Platinizing Aluminum

Aluminum vessels coated with a layer of platinum are recommended in place of platinum vessels, when not exposed to very high temperatures. The process of platinizing is simple, consisting in rubbing the aluminum surface, previously polished, with platinic chloride, rendered slightly alkaline. The layer of platinum is made thicker by repeated application. Potash lye is carefully added to a solution of 5 to 10 per cent of platinic chloride in water till a slightly alkaline reaction is produced on filtering paper or a porcelain plate by means of phenolphthalein. This solution must always be freshly prepared, and is the best for the purpose. Neither galvanizing nor amalgamating will produce the desired result. Special care must be taken that the aluminum is free from iron, otherwise black patches will arise which cannot be removed. Vessels platinized in this way must not be cleaned with substances such as sea-sand, but with a 5 to 10 per cent solution of oxalic acid in water, followed by thorough rinsing in water. These vessles are said to be specially suitable for evaporating purposes.

Platinizing Copper and Brass


The articles are coated with a thin layer of platinum in a boiling solution of platinum sal ammoniac, 1 part; sal ammoniac, 8 parts; and water, 40 parts, and next polished with chalk. A mixture of equal parts of platinum sal ammoniac and tartar may also be rubbed on the objects. Steel and iron articles can be platinized with an ethereal solution of platinic chloride. For small jewelry the boiling solution of platinic chloride, 10 parts; cooking salt, 200 parts; and water, 1.000 parts, is employed, which is rendered alkaline with soda lye. In this, one may also work with zinc contact.


Heat 800 parts of sal ammoniac and 10 parts of platinum sal ammoniac to the boiling point with 400 parts of water, in a porcelain dish, and place the articles to be platinized into this, whereby they soon become covered with a coating of platinum. They are then removed from the liquid, dried and polished with whiting.

Platinizing on Glass or Porcelain

First dissolve the platinum at a moderate temperature in aqua regia, and next evaporate the solution to dryness, observing the following rules: When the solution commences to turn thick it is necessary to diminish the fire, while carrying the evaporation so far that the salt becomes dry, but the solution should not be allowed to acquire a brown color, which occurs if the heat is too strong. The result of this first operation is chloride of platina. When the latter has cooled off it should be dissolved in alcohol (95 per cent). The dissolution accomplished, which takes place at the end of 1 or 2 hours, throw the solution gradually into four times its weight of essence of lavender, then put into a well-closed flask.

For use, dip a brush into the solution and apply it upon the objects to be platinized, let dry and place in the muffle, leaving them in the oven for about one-half hour. In this operation one should be guided as regards the duration of the taking by the hardness or fusibility of the objects treated. The platinization accomplished, take a cotton cloth, dipped into whiting in the state of pulp, and rub the platinated articles with this, rinsing with water afterwards.

Platinizing Metals

Following are several processes of platinizing on metals:

It is understood that the metals to be covered with platinum must be copper or coppered. All these baths require strong batteries.


Take borate of potash, 300 parts, by weight; chloride of platina, 12 parts; distilled water, 1,000 parts.


Carbonate of soda, 250 parts, by weight; chloride of platina, 10 parts; distilled water, 1,000 parts.


Sulphocyanide of potash, 12 parts, by weight; chloride of platina, 12 parts; carbonate of soda, 12 parts; distilled water, 1,000 parts.


Borate of soda, 500 parts, by weight; chloride of platina, 12 parts; distilled water, 1,000 parts.