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topic 7192

Measurement of EN for R&R Study


Looking for a method of measuring high phosphorous electroless nickel thickness of .001-.0013 that will pass a R&R study at 10%-20%. I work for a machining company that has to meet a tight Caterpillar spec....

Tim Nichols
- Franklin, WI



We have done R&R studies on plating thickness using metallographic cross sections and microscopic measurements. This method is often the referee method for disputes with nondestructive tests. Although we only do metallography, I would think that XRF should also be able to get you good enough data if your parts' geometry is suitable.

Let me know if you need an outside lab to help with the study. We would be happy to help.

larry hanke
Larry Hanke
materials testing laboratory
Minneapolis, Minnesota


We use eXacto thin film thickness gauge (which is made by a company called Elektrophysik) to measure the thickness of the electroless nickel plating on the steel. We never did the R&R; study for this gauge anyway. We only compared our test result with the data measured from the micrometer and found they agreed.

Is the unit for the thickness of 0.001 to 0.0013 inch? If yes, I don't think you need to worry about the measurement very much. The processing time to accumulate the thickness for 1 micrometer of high Phosphorous electroless nickel plating is long enough. Thus the thickness of the plating for 0.001"(25 micrometers) to 0.0013"(32.5 micrometers) is easy to control once the processing time is set well. Of course, it would be a very critical specification if it means 0.001mm to 0.0013mm.

Charles Chan
- Taipei,Taiwan


We conduct R&R studies using XRF on most finishes on most substrates. We have found this to be an eye opener in respect that the variability found upon the part, and from part to part, makes your target of 10 - 20% virtually impossible to achieve, even with the so called uniformity of electroless Nickel. The degree of accuracy that we've found is +/- 9% (ev) add that to your part variation and appraiser variation and your total % R&R is rarely less than 30%.

We overcame this problem by using a piece of pre-plated strip with 10 measurement points 1 inch apart thus reducing the pv value.

Hope this helps.

Seamus Bourke
electroplating - Birmingham, United Kingdom

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