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How do you synthesize nickel sulfamate?

September 14, 2010

Q. I am interested in trying nickel sulfamate electroplating and am having problems finding a reasonably-priced source for it. On a whim I tried DI water with sulfamic acid, a bag of nickel rounds on the anode, and a copper cathode, at 5 volts. This forms large quantities of green crystals on the cathode in a fairly short amount of time as well as turning the water dark green. My question is: what is it? I later read that nickel sulfamate was made by reacting nickel carbonate with sulfamic acid, but not having nickel carbonate at this point I thought I would at least ask to see what the substance generated is.

Larry Battraw

Larry Battraw
Electronics designer, metals hobbyist - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

September 15, 2010

A. You made soluble nickel sulfamate and probably nickel hydroxide crystals at the cathode.

Lyle Kirman
consultant - Cleveland Heights, Ohio

September 20, 2010

A. Larry, Lyle is probably right; you will have formed a nickel hydroxide that has dissolved in the acid to form nickel sulphamate. If you want to use nickel sulphamate systems, the best way is to buy the solution as a concentrate. If you insist on making your own, start with basic nickel carbonate and slowly add sulphamic acid solution to it. However, it is a messy process and nickel carbonate is a harmful substance. I would strongly advise against using nickel oxides or suboxides as they can be very nasty

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

adv.   nickel how-to book

"The Sulfamate Nickel How-To Guide"

by David Crotty, PhD
& Robert Probert

published Oct. 2018
$89 plus shipping

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