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topic 11506

Role of surfactants in electroplating

Whet is the role of surfactants in electroplating?

- Islamabad, Pakistan

Yes, exactly :-)

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

The surface tension here is causing me to break down. I hope nobody soils this question with a smart-alec response. Maybe by penetrating and lifting off the layers of dirt here, we can can come clean with useful information.

Dan Brewer
chemical process supplier - Gurnee, Illinois

See what you started here, Ted? These replies are too funny!

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Idaho

So surfactants can be used to help remove soils, how about to prevent gas bubbles from sticking to cathodic surfaces to avoid pitting. Many electroplating solutions use surfactants to modify the cathode film to achieve bright, ductile deposits in usually complicated and not easily explainable ways.

Serious Tom:-0

tom pullizzi portrait
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania

Pardon us, Hafiz -- Dan & I were just having a little fun with our amusing but wonderful English language. You may realize that, following a "w", an "h" if usually silent. The small typo in your question changed 'what' to 'whet', and if we ignore the silent 'h', we are left with the sound of "wet". And what surfactants do, is they reduce surface tension and "wet" a surface.

As Tom says, their most common use in electroplating is to reduce the surface tension so that bubbles of hydrogen gas do not stick to the part and cause gas pits. Thanks for your patience with us!

Best Regards,

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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