Plating on Copper, Bronze and Brass

Chrome Plating and Electroplating Copper and its Alloys

Plating on copper and its alloys (brass and bronze) is most commonly used in applications for musical instruments, ornaments, ice machine evaporators, cloisonné, and electronic components.

Copper has excellent electrical characteristics and thermal conductivity. It is also a relatively soft metal which is easily formed. Copper metal when corroded will form a patina or a green/blue oxide on the surface. While the patina looks pleasant, the oxide film is less conductive.

Our chrome plating and electroplating copper process is performed with a similar sequence to plating on steel. Soak clean, followed by an electro-clean, an acid pickle, and a nickel strike. After the strike is applied, virtually any type of plating can follow. For decorative exterior applications, the strike is followed by a layer of semi-bright nickel, high sulfur nickel, bright nickel, micro-porous nickel, and chromium.

For electronics applications nickel can be the final finish. Electroless nickel with immersion gold (ENIG) can be applied to copper traces. Finally, the Tri-Metal white bronze can be plated over a layer of nickel to improve solder ability and corrosion protection.