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Sulfamate nickel plating

Technical possibilities at Metoba

Metoba offers the following techniques for processing Sulfamate nickel plating :

Reel-to-reel-finishingRack-finishingBulk-finishingVibrobot refinement

1. Characteristics and properties

Sulfamate nickel is characterized by a very uniform layer structure with a high ductility for nickel processes. The optical appearance of a layer deposited from nickel sulfamate electrolytes lies in the silk-matt, aluminium-coloured range up to a moderately glossy layer corresponding to that of a polished steel. The appearance of nickel layers, which is otherwise slightly yellowish in light, is practically non-existent because these layers are sulfur-free.

One of the main strengths of sulfamate nickel is its deposition rate, which is many times higher than that of sulfate-based electrolytes and is therefore also suitable for thick-film nickel plating. The layer structure is very homogeneous and fine-grained in its structure. The levelling is to be regarded as mediocre, whereas the metal distribution is excellent compared to other electroplated nickel layers. Furthermore, sulfamate nickel is characterised by the fact that it can be coated very well with other metals such as gold, silver, bright tin and matt tin. In non-ferrous metals and their alloys, sulfamate nickel functions as an excellent diffusion barrier from a layer thickness of 2µm and has a hardness of approx. 200 HV 0.1.

2. Benefits and areas of application

Sulfamate nickel plating differs greatly from other galvanic nickel processes, as its main focus lies in the technical field. The main customer for sulfamate nickel is the entire electronics industry, which requires complicated to very complicated soldering and plug contacts in all conceivable variants, even with several selective coatings on a single component, as well as industrial sectors in which components must undergo strong material deformation after coating. Since sulfamate nickel coatings are almost sulfur-free, they have very low internal stresses compared to conventional bright nickel coatings and are extremely ductile. Electronic components, which still have to be formed after coating, benefit from this property.

3. Basic material

Steels and stainless steels of any kind, non-ferrous metals and their alloys, aluminium and its alloys, as well as pre-copper plated zinc die casting can be coated with sulfamate nickel.

4. Required delivery condition

The goods provided must be largely metallically bright. Residual oils or residual impurities must be removable with conventional aqueous alkaline degreasers. Oils containing silicone, alkali/alkaline earth and high-pressure additives must be avoided at all costs.

5. Pre-treatment

Deposited nickel layers are excellently suited as intermediate layers on copper, which makes them ideal as diffusion barriers or adhesion promoters for the component.