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topic 9464

Nickel Plating cost information request


(2001)

I am looking for cost information to compare the operating costs of an electrolytic nickel sulfamate plating as compared to electroless autocatalytic nickel phosphorus process. The application is depositing 1 mil thickness on a flat sheet.

I am interested in as much data as possible including electricity consumption, metal costs, replenishment costs, etc., but I'll take as little as a cost per mil sq. ft.

Steve Dolan
- Providence, Rhode Island, USA


(2001)

Steve:

Despite the fact that sulfamate nickel is perhaps the most expensive nickel bath, it is going to be much less expensive than EN (as much as six times). Once the bath is set up, the main direct expenditures are nickel anode pellets (around $10.00 USD/lb) and electricity (chicken feed as it's almost 100% efficient to theoretical 20 amp-hr per mil/sq-ft). You are not supposed to use large amounts of brighteners and the like in these baths. Another factor is labor and technicians to take care of the expensive investment. The bath operates at moderate temperature of some 45 °C.

On the other hand, EN has different properties and has to be considered only when electrolytic methods are not suitable. We have figured that $0.02 USD/mil/sq. inch is rock bottom total cost for us (chemicals, energy, labor and waste treatment).

With it's temperature of 90 °C it's also one of the hottest baths of the industry (near boiling) and the dump process is not simple nor cheap.

Hope to have helped.

GOOD LUCK,

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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