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Poor Adheshion Coper build up

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  • Poor Adheshion Coper build up

    Steel part was cleaned, flashed, and build up with bright coper buy professional plating co.
    I sanded and solder pits, failed to degrease after solding.
    Resanded , degrease at close to boiling temp for half hour.
    Bright coper plated , 80 square inch part with six volt 3.5 amps 110 temp and got pink/ orange smooth plate.
    Now resanding is ripping off coper, mostly where lead free solder was
    What can i do to get good adhesion again?
    Do i etch prior to plating?
    Can anyone help?

  • #2
    Degreaser will propably not get the flux off. Try washing the part in Dawn and HOT water and use a brass bristle brush on the soldered areas, the solder should look nice and shiny. Then degrease (make sure passes water break test). Then go into the copper live (power to the part) to prevent immersion plating on the part. Let me know how it turned out.


    • #3
      Copper comming off

      I have found that when repairing pitted steel parts the process that works real well (for me at least) is the following:

      1. Degrease the part
      2. Bead blast the part
      3. Wire wheel the part using a fine wire wheel on a buffing motor or drill press.
      4. Degrease the part and wash with "Dawn" dish detergent.
      5. Check for the "water break test" (water sheets off the part)
      6. (15) second dip in "nickel pickle" solution (weak battery acid).
      7. (15) second rinse with water.
      8. (15) minute nickel strike coat (go "hot" into the solution, increase the current by about 33% for the first min. or two...starts to plate the part fast verses rusting it).
      9. Rinse with water.
      10. (1) hour acid copper plate .
      11. Sand down the copper.
      12. Fill pits with lead free silver solder.
      13. Sand smooth with 400 grit wet/dry paper.
      14. Nickel plate for (15) minutes
      15. Rinse with water
      16. Copper plate for another hour.
      17. Sand and buff until it looks like a mirror finish.
      18. Final plate (nickel or Copy Chrome) for another hour.

      I have not had any luck plating directly over the solder with copper. It may the type of solder I am using, however, I have plated nickel directly over 60/40 tin-lead solder and it always comes out fine.

      Another tip: I have found when copper plating the part it helps to have the air turned up high for good agitation. I was getting extreme build up on the edges of the parts prior to increasing the air. Coarse bubbles are better then fine ones.

      One caution: Only do the soldering fix one time. try it a second time and the plating may "pop" and the part will be ruined. Try and get everything fixed the first time and if there is a few minor tiny pits....let it go. Trying for perfection sometimes is not worth the headaches.

      See some motorcycle knobs and other plating I did at:

      George W.