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topic 16897p2

Electroless nickel plating on stainless steel



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A discussion started in 1999 but continuing through 2020

affil. link
Electroless Plating
by Mallory & Hajdu
from Abe Books
or
Amazon

May 6, 2014 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. How can I activate 316L stainless steel before electroless Ni plating?
How can I increase pH of a Ni electroless solution which I have bought? Is it possible?

Mohammad reza
- Tehran, Iran


May 2014

A. Hi Mr. Reza. We appended your inquiry to a thread which explains the activation of stainless steel for electroless nickel plating. You can probably increase the pH by an addition of ammonium hydroxide, but it depends on the bath formulation. But a solid knowledge base is advisable, as even the reliable measurement of pH in an electroless nickel bath can be difficult, let alone the beneficial adjustment of it :-)

Luck and Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



Need instruction for electroless nickel and nickel-chrome electroplating, step by step

June 3, 2014

Q. Hello sir
I am starting an electroless Ni and a Ni-Cr electroplating plating plant in Surat.
So give me a proper idea and proper process steps one by one.

gosai jaydipgiri
heat engineering works - Surat,Gujarat,India


June 2014

A. Hi Gosai. Please start with our " Understanding Chrome Plating" article, which I hope you find interesting! But if I wanted to start a heat engineering works you'd tell me you couldn't give me the proper process steps one by one :-)

Similarly, our readers would like to help you, but what you are asking is far beyond what the most ambitious reader could cover in a forum response. Sorry! You should retain a plating consultant to get started in such an enterprise; and also hre experienced platers. If you can't do that, you should at least read several of our "must have" plating books. I'd suggest starting with the Metal Finishing Guidebook, followed by Mallory & Hajdu's "Electroless Plating" [affil. link to book info on Amazon]. Best of luck!

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha



How to electroless nickel plate a low-carbon steel + stainless steel weldment

August 28, 2015

Q. I have a low-carbon steel (Consumet iron) part welded to a 304 SS part. The welding material is either 310 or 312 SS. To prevent corrosion to the iron part, I have to electroless nickel plate the whole assembly. I wonder if this is possible?

Dan Bui
- Milpitas, California, USA


September 9, 2015

A. Dan,
I usually see people recommend a Woods nickel strike in order to plate anything onto stainless. Though I wonder, if the electroless nickel plates onto the carbon steel and ignores the stainless, does that still accomplish what you are really after, preventing corrosion on the carbon steel?

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner


September 11, 2015

A. The EN will plate on the SS without a woods strike, but the adhesion will be unsatisfactory for most.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


October 15, 2015

A. Most important - the strike nickel should have no more than 100-150 ppm iron, otherwise the adhesion will not be good.

sara michaeli
Sara Michaeli sara michaeli signature
chemical process supplier
Tel-Aviv, Israel




September 17, 2016 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I am in the process of Electroless Nickel Plating SS 316 metal. I have been unsuccessful this far.

I believe that I am missing a chelating agent. These are the conditions I am using. 50 ml Deionized water, pH ~5, 90 °C, with the following chemicals.

Nickel Sulfate Hexahydrate 1.3g
Glycolic Acid 1.25
Sodium Hypophosphite 1.250

Is this process accurate? If not, kindly advise me how to fix the problem.

Thanks!

Randal Left
Student - Austin, Texas


September 2016

A. Hi Randal. Is the object of your work to develop your own individual plating process, or is the object of your work to do something with that electroless nickel plated stainless steel object? The reason I ask is that students often naturally assume that the way one obtains a plating solution is by mixing commodity chemicals together -- but in fact "nobody" in the Western world does that ... rather, we buy proprietary plating processes that are the result of decades of development effort, and which contain small amounts of several trade secret chemicals.

Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a project aimed at developing specialized plating chemistry ... more power! But if you're just trying to get the darned thing plated, mixing up raw commodity chemicals isn't the way.

I'm not sure exactly what "unsuccessful" means. It's not sticking, it's not thick enough, the vessel spontaneously plates out, or nothing is happening whatsoever? But the first issue to address is that you probably can't successfully plate electroless nickel on stainless without preceding it with a Wood's Nickel Strike. So you might as well do things in the right order from the start. You'll find numerous threads about Wood's Nickel on this site if there isn't enough info on this thread. And are you positive that the article is spotlessly clean to a waterbreak-free condition? Good luck!

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading


sidebar2 October 12, 2016

Q. I am facing problem please help me all if you can. I will be very grateful to you all on this act of kindness. We are here trying to make micro crystalline cellulose from cotton waste. For that we first mix cotton waste in a stainless steel tank in dilute hydrochloride acid, that meaning 1:10, one liter of acid with 10 liter of water, and we are using 34% Commercial grade acid, with continuous heating and mixing. Problem is that all our SS tank accessories get very strong rust and broke within one day or two. Please guide us what to do either we nickel the tank or used some chemical you recommend?
I will be very grateful to you all for your act of kindness.

Syed Faisal shah
Ittehad traders - Peshawar Pakistan


May 2017

A. Hi Syed. Although electroless nickel might possibly work for a while, it would be an outrageously expensive approach. If you cannot use a plastic tank in the sink, you can "line" the sink with vinyl tank lining sheets. Plastic (vinyl, polypropylene, polyethylene, teflon, vinyl ester fiberglass), not metal, is the first thing to consider when handling acids. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



Electroless Copper plating on Cr/Ni Alloy?

May 4, 2017 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I am working on plating Electroless copper on Cr/Ni Alloy. Currently I am facing an adhesion problem, as it was easily removed after wipe off. Any help on this is highly appreciated.

Prabuddha Sampath
Product designer - Sri Lanka


May 2017

A. Hi cousin Sampath. You may know ten times as much about electroless copper plating as I do (that wouldn't be hard), or you may be clueless so far -- and unfortunately there is no way for me to know from your posting :-(

So for starters: you are talking about actual autocatalytic electroless copper plating ... you're not talking about a copper sulphate immersion deposit? Have you activated the alloy first by plating it with Wood's Nickel?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading


May 5, 2017

Q. Hi Ted,
I have used autocatalytic electroless copper plating solution, which has been worked at Cu/Ni Alloy. After the deposition, deposited copper was plated properly. A thin layer of Cu on Cu/Ni alloy.

But when I tried out with Ni/Cr alloy, Cu has been deposited (vary good thickness achieved). Which was not bonded to Ni/Cr substrate as properly as required.

Now what I was thinking of to overcome was to have plate autocatalytic electroless Ni on Ni/Cr then followed with autocatalytic electroless copper plating?

Any other easy way rather than this will be grateful.

Many thanks,
Sampath

Prabuddha sampath [returning]
- Sri Lanka


May 2017

A. Hi Sampath. If you will read the rest of this thread you will see that Electroless Nickel won't stick either. The problem is an inert film which forms instantly on the Nickel-Chrome alloy. You need a Wood's Nickel Strike before the electroless copper. The strike is a very dilute and very acidic solution which simultaneously dissolves that inert film while replacing it with fresh nickel.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading


Electroless Nickel Plating on 316SS Electrolyser Electrodes

May 12, 2017

Q. Hi there

Have been running a prototype of water electrolysis cell stack with SS316 electrodes and now is the time to try something different. Looking into Nickel plating as Nickel is inert vs. aqueous based solutions, so it is a technique of interest since we can improve the longevity of this stack to work for longer.

The SS316 electrodes have been previously pickled with citric acid, passivated with pure oxygen and then followed an activation method that involves electrical charging, see method below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A1U3taekgloAkZ_chJCYF8rObBb4srBnc3Qni-9Ca3E/edit?usp=sharing

From reading a few posts in here, it seems that this method is not something common here among finishers, loading the metal finishing book now to grab some more info on procedures.

The electrodes have been bathing in work solution that is aqueous 10% Potassium Hydroxide since that procedure was run a few months ago. So they are very clean.

Is it worth to consider a HCl activation from where we are at? or Wood's strike? Or would that be an overkill? Or start again with pickling? And passivation again?

Have acquired an electroless nickel plating kit from a hobby plating supplier.

Just want to make sure we get it right first time as it is a long process to pull all the electrodes out of this stack.

Let us know if we are or aren't on the right track.

Much appreciated. RGK

Renaud Kobrynski
Engineer - Brunswick


May 2017

A. Hi Renaud. My personal opinion is that there are a couple of problems here. First is the belief that without prior experience you can plate these plates properly on your first self-supervised training exercise. I think that's optimistic and that as a minimum you should plate and test a variety of scrap and sample parts before you "pull all the electrodes out of this stack".

I don't know if this is a hobby project or a business project, but in commerce we generally send such parts to a plating shop with proven competence, rather than attempting to plate them ourself.

It's probably a semantics issue, not a case of people in the plating industry being unfamiliar with a successful method for "activating" the stainless steel for subsequent plating; the people writing in the blog you mentioned perhaps have a different meaning in mind when they talk about "activating" the electrode for ultimate use whereas platers have in mind activating metals for subsequent electrodeposition onto them.

I don't think it likely that the electroless nickel plating will properly adhere to these 316 SS electrodes unless you first do a Wood's Nickel or equivalent strike. Good luck!

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading


May 18, 2017

Q. Dear Mister,

I don't think you have much understanding on how many hybrids of types of projects out there and where you draw your line between "hobby" or "business", this is plain retarded, and I have no business in answering to this attack.

We have plenty of time at hand as the longer we spend developing our own techniques that keeps our engineering interns busy, the more money we get out of our R&D grant.

Therefore, what advantage would we have in shoving our budget into any of these, inefficient, money hungry "local businesses" that in the end spends it all in real estate scams, when we can empower ourselves with new knowledge in metal finishing for example. Metal finishing ain't rocket science, it has to be done right, just like about anything technical.

We will indeed test on some samples, we are not that stupid.

So are you only experienced in giving advice just to the guys that make metals look pretty or are you going to help us save some time on this plating job on these electrolytic active parts, or is that p'haps too challenging for you old timer?

By the way, congrats for your web interface it's just such a remarkable platform by its simplicity and its technicality, a pleasure to work with that.

Renaud G. Kobrynski [returning]
- Brunswick Vic, Australia


May 27, 2017

"So are you only experienced in giving advice just to the guys that make metals look pretty or are you going to help us save some time on this plating job on these electrolytic active parts, or is that p'haps too challenging for you old timer?"

Nobody knows everything, but when it comes to Ted and the others who participate on this site, collectively there is more knowledge than you will ever acquire in a lifetime.

I suggest you take your offensive attitude and go away. Far, far away.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina


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