Copper Plating is electrolytic plating that deposits a layer of copper onto the substrate to improve its strength, hardness, corrosion resistance, malleability, and/or conductivity. Copper plating can be used for decorative purposes or functional purposes and is one of the few colored metals. As it is a reasonably ductile metal, copper can be easily polished and is commonly used in restoration plating either as a stand alone finish or more commonly as an electroplated deposit prior to nickel and / or chrome plating.
There are three main types of solutions used in copper plating, which are described below.
Alkaline copper has the best throwing power but cannot be plated at as high a current density as acid copper and typically involves the use of cyanide. This bath is often used as a strike for acid copper which is better at increasing deposit thickness. There are non-cyanide processes available however they are not practical for all applications.
Acid copper is less expensive, easy to control, and can be plated at high current densities. However, it cannot be plated directly onto steel or zinc diecast and it does not have the throwing capability of alkaline copper.
Mildly alkaline copper plating is often used on printed circuit boards. It is less corrosive than acid baths and is essentially non-toxic. This bath has good throwing power but like acid copper it cannot be plated directly onto copper or steel without a cyanide copper strike.
Advantages of copper plating
With the help of additives, copper plating offers many advantages. The main advantages are as follows.
- Copper as a material is in steady supply and is relatively cheap to source when compared with other metals.
- Copper offers highly conductive, second only to silver.
- Copper is an excellent choice for an underplate, it often covers minor imperfections in the base metal.
- Copper has high plating efficiency, resulting in excellent coverage, even on otherwise difficult parts.
Applications of copper plating
With the aid of additives, copper plating has been useful in many fields. The main applications are as follows.
- Oil and gas: The oil and gas industry relies on copper plating to protect and prolong the lifespan of pumps, drills, and other equipment used in high-vibration, high-impact oil drilling and extraction operations.
- Electronics: Because of copper's excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, the electronics industry uses copper plating to enhance the conductive qualities of electrical components.
Alfa Chemistry supplies copper plating additives to companies producing electroplating solutions. Depending on your different needs, you can choose from the following copper plating additives.
Acid Copper Plating
1. Quick brighten to high level & perfect gloss.
2. Excellent covering & throwing power to strong ductility.
3. Strong anti-impurity power against pits & bare spots.
4. Wide range of current density to easy operation.
Acid Copper Barrel
1. Special for barrel plating of small parts.
2. Fast brighten in wide gloss range.
3. Stable bath with long life span.
4. Easy to operate.
1. Suitable for pre-coppered plating to a uniform thick deposit.
2. Excellent brighten to high gloss & smooth deposit.
3. Wide current range, good current distribution, easy operation.
4. Single additive for both make-up and replenishment, easy to control.
Cyanide Copper Plating
1. Bright and smooth coating, the crystallization of dense, small gap, good adhesion.
2. Wide range of current density, excellent coverage.
3. Impurities in high-tolerance, easy to control.
4. Selected to used in basic parts of different material.
1. Direct plating on the surface of steel, zinc alloy, zinc-treated aluminum alloy, etc.
2. Smooth, fine, soft, and porous-free coating.
3. Excellent dispersion and enhanced coverage power.
4. pH adjust with potassium carbonate.
Alkaline Copper Plating
1. Fine grained plating layer; seldom bring holes.
2. The plating layer is bright and glossy and has good covering power.
3. The bath solution is stable and is easily maintained, and has good tolerance to the impurity.
4. It is used for plating on steel, copper and copper alloy, especially zinc alloy.
High Speed Copper
1. The internal stress of deposits can be reduced effectively with fine grained structure, little porosity.
2. It can get more even and brighter deposits by improving the dispersive ability.
3. Especially suitable copper hydrometallurgy and electroforming as well as other copper plating processes to prevent dendritic deposits and scorch in HCD area.
As a supplier of electroplating chemicals, Alfa Chemistry has always shown great interest in copper plating. Alfa Chemistry is committed to providing a wide range of copper plating additives. If you do not find what you need, please contact us. We also offer product customization according to customer's detailed requirements.