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Steel or Nickel facing onto zinc plates

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  • Steel or Nickel facing onto zinc plates

    I would like to plate 21 zinc alloy etching plates with a very thin layer of a harder metal (steel or nickel) in order to print a longer press run. It is essential that I keep as much surface detail and texture as possible. The plates are 16 gauge (0.064" thick) and range in size from 2 1/2" x 3" to 7" x 7". Would you recommend a particular process or metal for this? (The standard process in etching is to steel-face copper plates, not zinc). The plating must survive the pressure of the etching press (5,000 lbs/sq. inch or more). Are there electroplate operations that specialize in plating for artists? Can I set up a plating process in my shop? Any advice I'll be grateful for.