Post your own question ...
or benefit from 30 years of feedback on 60,000 finishing topics.
Search the site
current topics -- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry

60,000 Q&A topics -- Education, Aloha, & Fun

topic 7152

Plating onto Magnesium? Q&A's

A discussion started in 1995 and continuing through 2020 so far.
Adding your Q. / A. or Comment will restore it to the Current Topics page


Q. Does anyone have any experience plating (EN, in this case) onto magnesium? If so, could you recommend a process?

Ken Rosenblum
finishing shop - Minneapolis, Minnesota


A. Hi, Ken. I don't have personal experience in this, but Atotech's MagENta process for electroless nickel on magnesium has a descriptive name that is very easy to remember, and may be a starting point to learn what is special about magnesium when it comes to EN plating. Other major vendors presumably also offer similar processes. Good luck.

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


Q. I am learning about how unstable magnesium is just in the air of a shop environment. We currently use a special oil between processes prior to dichromate to provide protection from reactions with moisture. Can anyone tell me if VCI bags will provide the right protection in lieu of the messier oils?

Eric Schneider


A. Eric,

My company does finishing of aluminum & magnesium, including dichromate, and mag anodize among others.

You are right about mag corroding very easy - sometimes parts will corrode in shipment from the mfgr. to us.

We always advise our customers when sending in Mag parts for processing that they should be packed with a light machine oil on the parts & desiccant packages should be used in the packaging to absorb moisture.

David A. Kraft
- Long Island City, New York


Q. What magnesium alloys are most used in automobiles?
What are some of the problems that occur with corrosion of magnesium alloys used in automobiles?
What are some of the solutions to these problems?

Davin Moorman
University of Arkansas, Engineering Research Center - Fayetteville, Arkansas


A. Good corrosion and protective qualities are the responsibility of the casting maker. Packaging, preservation, and proper process control during melting all contribute to end quality.

Too often in the past, foundries have been their own worst enemy with regards to the prevention of corrosion.

New alloys of high purity corrode slower, since trace elements causing galvanic corrosion are reduced in these alloys. AZ91E is a good choice for prototyping auto parts that will have good corrosion resistance.

Mark A. Vecchiarelli
- Enfield, Connecticut

Chrome plating of magnesium AZ31B


Q. I am currently looking for a plating house that can chrome plate magnesium AZ31B alloy...Living near Spokane Wa., I have had numerous unsuccessful attempts from the local plating houses...Any help , please advise...AA

Arndt Anderson
Shark Byte Eng.
^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs


A. I have some information on how to process magnesium. Maybe you can help your local platers get the process right. Let me know if you want the information.

What are these parts? Would it be worth it to ship them some distance to a plater who can do the job?

tom pullizzi monitor
tom pullizi signature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania 


Q. I would be interested in the same pickling process and yes this would be worth it to me to send at a distance. The material is magnesium sheets measuring 48 x 144 inches and different size thickness from .032 to .063.


bert lecuona
hi-tech metals, inc
^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs


? I am just curious to know why is magnesium alloy chrome plated? Is it chromate conversion or just chromium.

Mandar Sunthankar
- Fort Collins, Colorado


Q. I'm having problems coming up with a process for plating over magnesium. I'm currently using a zincate (non current) for bonding. From there I am trying an alkaline copper strike then sulfamate nickel. The problem I am having is the copper is having bad adhesion on the zincate. Any help would be helpful.

mike crabtree
- Raleigh, North Carolina


A. Hi, Mike.
I can't guarantee it, but I think you'll have less problems with an alkaline electroless nickel strike between the zincate and the sulfamate nickel than you are having with the alkaline copper plating. Good luck.


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

To minimize search efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we combined previously separate threads onto this page. Please forgive any resultant repetition, failures of chronological order, or what may look like readers disrespecting previous responses -- those other responses may not have been on the page at the time :-)


Q. I have had some inquiries for plating on magnesium. Can anyone suggest some good sources for processing and some of the "Watchouts" attached to the process. My in-house library doesn't have much. Any help is welcome. Chris

Chris Hammer
- WNY, New Jersey


A. Don't forget that chips and shavings are flammable if you are doing any mechanical work on the parts. Magnesium parts must either be zincated or nickel plated, and in either case the zincating or nickel plating must be preceded by rather detailed pickling sequences. Volume 5: Surface Engineering of the ASM Metals Handbook has a great chapter on Magnesium Finishing--at least my ninth edition does.

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


Q. I would like more information on the electro plating of magnesium, also a supplier of mag sleeves for chemical etching. What is the annealing temperature for mag and the procedure to follow. Please help.

izak meyer
supreme engravers - cape town. south africa


Q. I have been told that "there is a new magnesium alloy named AZ31X that is available in sheet which is more resistant to sea water atmosphere" Where can I have info on that ? Who is a supplier of that?

Gilles Saucier
- Canada

1999 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I would like some information on corrosion resistant coatings for magnesium parts. Our company used to use magnesium for some engine components in the past (covers and other lightly stressed components), but corrosion was a massive problem, especially when parts became 'dinged' or scratched. What we are after is ideally a hard-wearing (or tough) corrosion resistant coating so that we might use magnesium components again. It would come into contact with air, de-ionised water, maybe water-glycol (engine coolant), fuel, oil etc.

I have seen a transparent gold coating, similar in appearance to TiN on some Italian motorbike mag wheels which looks very hard wearing, but I don't know where to start looking for this. The wheels were painted over the top of this, and so I don't know if the coating on its own would be sufficient.

It would be nice if the coating were very thin so that it didn't make too much difference to the fits of machined components. I would really appreciate any help that could be offered.

Wayne Ward
- England


A. Electroless nickel plating sounds like it meets most of your needs, Wayne.

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


Luke Engineering offers a patented hard anodic coating for magnesium, Magoxid-Coat(R) which is significantly more wear and corrosion resistant than other widely commercialized anodic coatings for magnesium. A typical coating thickness is 25 µm (1 mil) with one half penetration and one half build-up. It can stand alone or be used as a paint base. A number of manufacturers of superchargers for drag racing use this hardcoating on their magnesium housings and end plates.

Chris Jurey, Past-President IHAA
Luke Engineering & Mfg. Co. Inc.
supporting advertiser
Wadsworth, Ohio

luke banner


A. The gold coating on the Italian wheel might have been ZrN, used extensively for decorative coatings. It is very corrosion resistant if deposited correctly, i.e., by unbalanced magnetron sputtering. ZrN is also very hard and wear resistant, used extensively on cutting tools.

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

Plating onto Magnesium AZ91D


Q. My Chief Engineer recently asked me to search for information to coat magnesium AZ91D and it is for a major customer. Please help and advise what are the various methods and the best in the industries.

Alan Delon
micro electronics- Singapore


A. There are two methods to plate Mg. One method is zincate, cyanide copper plate, than plate with whatever metal. Another method is to activate then Electroless nickel plate, then plate with whatever metal. Both processes use a cleaner and etch step.

George Shahin
George Shahin
Atotech - Rock Hill, South Carolina


Q. I am looking for acceptable plating techniques for magnesium die casted/thixomolded materials. Could someone please advise on this or provide some companies we could contact relative to this?

Barry Bowers
- Binghamton, New York


A. Depending on your finish requirements, there are several options for plating on magnesium. You should also contact your thixomolder directly with your specific requirements.

Jerry English
- Schaumburg, Illinois USA

(you are on the 1st page of the thread)       Next page >

this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread SEARCH for Threads about ... My Topic Not Found: Start NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully 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 might be harmful.

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

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental Compliance

©1995-2020, Inc., Pine Beach, NJ   -   About   -  Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.