Electroless Nickel Plating
For years, both electroless nickel plating and direct plating on aluminum castings, magnesium, Zamak, and titanium was complicated long process that often ended in failure. SafeGard CC Plating Catalyst revolutionizes the plating industry by simplifying a process that requires less process tanks and less time.
Electroless Nickel plating is now easier, less costly and more foolproof with SafeGard CC electroless nickel plating catalyst. This zincate-free process system is stable, long lasting, easy to use, takes less time to apply and will reduce coating rejects, which increase the throughput of high quality parts. The electrochemical deposition of the “Plating Catalyst” is not directional and once the process starts, the film will deposit itself into any and all recessed areas or small holes.
SafeGard CC Plating catalyst is long lasting and requires only small product additions to maintain the proper concentration balance. This is due to the fact that the electroless nickel plating catalyst is applied very thin (only 100 – 200 nm). This means you will not have to waste time maintaining and recharging zincate tanks. Furthermore, you won’t need to spend time maintaining zincate inventory and use valuable floor space for storing costly zincate replacement and replenishing chemicals.
Furthermore, the same SafeGard CC-Plating Catalyst is used for Electroless Nickel and other direct plating materials. Use this on aluminum, aluminum castings, magnesium, Zamak, niobium, beryllium, zinc, and titanium. When forming a copper plating layer over these metals, when using SafeGard CC- Electroless Nickel Plating Catalyst you will use a simple acid copper instead of a toxic cyanide copper. Contact an expert at Sanchem for more information.
ELECTROLYSIS NICKEL applied over SafeGard CC-Plating Catalyst
SafeGard EN-MG is an easy to use long life mid-phos electroless nickel strike bath for use on magnesium and magnesium alloys. Only one product (SafeGard EN-MGMU)is added to water for make-up. Only one product (SafeGard EN-MGAD) is added to tank to replenish bath strength. The SafeGard EN-MG is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with the SafeGard Electroless Nickel Plating Catalyst.
SafeGard EN-AL is an easy to use electroless mid- phos electroless nickel strike bath for use on both wrought and cast aluminum alloys & titanium. Only one product (SafeGard EN-ALMU) is added to water for make-up. Only one product (SafeGard EN-ALAD) is added to tank to replenish bath strength. SafeGard EN-AL formula is designed to work specifically with our SafeGard Plating Catalyst.
ADVANTAGES OVER CONVENTIONAL ELECTROLESS NICKEL PROCESSING
** Exceptional Bath Stability
** Long Bath Life: will give you 10-12 metal turnovers
** Consistent Plating Rates
** RoHS, WEEE, and ELV Compliant
** No Break-In Period
** Solution is self-pH regulating and as a result requires very little if any pH adjustment
** High Tolerance to Impurities
Plating and Electroless Deposition on the Light Metals
Sanchem’s SafeGard CC-Plating Catalyst process is now part of the ASTM B253 specification – "Standard Guide for the Preparation of Aluminum Alloys for Electroplating" which also covers the "electroless" deposition of metals on aluminum and its alloys by the use of "zincates".
|Zincate or Stannate on Aluminum||Cast Aluminum||Sanchem Plating Catalyst|
|ASTM B253 specification||380 or 360||ASTM B253 specification|
|Preclean||Step 1||Clean - Sanchem 500|
|Clean w/ fine etch (for Cu contain AL)||Step 2||Cold Water Rinse|
|Cold Water Rinse||Step 3||Desmut w/ Tri-acid|
|Smut removal & activation (15 - 30 sec)||Step 4||Cold Water Rinse|
|Cold Water Rinse||Step 5||Cold Water Rinse|
|Zincate (for 1.5 - 2.0 minutes)||Step 6||Plating seal --- 3 seconds|
|Cold Water Rinse||Step 7||Cold Water Rinse|
|Nitric acid 50% (5 - 20 sec):||Step 8||Cold Water Rinse|
|Cold Water Rinse||Step 9||Sanchem ENAL Aluminum EN|
|2nd Zincate (20 - 30 sec)||Step 10||Heat @ 350°F - 30 minutes|
|Double Cold Water Rinse||Step 11|
|Acid Neutralize (5 - 10 sec (70°F))||Step 12||NOTE: If a copper layer is
desired then use acid copper
in step 9 then rinse and apply
the electroless nickel
|Cyanide Copper strike||Step 13|
|Cold Water Rinse||Step 14|
|Acid Copper Plate||Step 15|
|Heat @ 350°F - 30 minutes||Step 17|
|What is the REAL Cost of your Current Zincate System?||Compare - have a better process for less|
|Zincate Process||Use rate||Sanchem Plating Catalyst||Use rate|
|double dip zincate for cast 360 & 380 sq ft/gal||50||Plating catalyst for cast 360 & 380 sq ft/gal||5,000|
|Process sq ft/year: For example:||142400||Process sq ft/year: For example:||142400|
|Gallons per year||2848||Gallons per year||29|
|Cost per gallon||$||Cost per gallon||$|
|Annual Product Cost
(not including disposal cost)
|$||Annual Product Cost
(not including disposal cost)
|Cost of disposal zincate (CN) (Hazardous CN waste)||$||Cost of disposal - not hazardous||not hazardous|
|Labor to clean out tank||$||Labor to clean tank - very long lasting||Negligible|
|Cost to monitor tank: 8X per day, Lab Tech, time||$||Periodic - dry for solid content||Negligible|
|labor to refill tank||$||Additions are fast - very long lasting||Negligible|
|cost of 2 extra acid rinses||$||Not needed||0|
|cost to maintain of inventory
(Part A, Part B, & Part C)
|$||Very little needed - low use rate
|Cost to clean CN wastewater - chemicals & equip.||$||Very little needed - low use rate||Negligible|
|Cost of inventory control||$||Very little needed - low use rate||Negligible|
|Effect of drums freezing||Total loss||Effect of drums freezing||Thaw before use|
|Temperature constraints||best at 75°F||Temperature constraints||best at 75°F|
|Below 75°F: Slows process & poor coating quality||problem||Below 75°F||no problem|
|above 75: Loosely adherent film - poor adhesion||problem||above 75||no problem|
|CYANIDE FREE||maybe||CYANIDE FREE||yes|
|Can apply too much or too little coating||Yes||Can apply too much or too little coating? (NOTE: Coating is self limiting)||NO|
Once applied, the organic based electroless nickel “Plating Catalyst” will more or less seal the metal from the outside elements and may, if so desired, be dried and stored in a clean dry area to be processed at a later date by simply soaking the parts in warm (100 – 120 degrees F) mineral free water for about 15 minutes, dipped in 1% aqueous ammonia for about ten seconds and then rinsed again to remove excess ammonia before going into the plating bath. Parts may be processed in a rotating basket if so desired.
Safegard CC-3400seal #2 is a RoHS compliant chromate free seal used on plated and unplated aluminum, zinc and magnesium. This final seal will help you achieve maximum corrosion resistance and paint adhesion.