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topic 8933

Problems with rate of electroplating


Q. I am a student at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. I am in my final year and I am doing a project concerning electroforming. I am comparing quality and characteristics of electroformed components using DC and pulsed current.

I am currently having problems working out rates of plating, so that I can calculate the thickness of metal plated.

I am trying to electroplate an area of about 4 cm * 4 cm, with this area there is a small area in the centre which has been formed using the UV-LIGA process to make a "mould" to create the metal component. I wish to "fill" this mould and remove it to leave an electroformed object.

I am plating with Nickel in a DC bath initially. The thickness I require are in the region of 40-70 micrometers. The bath is at 50 °C, with a pH of around 2.5, and the current being used is in the region of 20-40 mA. I am plating onto a Cu/Cr layer which is very thin, only a few micrometers.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Philip Manson
- UK


A. I would use basic Faraday's Law of Electrolysis. Nickel should plate 1.095 grams per Amp Hr or 19 Amp Hr required to plate 0.001 inch deposit for 1 sq ft area. Nickel will have 95 to 97% efficiency. Calculate area, check current density and use Amp timer to estimate. You can weigh deposit too. ( before and after plating)

Good luck.

Payal Mag
- Charlotte, North Carolina

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