Why Zinc Plating?

Most people you talk to about zinc electroplating, have very little knowledge of what  that process means, or why you would want to perform it. As you go a little deeper into the explanation of what zinc electroplating entails, they begin to see the picture. Looking at a car, there are many parts that will corrode from exposure to water and salt from the roads. The corrosion leads to part failure if left unchecked. The next question that comes to mind is, how do you protect these parts? Answer: You add a coating on top of the parts to slow down or prevent corrosion. There are a variety of … [Read more...]

Simple Comparison for Cleaners

We all want the best least expensive cleaner to do our cleaning job. The question is, what cleaner works and meets all my needs on my nickel plating line? When comparing cleaners, how do you make sure that you are doing a complete and thorough comparison? Several things must be evaluated to determine a complete picture. First, you must understand and know what you are cleaning: The base metal, soils to be removed, time allowed, temperature allowed, rack or barrel, concentration, waste treatment requirements, makeup and dump schedule, makeup investment, and use investment. Following the basics … [Read more...]

Eliminating Cyanide from Your Copper Plating Process

There are a variety of copper plating technologies. These include acid copper, electroless copper, alkaline non-cyanide copper and alkaline cyanide copper.  With the EPA’s Common Sense Initiative, plating facilities are moving away from the cyanide copper processes. The Common Sense Initiative impacts the automotive, iron and steel, computers and electronics, printing, petroleum refining, and metal finishing industries. Its objective is to reduce or prevent pollution, and the plan assigned a high priority to reducing or eliminating emissions of hexavalent chrome, chlorinated solvents, cadmium … [Read more...]

Effective Manufacturing Parts Cleaning

Parts washing and coating pretreatment is an integral part of many manufacturing operations across the U.S. today.  Typically if the part is going to be welded, coated, assembled, or shipped "as is," the greases, lubricants, coolants, and oils from the previous step must be removed to ensure effective future process success.  Sometimes the pretreatment step is an afterthought, or an effective full assessment has never been performed to determine what is the best pretreatment chemistry for your process.  How do you choose the best pretreatment chemistry? Many times the existing cleaning … [Read more...]

Some Electrical Troubleshooting Notes

When trying to figure out what is causing a particularly stubborn plating problem, and checking out the chemistry seems fine, you know that you sometimes have to check out the electrical area of the process. These are a few things you can do with a VOM (volt-ohm meter). First of all, be sure you have a good VOM that has built in capacitance and not a cheap “battery tester." Checking for AC Ripple from Rectifier If the rectifier has recently dropped a diode or has degraded filter capacitors, it may not be filtering out the unwanted AC current properly. When this happens, the AC ripple is … [Read more...]

Watts Nickel Bath: Basis for Modern Nickel Plating

When looking at the chemistry of the Modern Nickel Plating solution, you have to go back to the early 1900’s; 1916, to be more precise. Watts began plating nickel with nickel sulfate, nickel chloride and boric acid. These components are the basis of all modern bright, semi-bright, microporous and high-sulfur formulations used today. While the combination is always the same, the amounts differ some by bath type and manufacture.  To compare the original formulation to the bright nickel levels, here are the typical levels: 1916                                                  2013 Range Nickel … [Read more...]

Rack or Barrel Electroplating?

Electroplating may be defined as a deposition process where a thin coating of metal is deposited on a surface by passing an electric current through a solution in which the plated part acts as the cathode. The anode is often composed of the metal being deposited. The solution, or plating bath, contains dissolved salts of the metals being deposited. There are two basic types of deposition methods commonly used for electroplating, rack or barrel, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Both are dependent on the parts (being plated) seeing a DC current while in contact with the … [Read more...]

Choosing the Right Bright Nickel Process

Bright Nickel plating has been used in nearly every area of manufacturing. Whether it is plumbing, automotive, food service, military, machine and equipment components, or fasteners bright nickel provides an aesthetic finish with good corrosion resistance.  Bright nickel electroplating processes may be in coil / sheet lines, reel to reel, barrel or rack processes.  For this discussion we will consider the rack and barrel processes.  Bright nickel typically serves as a bright finish to provide a cosmetically pleasing finish over steel, brass, or copper. Usually it is a decorative under layer … [Read more...]

Prosclean Phos Strip L

PHOS STRIP L is an alkaline liquid product used to remove heavy zinc phosphate coatings from ferrous substrates. PHOS STRIP L contains a surfactant package that will generate a foam blanket during the stripping process to keep fumes and mist escaping from the process tank to a minimum. Due to the high alkalinity content of PHOS STRIP L, it can also be used for alkaline pickling of steel to remove rust and scale avoiding the use of corrosive liquid acids. … [Read more...]

Technibrite SN 200

TECHNIBRITE SN 200 is an easy to use bright acid tin process that produces exceptional brightness and leveling from a standard sulfate acid tin electrolyte while maintaining exceptional solderability. After the initial make up of the plating solution using TECHNIBRITE SN 200 MU and SN 200 MT, the deposit quality is maintained with TECHNIBRITE SN 200 MT additive. This maintenance additive can be constantly metered into the plating solution using an ampere hour brightener feeder. The TECHNIBRITE SN 200 process is unique in that the brightener system is stable upon standing. Due to the stability … [Read more...]