Moldy Nickel

Question: My nickel plating bath seems to have developed a mold-like material on the surface.


Question:

My nickel plating bath seems to have developed a mold-like material on the surface. Any suggestions? M.O.

Answer:

I am always amazed that mold can set up housekeeping in a plating bath. I worked in the water treatment industry for a number of years and would see mold growing in cooling systems using chromium-based chemicals.

These molds love to feast on many types of organic molecules and many of the additives used in nickel plating baths are in this category. Call your chemical vendor and find out whether they can recommend a suitable material to control the mold. Changing brighteners/additives also may help control this problem. Some shops control the growth of mold by adding small amounts of hydrogen peroxide to the plating tank. Before trying that though, check with your chemical vendor.