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"'Pure' Nickel Plating"


I am a 2nd year PhD student at the University of Birmingham, currently researching diffusion bonding of bronze alloys to steel. To aid bonding between the two materials I have electroplated the bronze alloy with 150um of Copper followed by 50um of Ni before bonding at 800 deg C. This has improved bonding, but unfortunately Copper sulfides have formed between the Ni and Cu layers as there was too much sulphur present in the nickel plating. I have spoken to the imf about this and they suggested using a 'pure' (no additives) sulphamate nickel solution to plate the nickel as this produces the lowest Sulphur concentrations. However, they did not mention what type of anode to use. Several electroplaters have said that they use solutions with no additives but they use anodes containing sulphur. Would the sulphur from the anodes produce sulphur impurities in the plated Nickel, or does the fact the anodes contain sulphur have no effect on the Nickel that is plated onto the sample?

Ross Trepleton
University of Birmingham - Birmingham, UK


No effect as I recall. It's sulfur-bearing organics that are the problem, not sulfide. I know that this exact question was discussed in detail on this site, but I'm not patient enough with the search engine to find it; maybe you are. You should also do a literature search with 'Jack Dini' as the author; I know that he has published several great papers about sulfur and organics as they apply to plated layers that need to survive high temperatures.

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

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