Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rhodium plating 950 palladium./Kraftwerks

Some reports have come in that 950palladium is proving difficult to rhodium plate. What happens is a sizing is done with solder that leaves a gray line. This is a good reason to get solders made for 950 palladium. Like our PD-E here at PMWest.

The reported problems have been a cloudy look to the rhodium. Not wanting to let something like this go unsolved, I called my best connection in the plating world-Neil Bell of Red Sky Plating. We spoke and he kindly agreed to try a sample I sent to him. This was a very busy time for him, as he was preparing for the Santa Fe Symposium.
I have received the sample ring back and it looks great.

Soon (today I hope) I will talk to Neil and get the details on what he does to get good results.

Kraftwerks is this weekend. its your best chance to get to see and work with 950 palladium.


Thomas said...

Danniel, I was interested to hear the results Red Sky had with rhodium on palladium. You may recall, I spoke to you about a problem with rhodium sometime last year. Our results showed an orange peel surface. The palladium was the Hoover alloy. This surface defect happened with rhodium and even with salt water as the solution. Solder lines were not a concern in our trial.

If you can find out if the difference in palladium alloy and/or differences in plating procedure can eliminate such a problem, please let us know. We use the simple clean and plate procedure common in most retail stores for rhodium plating. Thanks, Thomas in Tennessee.

Tim from Melbourne Australia said...

We had a similar problem with Rhodium plating of 950 Palladium. The Cleaning salts pitted the metal, so we re-polished it, then tried plating without the cleaning salts, but alas the Rhodium solution pitted the Palladium also.

Anonymous said...

We've also experiences the 'frosted pitting as a result of plating, I have noticed however that when the ring is submerged in the plating solutions it appears not to have a significant current, and immediatly after removing the ring from the solution the remaining solution on the ring starts to bubble and the frosting occurs in a pattern that looks like the effect occurs quickly and as it is brought out of the solution.
Just observations, could be very wrong, the joins are a big problem aswel. As the solder can be pulled out with a 0 or 1 file. To combat this we used 18ct white gold metal(not solder) to join the ring and this works perfectly, the join is less visible than with 950 solders and it does not pull out of the join.
I'd be very interested to hear more about working this metal, as it seems not to be worth the effort.