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topic 1695

Lactic acid or metacrylic acid in Watts nickel plating


Q. I've recently received promotional material from a chemical supplier suggesting using a form of lactic acid as an additive to a nickel plating bath. The lactic acid acts as a complexing agent and a buffering agent. Anyone have any experience with this?

The same literature suggests a Watts Bath should contain 0.5 to 1 g/l metacrylic acid as a "Hydrogen Scavenger". I can find no reference to this in any of my plating books. Any information on this subject would be appreciated.

One final and unrelated question. What is the effect of small amounts (5 to 30 ppm) of ammonia in a nickel plating bath. My lab tests indicate that it causes pitting on the nickel plate. Can anyone verify this?

Donald Piett
- Thompson, Manitoba


A. Nice to hear from you, Don (we had a beer or two together in Cinci back in '97). Lactic acid is common in electroless nickel, but I've personally never heard of it or metacrylic acid in electrolytic nickel.

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


Q. Would like to learn how to plate small metal parts of brass with nickel. Any book title suggestions? Also other metals with other platings.

Gordon Stuart
Retired- GE -


A. Hi, Gordon. See our list of "must-have" books for our suggestions about the most helpful books. Best of luck.

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

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