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Laws of Attraction
Q. Will magnetism in a steel part affect how an electrolytic nickel strike will deposit nickel on its surface?—W.W.
A. Yes, magnetic parts can affect how electrolytic plates such as nickel deposit on the surface. The main issue with parts that are magnetic is that they will attract iron particulates when placed in the plating tank, leading to a rough deposit.
It’s important to recognize that some steel alloys are not inherently magnetic, but rather exhibit what is called induced magnetism. Parts of this type can be demagnetized using a degaussing device. This doesn’t mean that the part itself won’t be attracted to a magnet. It simply means that you are removing the acquired magnetism in the part. Of course, if your plating solution is pristine and contains no iron or other materials that are attracted by magnetism, you should not have any problems with a rough deposit.