Study of coatings electrodeposited from free cyanide solutions

Delci Fátima M. Casagrande Cláudia Trindade Oliveira Célia F. Malfatti Hugo M. Veit About the authors

The electroplating industries use in their productive process several types of chemical solutions, besides water, which after their life cycle must be discarded. Among them, there is cupric cyanide, which is highly toxic for humans and the environment, and it is present in many coatings where the copper layer is necessary. This study aims to compare coatings electrodeposited from solutions with cyanide and free cyanide, with those produced by the traditional process. This comparison involved parts and components of the same quality. In this study, traditional solutions with 25 g.L-1 of cyanide and an alternative solution with 0,015 mg.L-1 of cyanide were used. The parts were produced with Zamak (alloy of Zinc and Aluminum). In order to evaluate the quality of the coating, tests of accelerated corrosion, hardness, comparison of thickness and morphology of the electroplated layer were carried out. The first corrosion traces were detected after 432 hours in the traditional samples and 1032 hours in the free cyanide samples. In hardness tests, there was a better result for the free cyanide samples. The electroplated layer thickness and morphology was similar in both processes. The study results showed that there is technical feasibility in using free cyanide solutions in the electroplating sector.

Electroplating; free cyanide solutions; environmental

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