The History of Nickel Plating

Nickel Plating has already been used for several hundreds of years now. Its main purpose is to help in strengthening metals against corrosion and wear and tear and to add aesthetic value to a dull appearance of the metal as well. There are several different kinds of plating methods available and these methods make use of either the chemical or electric method of dispersing thin layer of metal coating to metal substrate. The electric processes make use of a slight metal current right off the chemical bath. When the electricity passes through the wire and into the substrate, the oxidation process will disperse metal flakes and salts to an even layer coating. The electro less process will simply make use of a chemical reaction in producing similar and more stable results.

The Invention of Plating

The actual invention of Nickel Plating started during the early 1800s when the electrochemical piles have been developed, which helps to pump current through the wires. Such innovation has been found little application at first, but experts describe the electro deposition of the nickel chloride and sulphate on Platinum. Such process results to a thin crust of nickel off the platinum substrate and soon after, some experiments were done that proves nickel chloride, and nickel ammonium sulphate and nickel are also suitable for the process of Nickel Plating. The nickel ammonium sulphate also known as the double nickel salts solution has become an industry standard in the next seventy years in the industry of commercial products.

Patenting of the Nickel Ammonium Sulphate Bath

The nickel ammonium sulphate bath has been patented in the United States during the year 1869. One of the theories is that the electrolytic bath must be neutral and should be free from any soda, potash, alumina, nitric acid and lime as well as any alkaline or acid solution. Experts have engaged themselves in an aggressive marketing campaign in both Europe and the United States which results to a near universal acceptance by various industrial countries.

The experimentation and innovation of Nickel Plating has progressed, which attempted to incorporate the citric or benzoic acids to nickel sulphate and to the electrolytic bath in an effort to develop alternate process of plating. Some of these have been caught on, however, others garnered small to no following.

The air agitation and temperature level varies greatly in the US and in the UK for quite some time until such time that the international standards have been developed during the 1930s. Such standards comprise of increasing the bath’s temperature from the previously used room temperature and then introducing the air agitation shake up of the bath.

Ancient Plating Theories

Nickel plating process is being used during the ancient times, however the more recent and still current methods have been developed and greatly improved all throughout the 19th century. Such changes are a result of experimentations with the chemical composition of the bath used to plate and new methods of isolating chemicals and metals from one another. In the current time, plating processes have been well refined such that they can be done by large industrial companies and even home hobbyists within their garage.

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