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Lead Content Found in Nickel Plating

October 23, 2012

Q. I am using Barrett SN and SNR-24. My customers have done tests of our plating in Asia and have found in their two tests that 4180 mg/kg and 82000 mg/kg of lead is contained in the plating. These tests were performed using IEC 62321 testing procedures. We are plating pure tungsten parts and solder with a lead free solder from Kester. We use DI water in our plating bath and I am confused as to where this lead could be coming from. Any idea or thoughts on the topic would be much appreciated

Cameron Kivela
Process Engineer - Boulder, Colorado, United States

First of three simultaneous responses -- October 25, 2012

A. Those levels are so high the hardly can they come from a purified plating solution like that. My guess is someone used the wrong solder or the lab mixed the results.
G. Marrufo - Mexico

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

Second of three simultaneous responses -- October 25, 2012

A. 82000 mg/kg is a LOT of lead. I don't see where that could come from. 1/100 that amount co-deposited with the nickel would yield a black, brittle, non-adherent deposit. Before you go further, please have a sample tested by an independent USA lab.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Third of three simultaneous responses -- October 25, 2012

A. Check the additives (including NiCl and boric) and anodes. The fact that the plating is done in Asia makes them somewhat suspect.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida

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