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topic 3975

How to protect new electroless nickel plating tank built of stainless steel


I have had a new tank drop into my lap. It is for EN plating and is a 316 lined steel tank. I have been using polypro and am quite familiar with how to use them. But the stainless is new to me. I expect to break it in by soaking with dilute nitric, then an ammonia/DI rinse. Is this all I need to do? Also, I have been reading about anodic passivation. Can I accomplish this with a simple "trickle charger" for cars? Since I apply teflon-type coatings, can I line the walls of the tank to reduce plateout? Any comments would be helpful. Thanks.

Paul Norman
Paul Norman
- Odessa, Texas

February 28, 2009

Hi, Paul. For many years polypropylene was considered the best material of construction for electroless nickel tanks. But more recently most people think stainless steel is better because you can prevent spontaneous plate-out by applying a charge that is sufficient to stop the autocatalytic reaction. You probably could build such a system yourself, but specialists like Palm International and Atotech offer systems tailored to the purpose.

Letter 40335 goes into more detail on this, and if you use the search engine you will find a number of threads about stainless tanks for electroless nickel plating. Good luck.


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

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