Copper Plating On Aluminum

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 11/1/2003

Question: Is it possible to copper plate on an aluminum surface?


Is it possible to copper plate on an aluminum surface? L. T.


Yes you can copper plate on aluminum and it is done rather routinely. A typical sequence is as follows:

2.Soak clean
4.Dip in a 50% nitric acid solution. Depending on the aluminum alloy, hydrofluoric acid, sodium bifluoride, sulfuric acid or chromic acid may have to be used in conjunction with nitric acid.
6.Dip in a zincate bath (proprietary zincate solutions are best) for one minute
8.Strip the zinc coating using 50% nitric acid
10.Dip in the zincate solution again
11.Rinse thoroughly
12.Apply a copper strike using a cyanide based copper strike bath
14.Plate using a suitable copper plating bath

Additional information on the make-up of the copper strike and plating baths can be found in the Products Finishing Directory.


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