plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Electroless nickel plating 1018 CRS and 304 SST at the same time
We currently produce an assembly bar that is made of 1018 CRS welded with 304 small SST tabs placed approximately 3 feet from each other. We currently are having a vendor electroless nickel plate the bars. We have run into some issues whereby the nickel has been flaking off at the stainless steel tabs. Is it possible to correct this problem by simply applying a Woods nickel strike over the entire assembly?Chris Padua
- Fremont, California, USA
Yes, Chris, I believe so.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Your problem seems so simple and you've even answered your own question! As a plater who has seen this happen several times over the years, DID YOU LET YOUR PLATER KNOW THAT THE TABS WERE STAINLESS? Platers assume that fabricators would tell them if the parts had stainless. It's difficult to know when to apply the strike if the blistering is marginal or if the blistering is delayed. The problem may become more difficult if the plater doesn't have the strike in his line; in general, most zinc automatics don't include Woods strike! There are other alternatives to activating stainless such as cathodic sulfuric strike and you'll find these in either ASTM B253 [affil link] or ASTM B254 [affil link] (one for stainless and other for aluminum).
Milt Stevenson, Jr.
Syracuse, New York
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