Thick (.001") nickel plating using a barrel plater or alternative2003
We're a manufacturer of military batteries. For one of our batteries, we need to plate a brass rivet with nickel and then gold for use as a contact. The specification for the battery calls for .0001" of gold on top of 0.001" of nickel. The rivet is approximately 1/8" long.
From what I understand from talking to several platers is that barrel plating would be the only way to do a part this small, as there would be no way to put it on a rack. However, they've also told me that it is very difficult to get such a thick layer of nickel with barrel plating.
Can anyone offer any alternative processes or other suggestions as to how we could do this?
Thanks very much,Eric Young
Product Design Engineer - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Here is some more information to make the problem more specific:
The brass rivets come from the manufacturer already nickel plated, Class 1, Fully bright, 0.0002" thick, as per SAE-AMS-QQ-N-290 [link by ed. to spec at TechStreet]
The specification for the battery contacts is as follows:
"The contacts shall be constructed from tubular, oval head rivets conforming to MS16535-11 per NASM16535. The contacts shall be nickel plated, 0.0010 inch minimum thickness. Then the contacts shall be gold plated, 0.00010 inch minimum thickness, approximately 0.0456 square inches."
As I understand this, this means that any type of Nickel may be used.
The rivet dimensions are:
1/8" shank length
.061" shank diameter
.109" head diameter
Battery Manufacturer - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Yes you can. First set up a Nickel Chloride Strike, 2 #/gal Nickel Chloride, 2 quarts/gal Hydrochloric Acid. Use Rolled Depolarized Nickel anodes and remove the anodes when not in use (so that the metal does not climb).In the barrel strike the parts for 10 minutes, if later any peeling then increase the time, otherwise reduce the time in 1 minute increments per load until again you see peeling then go back up 2 minutes.
Then with only a very quick rinse, plate in a Sulfamate Nickel Formulation with the metal at 12 or 14 ounces per gal and the pH down around 3.6, using S-Round anodes in a bagged titanium basket. Continue plating until you hit the thickness you desire.
Talk to you client, does he mean 0.002 thickness on the "side" or does he mean 0.002 thickness on the diameter.
Robert H Probert
Robert H Probert Technical Services
Garner, North Carolina
and co-author of The Sulfamate Nickel How-To Guide
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