Solder Failures and Nickel Plated Parts
Q. We plate components for one of our best customers in a nickel sulfamate plating bath. We use a small amount of brightener and grain refiner in the bath. Our customer thinks that the solder failures are due to the additives present in the bath. Is there any relationship between the amount of brightener and grain refiner in a nickel sulfamate bath and solder failure? Can we run the nickel sulfamate bath without a brightener and grain refiner?
We plate a copper substrate with 100 micro inches of nickel. S.L.
A. This question has been asked before. Why do you run the sulfamate bath with additives? Sulfamate nickel is usually called out when nickel plate without additives is required. Although solderability is not affected by the addition of small amounts of additives, additives are usually unnecessary in the sulfamate bath.
The most important factor is the oxidation of the nickel surface. The longer the delay between the plating step and the soldering step, the more likely you’re going to have solder failure. This is because the longer the nickel surface is exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere, the more the nickel surface will oxidize.
Other factors may also be at play here. Rinsing methods, handling and storage methods, and even weather conditions can affect the solderability of the nickel plate.
A primer on this inexpensive and highly efficient process.
The reasons for installing an in-house cold blackening system are many and varied.
Masking is employed in most any metal finishing operation where only a specifically defined area of the surface of a part must be exposed to a process. Conversely, masking may be employed on a surface where treatment is either not required or must be avoided. This article covers the many aspects of masking for metal finishing, including applications, methods and the various types of masking employed.