Question: I want to apply a soft nickel deposit on parts that require machining after the plating step.
I want to apply a soft nickel deposit on parts that require machining after the plating step. I have been told that nickel is hard and in the few cases that we have tried have found that the nickel deposit on the surface does not machine well. What do you recommend for applying a soft nickel deposit? S. J.
Your e-mail did not describe the type of nickel plating bath you are using to apply the nickel layer. If you are attempting to do this with a bright nickel plating bath you are absolutely right, you will get a hard deposit that is not suitable for machining in most cases. The best way to get the type of deposit you require is to use a nickel sulfamate plating bath that is free of both organic and metallic contamination. A small amount of a stress-reducing additive may be required. If this additive must be headed it should be just enough to give you a slightly compressive stress. If you run a “clean” plating bath you should get the type of depositrequired.