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Nickel Electroplating

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Steve Crow18/06/2021 16:48:01
283 forum posts
166 photos

Quick question.

Has anybody tried using nickel silver as anodes for electroplating copper or brass?

It's copper, nickel and zinc which can all be plated so I can't see why not.

Cheers

Steve

SillyOldDuffer18/06/2021 17:14:22
Moderator
7476 forum posts
1648 photos

What a good question! I don't know for sure, but as Nickel Silver is an alloy consisting of Copper, Nickel and Zinc in solution together I'll stock my neck out and guess!

When a Nickel Silver anode is electrolysed, I think the current will remove atoms preferentially in order of their position in the electro-chemical series. Zinc will be removed first, leaving a spongy mass of Copper and Nickel, then the Nickel will go, leaving a spongy mass of Copper, and only then the copper will transfer.

So I predict the cathode will be plated with a layer of Zinc, then a later of Nickel, and finally a layer of Copper. The layers will be imperfectly pure, but the result won't be Nickel Silver plating.

Dave

Dave S18/06/2021 17:39:31
201 forum posts
41 photos

So if you stop at the right point you’ll end up with a nickel finish?

Might it depend on the voltage?

A different Dave

Jouke van der Veen19/06/2021 14:38:59
96 forum posts
8 photos

Nickel electrolytically deposited on the substrate is delivered by the nickel present in the bath. One of the bath constituants is often nickel sulphate. Of course, some ions dissolve from the anode but this hardly contributes to the coating.

Steve Crow19/06/2021 17:41:41
283 forum posts
166 photos

Thanks for your replies.

Dave(s), I didn't consider the atoms migrating in order! The result sounds unpredictable and substandard.

I only asked because I've got plenty of bits of nickel silver. I'll just have to shell out for some pure nickel.

Cheers

Steve

Steve Crow19/06/2021 22:52:55
283 forum posts
166 photos
Posted by Jouke van der Veen on 19/06/2021 14:38:59:

Nickel electrolytically deposited on the substrate is delivered by the nickel present in the bath. One of the bath constituants is often nickel sulphate. Of course, some ions dissolve from the anode but this hardly contributes to the coating.

I should of clarified. I was considering making the initial bath using nickel silver.

Neil Wyatt20/06/2021 09:32:09
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The atoms will plate out in electrochemical order.

An exception is copper and zinc which are very close. Copper is slightly more electronegative than zinc, but cloose enough that you can 'brass plate' objects.

Neil

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