I am playing around with copper plating using Copper Sulfate solution with electricity.
I am using 2-2.5 volts as power source and around 100-500 mA.
It is actually a very small container around 100 ml of the solution.

I have used copper sulfate anhydrous to make the solution and I have mixed around 20 mg with around 200ml of tap water in normal room temp.

I have tried several materials (iron, copper , steel, graphite) but I end up with a layer of copper that can be easily removed, even I leave it for fair amount of time(up to 15 min), the result layer is actually is not thin at all but still can be easily removed!!

What is the thing that I am missing here, I have seen people doing this on the internet for just like 5 min. and the layer that they create seems very strong!!


Roughen the deposition surface, perhaps by buffing with very coarse sandpaper or an abrasive scrub pad or similar.

If the surface isn't rough enough, the deposited coating has nothing to mechanically "grab onto" and it can be peeled off just as you've observed. With a sufficiently rough surface, the deposition penetrates into the nooks and crannies of the surface texture and adheres very strongly.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was doing exactly the opposite of what you are saying,I was smoothing the surface as possible by very fine sand paper, I will try it and see the results! $\endgroup$ – Muhammad Nour Nov 5 '16 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ @MuhammadNour Oh, yeah, no wonder it's not sticking. Plating on shiny, smooth surfaces is a great way to make copper foil, just as you've observed. :-) $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Nov 5 '16 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ Will the concentration of the copper sulfate in the solution make a difference ? $\endgroup$ – Muhammad Nour Nov 5 '16 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Not a huge difference. If it's too low, you'll know because the deposit will look rough and darker in color. It should still deposit appreciably, though. $\endgroup$ – hBy2Py Nov 5 '16 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ You can also dip the parts to electroplate into a slightly acidic solution, the acid will attack it and increase its roughness. $\endgroup$ – Laurent Giroud Oct 6 '19 at 4:57

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