BASE METAL INTO GOLD
Can you recommend any alternates that are cheaper and have good corrosion resistance?
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.
Masking is employed in most any metal finishing operation where only a specifically defined area of the surface of a part must be exposed to a process. Conversely, masking may be employed on a surface where treatment is either not required or must be avoided. This article covers the many aspects of masking for metal finishing, including applications, methods and the various types of masking employed.
Our expert, Art Kushner, says yes, you can color stainless steel, but it is not a process that is typically performed in a plating shop. Read more about his answer.
An overview of decorative and hard chromium electroplating processes.