Machine Design

More life for nickel-plating baths

Nickel hypophosphite used in nickel-plating baths is produced in industrial quantities by means of a four-compartment electrodialysis unit.

The accumulation of sulphate ions shortens the effective life of plating baths using nickel. To help prolong bath life and boost plating quality, French companies headed up by Establishments Richard offer a process to make a nickelsulphate alternative. The technology produces nickel hypophosphite in an aqueous solution for direct use in chemical nickel-plating baths.

The nickel hypophosphite is a complex nickel salt. By using the nickel hypophosphite, the autocatalytic plating baths can be supplied simultaneously with the oxidizing nickel ion (Ni++) and the reducing agent in the form of sodium hypophosphite (H2PO2-).

The nickel-hypophosphite solution is produced continuously by a number of different electrodialysis units designed to annually transform 2, 3.6, 6, or 21 metric tons of nickel into Ni(H2PO2)2 6H2O.

The solution is chemically stable, easy to work with, and goes directly into the plating bath. The process has been patented in Europe and Japan and the company is now seeking business contacts in the U.S.

Information for this article was provided by the French Technology Press Office Inc., Chicago Ill., (312) 222-1235.

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