Interpreting Nickel Plated Hull Cells

This is one in a series of four videos on Hull Cell Testing. To view the complete series, click here.

Partial Video Transcript

Nickel Plated Hull Cell Panel

Nickel plating baths should be evaluated using either brass hull cell panels or the standard zinc-coated, steel hull cell panels used to evaluate many other plating baths. This video offers best practices and procedures when brass panels are used.

It is important to consider the reference Hull cell which demonstrates the characteristics of the bath when operating at its full potential under stable conditions. All of the Hull cell panels used in this presentation are 2 amp, 10-minute panels. Different types of plating baths may be run under different conditions. You should consult your supplier for specific instructions.

Running the Hull Cell Panel

Begin the analysis by taking a sample of the nickel plating bath. When taking the sample, is important to evaluate the quality of the work coming off of the line. Using the sample which has been taken, run a nickel hull panel at the correct amperage and time. It is important that the temperature is similar to that in the operating plating bath. After the panel is completed,it is not necessary to process the panel as it is with other plating solutions. Reference for assistance may be made by reviewing the first video in this series.

Causes of Burning

  • Low Operating Temperature
  • Low plating salt concentrations
  • High pH

Causes of Poor Leveling

  • Imbalance of Addition Agents
  • Low pH (Dullness)
  • High pH (Cloudiness)
  • Improper temperature

Causes of Roughness

  • Impurities in the Bath, such as Hard Water Salts
  • Imbalance of Plating Salts
  • High pH

This video is intended to provide guidance and is for illustrative purposes only. It is not intended as a comprehensive discussion of hull cell testing or interpretation of nickel plating bath hull cell panels. Nor is this presentation intended to substitute for the recommendations of a trained metal finishing professional. The conclusions of any hull cell testing are those of the operator and care should be taken prior to the making of any changes to a working plating bath solution.

For additional information, to obtain a copy of the Asterion Trouble Shooting Guide for Nickel Plating, or to arrange for a technical consultation, please contact Asterion at 1-800-428-0719.