Inside Zinc and Zinc-Nickel Post-Plating Protective Finishes

As published in Products Finishing Magazine, August 2020 Issue. When I began my career in metal finishing in the mid-1980s, the industry took an introspective view of where it came from and in what direction it was going. It is interesting to look back at that time and remember all of the changes that began occurring as we entered the 1990s. Environmental concerns dominated the industry. I can specifically remember the market being flooded with new technology and equipment to deal with environmental concerns about the plating process. This was followed by developments in plating … [Read more...]

The Importance of Value

The 19th century poet and playwright Oscar Wilde was famously quoted as saying, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” It’s been well over 100 years since this quote was published, but it certainly has remained relevant in today’s world.   However, it is a challenge for people to universally agree on what defines value. The word value has 11 definitions in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary. With so many definitions of a single word, it’s no wonder we are challenged to determine what true value is. How do I define value? In my position as a … [Read more...]

Alkaline Zinc Plating Revisited

Alkaline non-cyanide zinc (ANCZ) plating has been prevalent in the plating industry for about 50 years. It has become a preferred process for finishers who require a fairly bright zinc-plated finish on parts that have challenging geometrical shapes. ANCZ is typically the chosen zinc process for complicated geometrical shapes due to its ability to plate zinc at a preferred low ratio of zinc thickness from the high current density areas to the low current density areas. Thickness ratios can range anywhere from 1:1 to 2:1 from the high current density area to the low current density area. Bath … [Read more...]

Nickel Stripper Issues and Answers

A customer alerted us to an issue with their acid-based anodic nickel stripper. The issue had been ongoing for at least a couple of months and they had tried many different things to solve the issue. One of the issues was the automatic backwash filtration system had been down for an extended period. It was thought that was the main culprit, based on the appearance of the strip solution showing a great deal of floating solids that would settle to the bottom when there was no circulation. Filtration Fixed, but… The filtration system was fixed, and the customer decided to dump and make … [Read more...]