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12/1/2001

Zinc Plated Zinc Diecasts Turn Blue

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Question: We plate zinc diecasts with zinc.

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Question:

We plate zinc diecasts with zinc. The parts look great after plating but turn blue after being stored for a period of time. What is going on, and how can it be prevented? J.B.

Answer:

What you most likely have is a case of diffusion. The zinc electroplate diffuses into the surface of the zinc diecast. When this happens you get a bluish color. This usually happens months after the plating has been completed.

The best solution is to use a barrier layer to prevent this diffusion. A copper cyanide based strike bath classically has been used to deposit this barrier layer. The newer non-cyanide alkaline copper plating baths can also be used. A minimum thickness of 0.3 mil is recommended for the copper layer.

These non-cyanide plating baths are available by going to the Suppliers page at www.pfonline.com or looking in the Products Finishing Directory and Technology Guide under Plating Processes, copper.

 

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