Plating On Titanium



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Q. Can you suggest a process for plating on pure titanium? I have a customer who wishes to plate nickel on this material. C. O.


A. As you probably have found out already, plating on titanium is not an easy thing to do. All of the procedures that I am aware of require use of materials that are not particularly user-friendly. The following sequence is recommended: Solvent degrease Scrub with pumice powder paste in water Clean using a good quality alkaline cleaner Rinse Acid dip in the following solution: Hydrochloric acid 500 mL Water 500 mL Rinse Bright dip in the following solution Hydrofluoric acid (48%) 120 mL Nitric acid 400 mL Water to 1 L Rinse Treat anodically in the following solution: Hydrofluoric acid (70%) 130 mL Acetic acid 830 mL Water 40 mL Use a current density of 15–30 ASF at room temperature. Carbon cathodes should be used. Rinse quickly Plate using a sulfamate nickel plating bath at 145°F and 1000 ASF Rinse Heat treat in an inert-gas atmosphere at 480°C for 2 hr. The heat treatment improves adhesion.

As you can see, the process is not simple. If you decide to go ahead with this process, you must pay particular attention to the safe handling of the materials used in the process. Additional procedures can be found in Electroplating Engineering Handbook, 4th Edition, Edited by Lawrence J. Durney, pages 195-196. The book is out-of-print but copies can be found at www.amazon.com.


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