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Copper comes off zincated aluminun???? Anyone????

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  • Copper comes off zincated aluminun???? Anyone????

    I am having trouble getting flash copper to stay on aluminum.
    I degreased, zincated, then flash copper and it rubs of real easy or scrapes off like its not bonding to the metal. I am using a 4.5 gallon triple chrome setup with all the proper tank heaters filters and so on. I am using a aldonics CC CV 100 amp rectifier and I know I go the amps set right I have rechecked that many times over. IF there is anyone out there that has plated chrome on to aluminum successfully can you please post a detailed post about the steps and any other relevant info that you used to make this prosses work?


    Added note: I have also tryed polish, degrease, zincate, nickle and
    polish, degrease, zincate, flash copper , acid copper.
    basicly I have tryed all forms of solution and technique order I could think of and none have worked so far?

  • #2
    did you figure out what was happening with the copper coming off of alluminum part? I am just starting and that happened to me tonight on a motorcycle intake. thanks


    • #3
      I figured it all out finally(thank god)! It is late here I will post all my findings tomorrow


      • #4
        I found the trick (thanks to a little help from craig at caswell)
        the main thing is to sand and polish the part to perfection before you even try to plate it so that once its plated you don't risk sanding back to the aluminum and starting all over again. Once you have sanded your arms right off you body and the part is perfect give it 15 min in flash copper then rinse if all looks good go right to the nickel for 15 min then chrome the part. Now lets say that the parts ar not perfect from defects like the ones I have been working on and need a good acid copper on it so that you can sand to perfection, I did this as a safe guard, I sanded as close as I could for perfection then flash copper to get a strike coat, then nickel plate, then back to the flash copper then to the acid copper then sand to perfection then flash copper then nickel then chrome. The reason i did the flash,nickel,flash,then acid copper is because once the acid copper was on and I was sanding I would have a safety layer at the fist nickel plate . I was a vishual warning that is was time to stop sanding so I did not hit the aluminum and I would then I would do another flash copper then acid copper and i could safely sand once more, one other thing it seems like nickel is harder to sand then copper so it also would stop me from sanding threw as easily. And it takes some time to get a good technique going so don't get frustrated and keep trying


        • #5
          How was the zincate involved in the process. I am getting blisters that peel off my parts also. I went through nicel and chrome but the part is not shiny. Any help would be great. I cant get the flash copper to stay on the part.


          • #6
            First off let me say that acid copper can go over nickel or flash copper, either can be used as a strike. There is no need to flash copper over nickel prior to acid copper.
            Ok let's get started. First sand and prep the part to get it close to the final stage as possible because alum is easier to work with (if you have deep gouges or pits, you will have to fill with solder later). Clean thuroughly, degrease and make sure you pass waterbreak. Depending on the alloy, you may have to desmut. Go directly into zincate for 5 to 30 sec, should be even dove grey,rinse, then strip zincate in pickle 3 (keep a close eye on it), rinse, back into zincate. This ensures a proper zincated surface. Rinse, (don't let it dry off at anytime Gtabadboy) go into flash copper LIVE with the amps up 50% more than what you calculated for the first 30 sec and roll power back down to the calculated value for the remaining 10 min. Now you can nickle for a sanding stop or go directly into acid copper (this is where you will fill with solder if needed and more acid copper). Gtabadboy, now you have to sand and buff the part to a mirror shine, you may have to do several 60 min cycles in the acid copper to get the part smooth, once your satisfied with the look, active copper with pickle 4, rinse,THEN go into the nickle live (buff again?) then chrome (go into chrome dead, and let it sit without power for 1 to 2 min.). Remember **** in, **** out. Motorcyle parts can be tough, there is more than just aluminum in their aluminum, some worse than others, you may have varying degrees of success. If that doesn't work, fling the part across the shop a couple of times.


            • #7
              The alum. is hard to plate but you have to find that perfect spot on the amps in the flash copper. If you zincate then rinse and go into flash copper at a low amp you should do good and make sure your temp. is at 120 also and agitate the solution. I switched from cyniade to the flash and I am starting to like it. The acid copper at a high amp would give me trouble also so watch both copper baths. The pickle #4 helps but I can still plate without it but try different things and be patient.