Can you recommend any alternates that are cheaper and have good corrosion resistance?


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Q. We run a plating shop and want to do gold plating on hardware articles. Since the cost of gold is very high at this time, can you recommend any alternates that are cheaper and have good corrosion resistance? G.E.


A. Yellow bronze is often suggested as a substitute for gold plating on costume jewelry and other items. The appearance of a good yellow bronze finish does not quite look like real gold but is more than passable in many situations.

Sometimes it is used as a barrier layer to replace nickel. In such cases you can apply a thinner layer of gold, since the yellow gold color helps maintain the appearance of gold after the gold has worn away.

Yellow bronze is an alloy of approximately 78% copper, 6% zinc and 16% tin. It is typically plated out using inert anodes such as stainless steel in an alkaline environment, pH 12.4–13.0.

The baths are available commercially. You can find vendors of bronze plating baths by looking at the vendor data base on www.pfonline.com. 

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