This column marks the end of my eighth year of attempting to give straightforward responses to day-to-day issues that arise in the electroplating arena. It is challenging at times but very enjoyable. All of the questions are real. Yes, I do edit if necessary and change people’s initials to help maintain anonymity.
I have learned that certain questions reappear on a regular basis and many problems and questions are easily answered in the format afforded by this column. Those that are not suitable for use in the column are usually handled via direct e-mail and/or phone discussions. Some questions are such that they can only be handled on a consulting basis. I will continue to respond to questions and problems in a timely manner and with information that can help solve your problems.
Is there a way to obtain a whiter looking nickel from my Watts nickel plating bath? C.C.
Yes, you can get a whiter looking nickel deposit by adding small amounts of magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate. Very small amounts of magnesium salts are thought to increase cathode efficiency, improve throwing power and reduce porosity. Excess amounts increase the brittleness of the deposit. You should perform small-scale experiments with the amount of magnesium salt before adding it to your plating tank.