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Nickel bath inexplicably quits plating

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  • NOL4154
    replied
    Re: Nickel bath inexplicably quits plating

    Any luck yet?

    Leave a comment:


  • knossos
    replied
    Re: Nickel bath inexplicably quits plating

    What exactly is Pickle2? Can I make it, or do I need to buy it from Caswell? Does it work better at high temperatures?

    Leave a comment:


  • NOL4154
    replied
    Re: Nickel bath inexplicably quits plating

    Hello,
    The black streaks is zinc/copper contamination (source of black streaks is from brass/copper). I agree with the dumb plating for removing the contamination. Just remember to plate low current and before removing dumb panel increase current to flash nickel over contaimation to seal.

    The dumb panels should be corrigated steel (example wwww--). The design is used in the plating industry and will help with low current density area where your contaimation is located. Straight iron sheets do not help but could further contaimate your nickel solution which is another method to decontamiate,

    Do you air circulating the nickel solution? I hope you do.

    Nickel pH is to high should be ~4.0-4.5.

    Adding to much brightner will cause worse problems.

    Ask Caswell if he sells a nickel addivative to remove zinc because I used it for over 25 years.
    Good Luck,
    Nol4154


    Nickel solution should never be toss because their is a treatment to return nickel solution back to normal everytime.
    Nol4154

    I have had my Nickel electrolytic bath go bad twice.. I plate only steel, brass, or copperplate. The problem starts out abruptly with black streaks appearing on the work.These seem to be rising vertically from the lower levels of the tank, as though some stratification has taken place. Shortly thereafter the solution stops plating. I have tried heavy plating on iron sheets to clean up the tank, but even with enormous currents plating is very skimpy or nonexistent. It seems strange that the ion bonds aren't broken with amperes of current, when normal plating takes only a few milliamperes. The ph I measure with a plant type ph meter runs 6 to 7, very acid.

    I tried adding brightener but that was no help. I have to start a new tank each time. That works well for a year or two, then suddenly toggles over into this shocking condition.

    The process I have worked out is to sandblast or polish the metal, Degrease it thoroughly with carbureter cleaner and rinse in near boiing water, pickle it for a few seconds in dilute Hydrochloric acid, rinse in flowing hot water and immediately put it into the plating tank with the current adjusted for approximately 25 ma per square inch of work surface. I normally allow 2 hours for a useful cosmetic plating and four hours for a hard work surface on tools.
    any ideas? Thanks Jack.

    Leave a comment:


  • dadkar2
    replied
    To remove zinc I keep a bath of old Pickle2 handy. Soak the parts for about 5-10 minutes in the old Pickle 2. Remove, scrub with a brass brush, then soak for another few minutes in Pickle 2. Then rinse, dry, and finally sandblast. Most of the zinc will be gone before it gets to the sandblasting. The acid will also remove some of the rust.

    Also if you heavily contaminate your blasting media with zinc, then you will be dealing with this for a long time. Dump it and replace when in doubt. It's pretty reasonably priced.

    That's my 2c. Any other suggestions welcome.

    Ken

    Leave a comment:


  • mcaswell
    replied
    Black streaks = zinc contamination, probably from some steel parts that were, or had been at one time, zinc plated. Sandblasting these parts blasts the zinc particles into the steel, making it much harder to remove.

    Plate a steel dummy to plate out the zinc contamination, then sandblast, acid etch in your acid tank, then blast again.

    And of course, only use distilled water in all your processes to avoid possible contamination.

    The pH of OUR nickel solution should be approx 4.

    Leave a comment:


  • dadkar2
    replied
    Also...pH of 6 or 7 is not acidic. It is near center of the scale, or neutral. Your pH needs to run around 4 after adjusting the brightener level.

    Your bath temp needs to run around 125F.

    Are your anodes corroded or anode bags filled with gunk?

    I could guess on...eg, boric acid content depleted...

    But without more specifics about your process it would only be guessing.

    If the tanks are small enough, eg a few gallons, it's just as well to start over. The cost of analyzing or guessing will eventually exceed the cost of a few pounds of crystals and some brightener.

    You could put the solution aside with a heater boiling off the water till you get down to a level where the solution just starts to thicken. Don't reduce it past this point because it will get messy. Bottle that up and take it to a household hazardous chemicals collection site. If it is a few gallons they won't mind.

    Ken

    Leave a comment:


  • dadkar2
    replied
    I re-read your post and noticed that you rinse in running water. Is it tap water or distilled?

    Ken

    Leave a comment:


  • dadkar2
    replied
    There is some information needed that could help with your problem.

    How large are your tanks?
    How much volume do you run through your tanks? (how many sets of anodes have you gone through)
    How many rinses do you use between your acid pickle and the nickel?
    How do you create aeration in the tank; compressed air or pump?
    How old is your brightener? Is it the NEW brightener or the old brightener? (I don't think the old brightener worked very well)

    Ken

    Leave a comment:


  • jackf
    started a topic Nickel bath inexplicably quits plating

    Nickel bath inexplicably quits plating

    I have had my Nickel electrolytic bath go bad twice.. I plate only steel, brass, or copperplate. The problem starts out abruptly with black streaks appearing on the work.These seem to be rising vertically from the lower levels of the tank, as though some stratification has taken place. Shortly thereafter the solution stops plating. I have tried heavy plating on iron sheets to clean up the tank, but even with enormous currents plating is very skimpy or nonexistent. It seems strange that the ion bonds aren't broken with amperes of current, when normal plating takes only a few milliamperes. The ph I measure with a plant type ph meter runs 6 to 7, very acid.

    I tried adding brightener but that was no help. I have to start a new tank each time. That works well for a year or two, then suddenly toggles over into this shocking condition.

    The process I have worked out is to sandblast or polish the metal, Degrease it thoroughly with carbureter cleaner and rinse in near boiing water, pickle it for a few seconds in dilute Hydrochloric acid, rinse in flowing hot water and immediately put it into the plating tank with the current adjusted for approximately 25 ma per square inch of work surface. I normally allow 2 hours for a useful cosmetic plating and four hours for a hard work surface on tools.
    any ideas? Thanks Jack.
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