TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Brief explanation of brush plating – what is it and how can I do it?

What is brush plating?

“Brush plating” is a partial plating method which uses techniques of electro plating. Not like normal wet plating, brush plating does not require plating tank. In brush plating method, necessary tools are only dedicated brushes, rectifier (power supply), and chemical solutions.

What can “brush plating” do ?

Below is the list of features and usages of brush plating.

Features:

  1. Facility is simple.
  2. Easy to perform.
  3. In case plating sample is too big to handle, does not need to detach/disassemble the sample.
  4. Able to perform plating onto partial area.
  5. Able to be used with a variety of plating solutions.

Usages:

  1. To repair damaged part or worn part. For example, printing rollers.
  2. To improve corrosion resistance property.
  3. To improve abrasion resistance property.
  4. Decorative plating.
  5. Functional plating. For example, to improve resistivity, to improve wettability to solder.

How to perform brush plating

Preparing necessary tools

As the name indicates, “brush plating” is sometimes executed with a tool resembles to “painting brush”. However, in general industrial scenes, brush plating is being executed with a metal electrode covered with impregnating material such as absorbent cotton. These tools are expressed as brushes.

Examples of “brushes”

Product No. : FS-1 (“Painting brush” type)
Product No. : S-10 (carbon type)

*IMPORTANT

In brush plating process, multiple brushes are necessary. For example, if plating processes you plan to perform are “Degreasing -> Activation -> Nickel plating”, you need 3 brushes. One is for degreasing, other one is for activation, and the last one is for nickel plating.

Examples of brush plating solutions

 Product No.Product nameMaterial of brush tip
Plating solutionBP-AU-02Non-cyanide Gold Plating Solution 50mLPlatinum, Carbon
BP-AG-03Non-cyanide Silver Plating Solution
BP-PT-01Platinum Plating Solution 100ml
BP-RH-01Rhodium Plating Solution 25mlPlatinum, Carbon
BP-NI-01Nickel (acidic) Plating SolutionCarbon
BP-NIW-01Nickel Tungsten Plating Solution
BP-CU-01Copper (acidic) Plating Solution
BP-CU-03Thick Copper (acidic) Plating SolutionCopper
BP-SN-02Tin(acidic) Plating SolutionTin, Carbon
BP-ZN-02Zinc (acidic) Plating SolutionZinc
Pre-treatment solutionBP-ELC-01Electrolytic Degreasing SolutionCarbon
BP-ACT-01Activated Solution (1)
BP-E-02Chromium Peeling Solution

*If nothing mentioned, volume of plating solution is 500ml.

*Photos and list above are just examples, and we have other brush/solution products.

Plus, brush plating needs rectifier (power supply). For brush plating, we have rectifiers below:

  • B-63 : Rectifier for Alumite / Brush Plating 10A, 0 – 20V
  • B-65 : Rectifier (Model-30A2) 30A, 0 – 15V
  • B-67 : Rectifier (Model-3A2) 3A, 0 – 15V

Executing brush plating

To perform brush plating, please refer to procedure below:

1. Prepare brushes

“Painting brush” type does not need special preparation, but other brushes (brushes with metal tip) need to be covered with absorbent cotton to keep being wetted by plating solution. Please cover metal tip with absorbent cotton tightly, then wrap the covered brush tip with tube gauze. Lastly, fix them with rubber band.

*In some cased, tube gauze is not used.

After preparation of brush tip, connect brush to rectifier’s anode side(Red/+ side), and connect plating sample to rectifier’s cathode side (Black/- side).

2. Pre-treatments

Perform pre-treatments. The order is:

Electro-degreasing -> rinse -> activation -> rinse

*For detail of degreasing and activation, please refer to FAQ page.

First, turn on the rectifier and adjust current value, then immerse brush tip to electro-degreasing solution, followed by putting brush tip onto plating sample. Current starts to flow and dirt on the plating sample will be removed. After degreasing is done, rinse with clean water to flush dirt. If rinsing is finished, please proceed to activation process in the same way of electro-degreasing, and rinse sample again.

* In some cases, solution can be splashed. Please prepare a tray to collect liquid.

*Rinsing process does not need electricity.

*If dirt is remaining, plating does not go well. So please perform electro-degreasing with care.

3. Plating

Same as pre-treatment, turn on the rectifier and adjust current value. Immerse covered brush tip to plating solution, then put brush tip on where you want to plate. In an instant, plating film starts to be formed. At this point, please move tip of brush slowly. If tip of brush is not in motion, it may cause burnt film.

Theory of causing plating, in other words metal is being deposited, is identical to normal electroplating. Please refer to pictures below.

Example of Brush S-10
Example of Brush FS-1

Plating condition is depend on each plating solution, so please refer to instruction manual for detailed conditions. (same as electro-degreasing and activation)

After plating is done, please rinse the plated sample well. If plating solution is remaining, it may cause corrosion and/or change of colour. After rinsing, please dry well to finish plating processes.

Related post

Technical Information Category


  1. Plating Analyzer
    Titration Analyzers, Boume Hydrometer, Sulphameter,

  2. Plating Test Kit
    Hull Cell Test Kit,Jet Plating,Strain Gauge-Type Stress-Meter,Spiral Contract-Meter, Haring Cell

  3. Wafer Plating Kit
    Silicon Wafer Plating Kit

  4. Laboratory and Small-lot Production Kit
    Beaker-KUN, , 2L laboratory Tank set,

  5. Barrel
    Horizontal Barrel, Tapered Barrel, Micro Barrel,Dummy Ball

  6. Tank
    Materials vary and tank volume from 33ml to 200L

  7. Heater/Thermostat
    Small Heaters, immersion heater, L-type heater

  8. Filter and agitation
    Multi-Filter, Air pump, Air Filter, cartridge

  9. Power Supply
    Programmable Power Supply, Silicon Rectifier, Step-down Transformer

  10. Cathode Rocker
    Paddle Cathode Rocker 200BWA, forr Electroless Plating, Beaker plating

  11. Jig
    Clasp for heater, sensor, Crips for samples, Rack

  12. Anode/Cathhoode
    Size vary, Hole processing and cutting are available

  13. Brush Plating
    For repair of wear and scratches and Decorative plating (engraving, etc.)
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