Embrittlement Issues


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Q: Our company plates cadmium on steels that are subject to hydrogen embrittlement. We are thinking about increasing current density in one of our barrel plating lines and assume that the parts will be subject to increased hydrogen embrittlement. Is this a fair assumption? N. U.


A: The efficiency of the classic cyanide cadmium bath does decrease somewhat at higher current densities. The result of this would mean that you are generating more hydrogen gas that in turn could increase the amount of hydrogen embrittlement that occurs during the plating process. You can also argue that using increased current density will allow you to deposit a somewhat heavier layer of cadmium in the same amount of time. The thicker layer of cadmium should reduce somewhat the absorption of hydrogen. Overall, I would say the difference that you would have would be minimal.

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