plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Copper Migration Through Sulfamate Nickel Plating
October 2, 2008
I have a requirement to electrolytically apply sulfamate Nickel plate over copper to a min thickness of .0002. The application is required to last 50 years. We are already seeing copper migration on the surface of the copper after less then 6 months. I have two questions. Is this plating process appropriate for the required application? Is the plating two thin without a nickel strike?Daniel Brown
Manufacturer and plater - Rochester, New York
October 8, 2008
Two tenths of a mil nickel thickness does not seem thick enough to last 50 years, with or without a nickel strike. You may want to find out if the spec is accurate and make sure your plated thickness is also accurate. For example, spec AMSQQN290 [affil. link], class 1, grade SD, thickness grade G is the lowest thickness in the spec @ .0002. Even with a thickness of .0002, you should not see migration within 6 months however. You may find that you will have to follow engineering plating specifications for this particular part.
Process Engineer - Syracuse, New York