In my spare time I like to do restoration work on automobiles. Having parts replated is expensive and beyond my limited budget. I would like to replate a number of parts with a bright zinc finish. Can you give me some formulations and tips on how to do this? J.G.
I get this question quite frequently from individuals who want to do some plating in their basement or garage. When my father started in the electroplating business in the 1930s this was easy enough to do. Times have changed, and an individual puts himself and his environment at risk by attempting "backyard electroplating." Most chemicals used in the plating process can be dangerous if not used properly. The plating process generates waste that must be disposed of properly. It is also very unlikely that you will get results that are acceptable in terms of appearance, longevity and performance.
I strongly recommend that you not attempt to do zinc plating on your own. However, if you are interested in getting an idea about what is involved with the process go to www.pfonline.com and look at some of the articles on zinc plating. Another source of information is the Metal Finishing Guidebook and Directory, 914-333-2578. If you are still interested after investigating these references above, you can get training in the process from a number of different sources.