Copper Plating On Aluminum

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


Question:

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

Answer:

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

1.Degrease
2.Soak clean
3.Rinse
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.
5.Rinse
6.Dip in a zincate bath (proprietary zincate solutions are best) for one minute
7.Rinse
8.Strip the zinc coating using 50% nitric acid
9.Rinse
10.Dip in the zincate solution again
11.Rinse thoroughly
12.Apply a copper strike using a cyanide based copper strike bath
13.Rinse
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.