Plating Zinc over Heat Treating

I am not able to plate zinc over an area that has been heat treated. Any suggestions?


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Q. I am not able to plate zinc over an area that has been heat treated. Any suggestions? M.M.

 

A. Without any further information, it is extremely difficult to answer this question. The first question is what is the heat treat environment like (oxidizing, reducing or inert atmosphere)? Unless you have an inert or reducing atmosphere, you likely have a good deal of scale that may be built up on the part. This will require either acid cleaning or mechanical finishing for removal.

What is the quench method (air, oil or water)? The quicker the quench, the more likely you can shock off part of the contamination.

Were parts cleaned before heat treat? If not, an oily residue left behind prior to heat treating will create a surface that is extremely difficult to clean and may take a very long time in a strong acid to clean up. Depending on the heat treatment and the steel (assuming this is steel), you may also carburize the surface, possibly changing surface hardness. Parts should always be cleaned prior to heat treatment. 

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