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I have seen a number of products made of brass with a silver-looking coating covering the brass on the outside. These products are all quite cheap (for example a small watering can or clothes hooks). What is the cheapest silver-looking material to coat brass with and what process would be used to perform the coating operation for mass production (500,000+ per year) of these products? I'd imagine chrome plating or electro plating would be too costly for these sorts of products so I wonder how things like these are made.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible I am thinking of electroplating as being more expensive than it actually is? I'd imagine once you've bought the machine the ongoing cost could be quite low. $\endgroup$ – user1636588 Oct 29 '18 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ This is the sort of thing that is often outsourced. Even though you are paying another company, the results can be cheaper since they are experts and are amortizing the cost of the equipment over many customers. $\endgroup$ – Eric S Dec 23 '19 at 22:51
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a silver coating on brass is usually nickel electroplate. does your part have to be brass? if it can be made of plastic instead, a shiny coating of metal can be quickly and cheaply applied to it in mass production by either sputtering or metal evaporation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your response. The parts I'm looking at specifically are brass. Is electroplating the most economical production method in that case? $\endgroup$ – user1636588 Oct 29 '18 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ yes, but please note if you are in the USA or EU, plating processes are strictly regulated because of the toxicity of the waste that plating factories produce in quantity. this makes plating expensive and plating shops hard to find. in practical terms, the world is moving away from what is called "plated brightwork" and towards bright-polished stainless steel or anodized aluminum. What is your application? $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Oct 29 '18 at 23:38
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Tin electro plate would be easy to do ,so likely cheaper than nickel despite the high price of tin. .

Or, avoid plating and use German Silver; brass with about 10 to 20 % Nickle that gives it silver color.

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