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topic 8233

Voltage, Brighteners and Buffer Requirements for Electroplating


How does the voltage depend on the distance between anode and cathode is it directly proportional, tell more about it; Do we need any brighteners for electrolysis? Do we need any buffers - also which kind of buffers are suitable?

Vibhav Gandre
- Thane, India


Hi Vibhav,

1. Yes, the required voltage is almost proportional to the anode to cathode distance because there is a lot of resistance across the plating solution. There are some other losses, but the voltage loss across the solution is usually the largest one.

2. You usually require addition agents consisting of brighteners, leveling agents and anti-pit wetters.

3. Many plating solutions, most notably nickel plating baths, require buffers like boric acid.

You ask three questions, each of which is fundamental, but together they seem to imply a bit of a misunderstanding about how you do electroplating. Generally you don't buy raw chemicals and mix them together, but you buy proprietary plating processes from vendors specializing in supplying the plating industry. You might try to find a couple of the plating books on our 'must-have' list and then get back to us with any specific questions.

Best of luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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