Preparing Material for Nickel Plating

One of the most important aspects of nickel plating, and electroplating in general, to make sure the metal object that is to be plated is free of dirt, grease and any other foreign matter.  This will often times make or break an attempt at plating.  Some plating kits will come with cleaning products in order to make sure the object or objects that are going to be layered with another metal material are absolutely as prepared as possible.  Preparing the surface properly cannot be underestimated when it comes to plating whether the plating is done with gold, silver or nickel doesn’t matter, all plating requires a thorough cleaning.

It is sometimes said by those that go about the with the process of electroplating that even a low quality plate can turn out better when the surface is properly prepared ahead of time but that even a great job of plating cannot overcome a situation where the object was poorly treated or cleaned to start with.  The pretreatment of the material is very important.  Whether it is done by chemical or by a mechanical process, the cleaning of the surface should be the first priority.  A coating that must deal with dirt or grease is not going to be sufficient for the plater who wants to complete a quality project.

Many metal cleaning processes that are preliminary actions to a plating project have these three fundamental steps:

1. Clean and prepare the material surface.  This often means that solvents, cleaners that include alkaline, cleaning with acid, abrasive cleaners and the use of water
2. Modifying the surface if needed.  This can mean changing the actual surface layer and its physical makeup by way of plate layering beforehand or material hardening.
3. Operations that involve work-piece finishing and rinsing.

Preparing a surface by cleaning takes some work but should not be a deal breaker for those who really just want to get on to the actual electroplating.  Those who put in the extra time to really examine their material and…

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