Plating Baths

Commercial zinc plating is accomplished by a number of distinctively different systems: cyanide baths, alkaline noncyanide baths, and acid chloride baths. In the 1970s, most commercial zinc plating was done in conventional cyanide baths, but the passage of environmental control laws throughout the world has led to the continuing development and widespread use of other processes. Today, bright acid zinc plating (acid chloride bath) is possibly the fastest growing system in the field. Approximately half of the existing baths in developed nations use this technology and most new installations specify it.

The preplate cleaning and postplate chromate treatments are similar for all zinc processes; however, the baths themselves are radically different. Each separate system is reviewed in detail in this article, giving its composition and the advantages and disadvantages.

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