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topic 4675

Avoiding hydrogen embrittlement when plating springs


Q. Hello!

We will be tasked to plate bolts made from 1060 or swrh62B materials. Is there a way of avoiding the post plate baking due to the hydrogen embrittlement? If we need to bake it, at what temperature and how long?

We plan to tumble clean the parts with an alkaline cleaner, acid pickle with muriatic acid, then anodic cleaning and alkaline zinc plate for 30-40 minutes.

Thanks you for your time.

andrew kaw
- Manila, Philippines


A. Hi andrew ,

Mechanical Plating would not need post plating treatment for Hydrogen Embrittlement. I suggest that you contact Macdermid if you have any interest.


John Tenison-Woods
John Tenison - Woods
- Victoria Australia


Mechanical zinc plating possibly may be the answer...then again it may not be. Parts under 6" in length and/or under one pound in weight will generally mechanically zinc pretty well.

However, as part size increases much over these parameters, mechanical plating becomes increasingly more difficult. So, if your bolts are 3/4" x 4", they are the ideal size....if they are 1 1/4" x 6", they will be difficult to process....and if they are 2" x 12", they will be practically impossible. Correspondingly, as the size and mass increase above optimal, the heavier zinc thicknesses are more difficult to achieve.

John C. Williams
- Birmingham, Alabama


A. Hello Andrew, With proper cleaning, DACROTIZING does not induce hydrogen embrittlement.

Peter Weber
- Creil, France


A. If you actually require plating rather than substitutes like mechanical plating and zinc-rich dip-spin painting, I just read an interesting paper ...

- Baking within 1/2 hour was able to successfully prevent embrittlement every time.

- Baking within 4 hours was able to successfully prevent embrittlement every time if the baking temperature was a little higher than spec.

- Baking within 8 hours was able to successfully prevent embrittlement most times if the baking temperature was both a little longer and a little higher than spec.

- After 24 hours it was hopeless.

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


Hello Ted,

May I have the full reference for this paper? Thanks.

Emanuel Cooper
I.B.M. - Yorktown Heights, New York


By the way, Mr. Cooper, Tom Pullizzi says hello.

The paper I was looking at is "Time and Temperature Effects on the Embrittlement Relief of High Strength Steel" by W. Craig Willan, P.E., Omega Research and Engineering, Southlake, Texas, submitted for presentation at the First International Technology Transfer Conference, Hydrogen Embrittlement of Fasteners, Denver, CO, May 1995.

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

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