tin plating for corrosion resistance

Copper Plating Services


Copper Plating FAQ’s

Selective Plating provides coil-to-coil copper plating in matte finish.  Our copper plating conforms to ASTM B734, B545 and MIL-T-10727 requirements.

What is copper plating?

Copper plating provides a soft, ductile surface of pure copper metal.  It is often used in electronic applications as an under-plate for its solderability and conductivity.  Copper is generally considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. 

Selective offers a matte finish pure copper plating that can be used as a finish layer with an anti-tarnish coating applied.

What are the advantages of copper as an under-plate?

A common practice in the plating industry is to use a copper flash under-plate before plating the tin, nickel or other metal.  Also, a customer may specify a heavier copper layer.  On certain alloys the relevant ASTM standard (B545) requires the use of a copper under-plate.

A copper under-plate provides the following advantages:

  • Slows zinc migration in applicable alloys.

Tin attracts the zinc in the base metal causing it to slowly migrate toward the surface.  The copper layer acts as a barrier layer and will greatly improve the shelf life solderability of the plated material.  A 100 micro-inch thick layer is generally recommended.

  • Improves adhesion.

Material that may have an oxide layer that is more difficult to remove through the normal pretreatment process can benefit from the use of an acid copper under-plate.  The acid can remove any small amount of oxidized material remaining.

  • Highly solderable.

The use of a pure copper layer over alloyed copper will improve the solderability of the final plated product.

  • Ductile intermediate layer may improve formability of parts.

Under extreme deformation conditions the highly ductile nature of the copper layer may help preserve the continuity of the plated surface.

  • Highly conductive.

Only silver is a better conductor and copper is much cheaper.

  • Provides a more uniform appearance of tin plating.

Slight imperfections in the surface of the base metal can be overcome with a uniform copper under plate.

Is Selective’s copper plating RoHS compliant?

Yes.  Our copper plating deposits conform to RoHS and other similar hazardous material control specifications.  Certificates of analysis can be provided as proof of compliance.  See our Quality page for more information.

How does Selective certify copper plating thickness?

Copper plating thickness is certified with each customer order with a certification document.  Measurements are made according to ASTM B504 using the Coulometric method or a calculated thickness depending on the base metal alloy.  Each coil processed is checked for conformance to the customer-supplied thickness requirement.

How does Selective certify copper plating adhesion?

Copper plating adhesion is measured using two tests as outlined in ASTM B571.  Both the Bend Test and Scribe-Grid test are used.  Each coil processed is tested for conformance.

Can Selective certify the origin of the copper used in its processes?

There is a legitimate concern that the metal ore may originally be mined in certain “areas of conflict” that are undesirable countries with which to do business.  Selective does not purchase any metal originally mined or subsequently processed in any of these parts of the world.
A letter is available certifying this fact from our copper metal supplier.  You can download a PDF copy of it directly from our website by clicking on the Material Origin link on the Quality page.

Can Selective supply MSDS sheets for plated metal?

Yes.  Selective offers MSDS sheets from our metal suppliers.  Also, an MSDS sheet for each metal as plated is available.  Go to the MSDS link on our Quality page.


Selective Plating, Inc.
240 South Lombard Rd.
Addison, IL  60101
Ph: 630.543.1380   Fax: 630.543.1392