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Nickel plating on brass parts looks layered

Metalx nickel stripper

Q. I sent out these brass parts to be nickel plated to a local shop. These were already nickel plated, so I requested to them to be stripped and glass bead blasted before being electroless nickel plated.

I received the final product as pictured.

61519-1a   61519-1b   61519-1c   61519-1aDtl   61519-1bDtl   61519-1cDtl  

Is this an issue with the metal or was the "old" nickel plating not entirely removed?

A Vargas
- Pennsylvania, USA
March 3, 2023

A. Hi A. The parts don't look decoratively satisfactory to me because we can see the very obvious areas of a single layer of plating vs. a double layer. Nickel plating removal probably requires chemical treatment because 'bead blasting' a hard material off of a softer material may be impractical. It looks to me like the old plating was partially removed, probably by blasting away loose areas. I suppose there's an off chance that something somehow was wrong with the brass such that the brass itself offered a delaminating onion-like surface, but in that case I would have expected the plating shop to have commented that the parts were not satisfactory for plating.

What is not discussed yet is why the parts were sent to the plating shop for rework, i.e., what went wrong the first time, as that can be a powerful hint towards what went wrong the second time. Would a good guess be that the plating was only partially adherent the first time and was blistering? Do you know what kind of brass this is, especially the lead content if any?
Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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