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topic 12634

Nickel anode questions?


A discussion started in 2002 & continuing through 2017 . . .

(2002)

Q. Hi:

Q. Could you please tell me the difference between S, R and D rounds for nickel plating? Is it that they go in different type baths? Also what is the difference in rolled depolarized and carbonized nickel bar anode?

Thanks all,

Tom Haltmeyer
hobby plater - Peoria, Arizona, USA


(2002)

A. The nickel anode material S and R are from Inco and have the following properties. S rounds have a small amount of sulfur to keep the anode active, which means the anode dissolves at a lower potential than pure nickel. The R-rounds are non-active anode material, which means you need some Chloride or Bromide to help dissolve the anode over a wide potential range. The D material is from Falconbridge and is the same as the S anode.

George Shahin
George Shahin
Atotech - Rock Hill, South Carolina


(2002)

Q. George:

Q. Thank you for your reply. So would the rounds with sulphur work ok in a bath with chloride? Also could you please expound on the rolled/depolarized nickel bar?

Thanks again for your help,

Tom Haltmeyer [returning]
hobby plater - Peoria, Arizona


(2002)

A. Yes-- S-Rounds or Falco D Crowns will work in a bath with chlorides. The voltage required will be lower with sulphur containing nickel, which provides a power savings. The nickel bars you refer to are not electro-nickel like the R and S Rounds, but rather cast or wrought nickel. I have no experience with this form, but my literature says that the carbon and silica would be higher than in electro-nickel.

Don Piett
nickel supplier - Thompson, Manitoba, Canada


(2002)

thumbs up sign Thanks Don:

The waters not so muddy now! I'm starting to understand it.

Tom Haltmeyer [returning]
hobby plater - Peoria, Arizona



To minimize searching and offer multiple viewpoints, we combined multiple threads into the dialog you're viewing. Please forgive any resultant repetition.



S-rounds vs. N pellets for sulfamate nickel plating

(2005)

Q. For a soft ductile nickel is it better to use S nickel or N nickel? I am not worried about the look of it.

Ed Schuster
Hobby - LA, California


(2005)

A. S rounds definitely.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


(2005)

Q. I have a bunch of "N" nickel and have ordered some "S" nickel, can I add the two together so I can use the old stuff up instead of wasting it?

Ed Schuster [returning]
hobby - LA, California


(2005)

A. S-rounds contain a little sulfur to aid in anode corrosion, and they are generally for chloride-free or low chloride baths; N-pellets have no sulfur and are for most chloride baths, and will not properly dissolve in a chloride-free solution. Basically, pure nickel doesn't dissolve well except into high chloride baths, so sulfur is added to it.

It's not that it can't work, Ed. Rather, it's that successful, robust, equilibrium, plating involves getting control of a host of variables; it's like taming tigers, and as soon as you mix pellets in the anode basket, you've let another feral one into the cage.

If it's only a hobby, you can certainly do whatever you want, and it may well work 'good enough'. But part of becoming a gourmet cook is throwing away wilted lettuce rather than trying to sneak 'just a little' into each salad bowl.

(My partner Tom loves dubious metaphores; I'm sure I satisfied him with this one).

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


(2005)

Q. You're right no sense complicating things. I finally got it to work properly I don't want to mess things up again.

I have done a bunch of plating and the parts look great and remained soft after heating, I guess I will try to use the rest of the N pellets first then switch to s nickel. I found with these pellets it took a fair bit of current to get the job done. The pH and boric acid levels remained stable.

Is it ok to use the same bath or should I replace the bath when I put s rounds into it?

Ed [returning]
hobby - LA, California


(2005)

A. I wouldn't, Ed. The critical parameters of a nickel bath ought to be measurable without having to know it's past history. As far as I know, N-nickel won't 'ruin' a sulfamate nickel bath, just reduce it's concentration because not enough nickel is dissolving.

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



(2006)

Looking for new or used nickel S rounds.

William Sklavenitis
Plating - Canton, Ohio, USA
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Nickel S rounds -- is Inco sole source?

October 29, 2009

Is there a competitive product to INCO Nickel S rounds for plating Nickel electroforms?

Rick Waters
Plater - Erie, Michigan, USA
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April 24, 2010

Q. Dear sirs,

Please let me know what is the difference between nickel pellets and nickel S-rounds, we are using S-rounds only , and after opening the packets can it be differentiated between s or p nickel?
Thanks
Regards,

Rakesh Jain
plating shop - Mumbai, India


April 29, 2010

A. Rakesh,
The pellets should have an indication that they are Ni "S" pellets. If so, the sulphur is maintained at 2-2.5%. This is also true for Ni S rounds. Call your supplier to make sure the sulphur and purity of the nickel are the same. If they are, decide whether you want to mix them with the rounds in your anode baskets, or return them.

Mark Baker
process engineer - Malone, New York



June 4, 2010

Q. Supply disruptions to Inco S Rounds has electroformer searching for alternatives. Are the Xstrata D Crowns precisely the same, and interchangeable for precision electroforming applications?

Rob Reed
Electroformer - Denver, Colorado


June 4, 2010

A. Hi, Rob. "Precisely the same" is a bit too strong a term to use for comparing proprietary products from different companies; but, yes, the "D Crowns" are sulfurized nickel like the "S Rounds".

Regards,

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



What to substitute for unavailable Nickel S-Rounds?

May 12, 2017 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I have been using S-Rounds for 35 years, and I am hearing S Rounds are going away. Does anyone have experience with other nickel products: Falconbridge D Crowns, Vale (Inco) pellets, NET Global sulfurized buttons? Which compare to the S Rounds?

Dave K.
Plating Shop Employee - Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
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Ed. note-- Readers: this site endeavors to be spam free. You're encouraged to answer this question, but please no gushing praise (which often leads to competing sales managers posting with fictitious names so they're not outdone :-)


May 22, 2017

A. R and S rounds are being replaced by Plating chips, P pellets and 1" x 1" chips substituted for R rounds.
S pellets are substitutes for S rounds. We have started using them and have not had any issues. Our lab associates have said they are easier to add to the baskets.

Raymond Salchow
Micro Metal Finishing - Cincinnati, Ohio


June 7, 2017

A. S Nickel rounds contain sulphur to help in the depolarisation of the nickel anode. This is very useful when using low chloride solutions such as those based on nickel sulphamate. If you cant get S-Ni, you must find an alternative to ensuring the anode is depolarised, so you may wihs to consider increasing the chloride content of your bath, but this will induce stress, so you will also need to add a stress reliever. I suggest you seek an alternative S-Ni supplier!

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK



August 29, 2017

Q. Been making the switch from "S" rounds to "D" crowns in our sulfamate and watts baths. I started introducing them about a month ago directly on top of the "s" rounds as I was told by my distributor they were completely interchangeable.
The analysis of the "D" vs the "S" looks nearly the same. Negligible differences as far as elemental properties. Unfortunately I'm starting to notice some big differences in our sulfamate. Deposits are developing deep recesses and reliefs. There occurring in areas typical of recesses, where something protruding from the mandrel starts to rob material around or below it. Only now the recess is far more dramatic rendering the form barely usable. Has anyone else made the switch over and noticed changes?

chance dunstan
Chance Dunstan
Electroplating/Forming/Coating Manager
Placerville, California USA



September 8, 2017

A. Hi Chance,

Similar phenomenon was not reported here yet but you may consider S-Pellets as replacement of S-Rounds if you doubt on D-Crowns.

Regards,
David

David Shiu
David Shiu
- Singapore



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