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Copper Plating


Thursday, March 4th, 2010

copper plating as undercoat pre nickel and chromeCopper plating before nickel and chrome plating

Copper Plating

  • Copper is usually used as an “undercoat” in most common plating processes (e.g. “triple chrome” is copper, nickel then chrome plated)
  • The colour of newly plated copper (salmon pink) makes it appealing as a metal colour alternative, however it tarnishes quite easily.  A coating or two of lacquer straight after plating can help preserve the colour but it’s best not to expose it to weather extremes or the lacquer will break down and cause the copper to tarnish
  • To achieve an aged bronze look, you can blacken the copper after plating then buff away the black at the high points, leaving an “antique” effect.
  • Copper plating can assist to rebuild poor or damaged surfaces by plating additional thickness onto parts.
  • There are two main varieties of copper plating – acid copper and cyanide copper. Acid copper is a safer coating for health and environment, however cyanide copper performs better in applications involving aluminium substrates. Acid copper is the most common type used for plating.  When plating aluminium alloys, some prefer to nickel plate straight onto the surface to avoid the use of cyanide copper, and this is possible, however this can sometimes be difficult to control and achieve good quality results.
Copper plating blackened then polished to achieve antique effectCopper plating blackened then polished to achieve antique effect known as “Florentine Bronze”

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Copyright © 2009, ACLASS Metal Finishers Pty Ltd. 6 Waddikee Rd, Lonsdale, South Australia, 5160. Telephone (+ 61 8 8384 4331) Email: acmf@aclassmetal.com.au
Specializing in Copper Nickel & Chrome Plating, Gold Plating, Silver Plating, Tin Plating, Electroless Nickel, Plating on Plastic (ABS) and Metal Polishing