Bronze Plating Basics


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Q. What are the components of bronze? Can you electroplate base materials with bronze? –N.N.

A. Bronze is an alloy consisting of copper and tin. Other metals are often added to improve toughness. Bronze can be plated as a decorative finish, and white bronze is used as a substitute for nickel. The color of the deposit can vary from copper color (2-3 percent tin) to white (over 20 percent tin). Many different plating baths have been developed for plating bronze, with cyanide and pyrophosphate being the most common. Here's a typical cyanide plating bath formulation.

Component Concentration
Sodium stannate 100 g/L
Sodium cyanide 28 g/L
Copper cyanide 12 g/L
Sodium hydroxide 10 g/L
Sodium cyanide (free) 16 g/L
Sodium hydroxide (free) 15 g/L
Operating Conditions  
Temperature 140-160°F
Current density 20-50 asf

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