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topic 2148

Need tank liner for Electroless Nickel Plating bath


RFQ: I need a source for a bath liner for a small electroless Ni plating bath. Who makes liners? What are they made of? Who is a source in Japan


Kirk McGlothlan
- Japan
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A. Hi Kim,
Many suppliers offer flexible PVC liners; but I am not sure that flexible liners are the best way to go for electroless nickel. You might be happier with a polypropylene tank or a stainless steel tank, cathodically protected.

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


A. Having tried just about everything for over 30 years we have settled on GRP tanks with "polythene bags" as liners. These are custom made with square bottoms to just fit in the GRP tanks. They are one-shot i.e. thrown away every night (complete with any deposits which cause roughness) and the solution filtered in-and-out. The bags cost about £2 ($3) each for 180 litres, we never have roughness, we deliberately operate 8 vats each of 180 liters instead of one or two larger ones and we spend up to £16 ($25) per day on these liners which is chicken-feed on a consumption of £500 ($800) per day of nickel material.

Peter Vivian
- U.K.


A. We purchase our EN liners. They are usually around 30 mil. and are made especially for our tank. The cost is around $34. We use one side and then rinse the liner out and flip it inside out for another use.

Hunter Cutchin
- Easley, South Carolina


A. Throw away liners are available as the gentleman from the UK stated. They can save money as there is no labor or materials involved in stripping the tank each night. Saves in waste disposal of concentrated nickel-acid solutions also.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


A. A couple of considerations you need to keep in mind is that Electroless Nickel runs at 190 °F and at that temperature the liners are extremely susceptible to tearing. Secondly, they don't lend themselves to using an external heat exchanger with an outside filter bags. One last consideration is that of environmental issues. We strip tanks and also use anodic passivation on our tanks. We recover our nickel metal avoiding having to put large plastic liners in our landfills. We have several EN tanks up to a 1000 gallon/ 16' long tanks and that in itself would not make if feasible for liners in our situation. If you have a small tank such as Hunter writes, and don't do a large amount of electroless nickel it may be the right way to go, avoiding having to waste treat the stripper or setup anodic passivation on the tanks.

David M. Weaver
- Toccoa, Georgia

Ed. note: With great sadness for his family we must advise that David lost his life to a car accident on Aug. 15, 2003.

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