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topic 12752

Ferroxyl test on Electroless Nickel plating

I work as a QA Engineer, recently our customer required us to perform Ferroxyl test or Aerated water test as per ASTM B733-04 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet] standard on Electroless Nickel plating stamped part. I am running out of time for the FA submission, can anyone please provide the test method and specification?

Peggy Yeap
- Penang, Malaysia


Hello Peggy!

The ferroxyl test, for iron based substrates only, is noted in paragraph 9.6.1 of ASTM B733-04 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet], so I'm not sure I understand your question. The aerated water test is found in paragraph 9.6.3, and requires water per ASTM D1193 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet]. ASTM documents are available at the ASTM website for immediate download (for a price, of course).

The ferroxyl test is further detailed in paragraph 7.3.4 of ASTM A380 [link is to the practice at TechStreet] , "Cleaning and Descaling Stainless Steel Parts, Equipment, and Systems". A modified ferroxyl test is described in ASTM B689 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet], "Electroplated Engineering Nickel Coatings".

Good luck!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart


We are carrying out feroxyl test for some of our machined components. If you are interested we can share the information. I am not sure whether its applicable for stamped components.

- Mysore, India

June 19, 2008

Where can we find this product to do a test? We don't find it in Belgium

- Liège, Belgium

October 12, 2008


Need further advice on this test method being a specification used to determine porosity corrosion in our products. Our parts are having a base substrate of C12L14 which is a form of free cutting steel. We cannot find a solution to constant failures from this test results where Blue spots and streaks are detected. Is the base material not suitable for EN or is the EN process to be refined?

Arthur Lau
Program Manager - Singapore

October 14, 2008

That is a lot of lead in your part. EN will work, BUT it will require a fluoboric acid activation step to remove the surface lead. You could use hydrofluoric acid, but that is one nasty acid. Nothing else will work for consistent quality plating.
You have to make your own ferroxyl test material as it is an acidified ferrocyanide product. This is a very very sensitive test. Will copper sulfate test work?

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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