Brass plating is used primarily as a decorative finish, but there are some engineering uses. An engineering example would be the wire in steel belted tires where the steel is brass plated to promote adhesion to the rubber. Brass plating is also used as an anti-galling coating and also on bearing surfaces.
Bright decorative brass finishes are produced by first plating with bright nickel for brightness and then followed with a brass flash plate for 35 to 90 seconds. Such finishes are used in wire goods, decorative lamps, furniture hardware and builder’s hardware. Heavy brass deposits (0.0003 to 0.0006 inches) are used for finishes which will be buffed, burnished, antiqued and /or oxidized. Some of the brass plate will be removed with antiquing and oxidizing processes and therefore the minimum thickness for such processes is 0.0003.
Heavy brass deposits will not plate as bright as brass plated over bright nickel. To obtain bright finishes with heavy brass deposits, they must be buffed or burnished. There are addition agents which will refine the grain of the brass so that the amount of burnishing or buffing is greatly reduced.