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Seeking: Nickel plated fine aluminum wire (0.001"-0.005")


RFQ: Seeking: Nickel plated fine aluminum wire (0.001"-0.005"). Nickel thickness should be such that x-sectional area ratio of Ni:Al is 1:1.516. For example, 0.004" diameter wire with a little over a half mil Ni coating (0.000576").

Existence of intermediate (zinc?) layer is problematic. Is it necessary for a reel-to-reel process? If it is absolutely required it should be as thin as possible (<5 atomic % of the final product).

Although the total mass required is small (>40g Al, >90g Ni), using the 0.004" diameter Al wire example, 2500 feet would be required.

A continuous strand is NOT required, 25 spools each 100 ft long of Nickel coated 0.004" diameter Al wire is perfectly adequate and should drastically reduce coating time.


Michael R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Sorry, this RFQ is outdated, but technical replies are welcome. No public brand/source suggestions please ( huh? why?)


Why aluminum? Why not stainless steel. If it is to carry electricity, why not copper as it is easier to plate. Why nickel as you can buy copper that is tin or solder or silver plated in fine wires. While 0.005 is not common, I would be shocked if it were not readily available from electronic supply sources at fantastically cheaper than nickel plated aluminum. No it does not have to be plated in a continuous plate if you can stand an occasional spot with no plate. We have done 100' lengths of a fine tape, but not many shops know how or want to mess with unusual jobs.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


Thanks for your reply, however, this is not for an electronic application but for materials research. Nickel on Aluminum in something close to the described configuration is critical. Small unplated areas are tolerable, but better than 95% of the wire should be coated approximately the right thickness. The coating does not need to be perfect. Breaks, pinholes, etc are OK. It seems to me that dropping a coil in a tank would not achieve nearly the uniformity that a reel to reel system would but I don't have any experience so I could be wrong.

Michael R [returning]
- Baltimore, Maryland, USA


You are absolutely correct that reel to reel is the way to go. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of reel to reel done on aluminum, even less on fine wire and even less with nickel. The aluminum plating processes are substantially different than for copper, so you cannot just drop aluminum into a copper line. You are also correct that you can not just drop a coil into the tanks. It has to be loosely wound around a special rack so that you have a minimum contact points, but equal electric current to all loops. Another alternative is to really loosely wrap it over a single bar and periodically shake the rack. I do not think that this will work for you as your wire is too fine to carry enough current to the center of the batch and does not have enough weight to keep it from repeatedly breaking contact with the bar. EN would give a better coverage than electrodeposited nickel if that is an option.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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