I am looking for an alternative strike bath for nickel strike on stainless steel. I am unable to use a strike bath that contains hydrochloric acid. Any suggestions? I. J.
Most of the standard processes used for activation of stainless steels involve the use of hydrochloric acid. The Electroplating Engineering Handbook, 4th Edition, edited by Lawrence J. Durney gives the following procedure that does not use hydrochloric acid:
- Electroclean anodically. (Keep the time for this step to a minimum to avoid overetching of the substrate.)
- Treat cathodically in the following solution:
Nickel sulfate 32 oz/gal
Sulfuric acid 6.7 oz/gal
Current density 150 asf
Time 5-10 minutes
- Transfer immediately to the plating solution.
The book referenced above is a good addition to your company’s library. If you don’t already have a copy, you should get one. It is available from www.amazon.com.