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topic 6682

Gold looking finish on wire?


Looking for "gold color" electrically conductive finish on wire...any suggestions?...Tnx.

Stephen Tetorka
Molecu Wire - New Jersey


Both TiN and ZrN are electrically conducting, look like gold, and can be deposited on wire. You can probably get some wire coated at one of the PVD service companies. There are some in New Jersey.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
PVD Consultant - San Diego, California


Do you need this coating on a continuous wire or on pieces?

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado


PVD coating processing is not suitable for many applications, wire being one of those. PVD is very limited to line of sight and only coats on one plane; this is why PVD can not be used on parts with complex geometries and any appreciable surface topology. Add into this wire is continuous, and you have a very difficult technological & mechanical set of problems to overcome.

There are more fundamental questions in this case. What is the composition of the wire? How long is it? What color is required? What properties are needed?

Coloring metals, even stainless, is easy. However, PVD for a conformal coating on wire would be expensive even if it could be done--just not a practical solution.

Dale Woika
- Bellefonte, Pennsylvania


Sometimes the most practical and cost effective way to get a gold color is to use gold. Have you checked out just gold plating your wire? Gold has the advantage of being corrosion resistant and has low electrical contact resistance.

Neil Bell
Red Sky Plating

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Coating wire continuously by PVD is not all that hard. It depends on the coating and the thickness that is needed. I agree with Dale on the cost, though. It could be an expensive option.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
- San Diego, California


In the jewelry making trade, it is common practice to use a yellow metal such as brass, or tin bronze, and apply a thin gold coating over it. For wire, they have a couple of methods - electroplating, or attaching a thin gold sleeve by either metallurgically bonding or brazing. This is commonly done at what is really still a rod size, then the composite is drawn thru dies, just like ordinary wire, to reduce it in diameter. The coating reduces at the same rate as the base metal when bonded this way, (percentage-wise).

You might try contacting your local chapters of ASM, or AES in NJ, or their national offices, and inquire if they have contacts at such companies you could talk to. You should likely find a source for your wire needs, without the trouble of setting up to make it in-house. Good luck.

W. Carl Erickson
- Rome, New York

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