Peeling and Chipping Nickel
Q: We have a manual nickel plating line. We periodically lose power in certain portions of the tank and/or have a very low rate of plating. We also have problems with chipping and peeling of our parts. Do you think there is any correlation between the electrical problems and the chipping and peeling of parts? R. G.
A: Yes, it is more than likely there is a correlation between the problems you mention and the chipping and peeling you see on your finished parts. When your plating tank loses power, the parts become bipolar and will passivate. When the power returns you start plating again, but it will be a laminate coating prone to peeling and chipping you reported.
What you must do is check all of the electrical contacts in your nickel plating tank using a digital volt ohm-meter. You should check all of the anode contacts, bus bar connections and racks. Chances are salts have built up in your contact areas and you no longer make good electrical connections. This type of checking should be part of your preventive maintenance program.