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Type 416 Stainless Steel and Adhesion

After plating we observe blistering and peeling. We have tried a number of different plating cycles without ant success. What do you suggest?
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Q: We are plating small components made from Type 416 stainless steel. After plating we observe blistering and peeling. We have tried a number of different plating cycles without ant success. What do you suggest? N. B.

 

A: Your e-mail does not give me much information as to what plating cycles you have tried, so the best I can do is to suggest the following cycle:

  • Soak clean in a strong alkaline cleaner.
  • Rinse.
  • Activate in a hydrochloric acid dip (50%).
  • Strike in a Woods nickel strike bath for 5–7 min at 7–9 V.
  • Rinse thoroughly. Rinsing must be rapid so that the surface does not repassivate.
  • Plate.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this (and this is important for all metal finishing processes): Consistency! Solutions and process times must be controlled. “Freelancing” does not give consistent results, and in your case it will give you parts that blister and peel.

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