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Q. We barrel plate fasteners using an alkaline zinc plating bath. We were told by the chemical supplier that the ideal rotation speed for fasteners is 6 rpm, but we believe we get more brightness at 12 rpm. Which speed is correct?—G.H.
A. The rotation speed recommended by your supplier is OK, but a greater rotation speed certainly will not harm your production. A greater rotation speed tends to give you a somewhat better distribution of the plated deposit. The only drawbacks that I am aware of when using greater speeds is that your barrels may require more frequent maintenance and, of course, delicate parts may be more readily damaged.
For more information, go to PFonline.com and search for “barrel rotation speed.” You will find multiple references to barrel plating and the various aspects to consider when doing this type of plating.