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Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

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  • Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

    I am trying to use the brush plate kit to plate some small motorcycle parts with copy chrome. I am not sure if the base metal is pot metal, aluminum, or aluminum alloy. Muriatic acid reacts quickly on some parts and slowly on others. I know that aluminum needs to be zincated and pot metal needs to be flash coppered. However, is there a 'safe' process that would work on either or all of these metals? Can you use regular copper plating instead of using flash copper?

  • #2
    Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

    Flash copper would be the safe method
    Jim Eaton

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    • #3
      Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

      I don't think it is possible to brush plate aluminum or potmetal, it's difficult to tank plate these metals.

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      • #4
        Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

        Originally posted by fxstcguy98
        I don't think it is possible to brush plate aluminum or potmetal, it's difficult to tank plate these metals.
        I have never tried to brush plate aluminum, but I have brush plated small pot metal pieces
        so it is possible but on a motorcycle I just don?t think you would get the coverage necessary
        Jim Eaton

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        • #5
          Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

          Is it just the copy chrome that your tring to use, or all three plating steps
          (copper,nickel,chrome)
          If you can get the copper on the parts from a bath, then I know you can nickle and chrome the parts. I use to do the brush plating...your going to need the flash copper for pot-metal or alum. its easier than the nickle strike. If the parts react with muratic then its pot-metal, you want to mix 50/50 muratic and water for your pot-metal etch, then go into your flash copper..of course this is after your proper prep of the parts.
          www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

            I am just trying to use the copychrome and the parts are on the handlebars, so not much 'road dirt' is going to get on them causing corrosion. If I use the 50/50 muriatic etch prior to using the flash copper, how long should I leave the parts in the etchant? Also, I have the parts gleaming from intense buffing. They actually look like chrome right now. As far as coverage is concerned, the parts are small and once I get the process down, I plan to 'graduate' on up to the tank systems. Thanks for everyone's input so far! Joe
            Last edited by jdfavali; 03-16-2006, 08:32 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

              I don't know anything about the copy chrome, but when you etch the pot-metal in the 50/50 just use a tooth brush, dip the brush and brush it over the part for a few seconds and rinse the part and go to the flash.
              The parts need to look like chrome before you etch them, but when you brush the etch on they will turn a light grey but thats ok just rinse and go live (connect the pos. wire before going in bath) in the flash. Remember pot-metal is very hard to plate so it might take several times before you plate with out a blister...
              good luck.
              www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                Re: Safe process for pot metal and aluminum?

                If your doing bike parts put down the brush and step up to the tank. I think you'll find you'll be alot happier.

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