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Current carrying capacity of nickel plated plastic?

December 10, 2008

will nickel plating on plastics like abs carry current? and is there a way, maybe by thickness of plating to tell how many amps or resistance?

Dave Anderson
buyer - Fergus Falls, MN, USA

simultaneous December 13, 2008

Electroplated nickel has a specific resistance of about 8-9 micro-ohm-cm. electroless nickel phosphorous ranges from 30 to 90, Tin-lead solder is 13-16, gold is about plated gold is about 3-4
Yes nickel is conductive.

don baudrand
Don Baudrand
Consultant - Poulsbo, Washington
(Don is co-author of "Plating on Plastics" [affil link to the book on: Amazon or AbeBooks ])

December 14, 2008

Nickel is a metal so it will conduct electricity. However, very thin layers of electroless nickel are poor conductors because they often include a lot of oxide and are discontinuous. It is very common to put down a couple of microns of nickel and then thicken the metal layer electrolytically, but it is important that the metal layer is adequately conducting, otherwise you will burn the layer and create a high resistance area.

You can use conductivity to measure the nickel thickness but it will only be a guideline as the composition of the metallic layer will also influence its conductivity.

Electroless nickel baths also have a tendency to vary in performance as they age, so it is difficult to keep and maintain a "standard electroless bath" without regularly remaking it or at the very least carefully replenish it

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

December 15, 2008

1-Yes. 2-Yes.
Nickel on top of anything will conduct electricity. Its conductivity is well known.
G. Marrufo-Mexico

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

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