©1995-2018, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.