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Q. My bright nickel plating bath is giving me a lot of grief. Our problem is the lack of uniform brightness on the part. The side of the part directly facing the anode is bright in some cases but not others. If I attempt to plate multiple parts in the plating bath I get different shades of brightness on each of the parts. I performed a carbon treatment on the bath with no improvement in the results. Do you have any suggestions for how to resolve this problem? A.M.
A. Your nickel plating bath is due for a major checkup and overhaul. Your e-mail does not mention whether you have determined the concentration of the various components of the bath, but this would be the first step. As a second step, perform another carbon treatment on your plating bath and then replenish the required concentration of your brighteners.
You also do not mention whether your nickel plating bath is agitated. Modern plating technology requires that most plating baths must be agitated to ensure consistent concentrations throughout the bath.
Other things that you should consider are: temperature of the bath, chloride concentration and, most importantly, the cleanliness of the parts prior to plating.
I am e-mailing you a copy of the Nickel Tank Doctor to help you troubleshoot your nickel plating bath.