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topic 4674

Pretreatment of carbon steel for best adhesion.


What is the best way to nickel plate carbon steel and have a good adhesion ? What pretreatment is necessary and is heating after the plating necessary to have a good adhesion?

veronica dewis
- Miami,FL USA


Conventional alkaline cleaning, electrocleaning, and muriatic acid dip should do it. Baking is not necessary to good adhesion, but can be a useful test of adhesion (if it blisters, the adhesion isn't good).

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

16 March 2000

Hi Veronica ,

High carbon steels when treated conventionally often leave a "smut" on the surface which seems resistant to everything except wiping with a rag or a brush , if this occurs then the best recommended cycle is as follows

You could put a 5% Sulfuric Dip just prior to Nickel Plate to prevent drag - in of too much caustic if your rinsing was not up to scratch

best regards

John Tenison-Woods
John Tenison - Woods
- Victoria Australia


30+ years in the plating industry, and my programming from engineering school days still rules me, John. Back in school 'carbon steel' meant 'plain old vanilla steel', i.e., low carbon steel. But you're probably right, Ms. Dewis probably did mean high carbon steel.

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


Dear Mr Tenison-Woods,

I'd string along with your recommended process cycle if it were not for the fact that Veronica Dewis is talking about Carbon steel and I wonder if the electrocleaner before the pickle isn't a little more elaborate than what may suit the function. A double anodic cleaning may embrittle the parts further and if the soak cleaner is doing its job right , then I would probably skip the anodic cleaner before the pickle, or double dip in the soak cleaner.

Veronica, the post nickel plating baking may be required to remove hydrogen from your parts, but will also help to identify parts with bad adhesion, on which the peel off becomes obvious after 3 hours of hydrogen deimbrittlement.

All the best,

Khozem Vahaanwala
Khozem Vahaanwala
Saify Ind supporting advertiser
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

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