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Topic: Production of nickel acetate for nickel plating  (Read 223 times)

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Offline tms9918

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Production of nickel acetate for nickel plating
« on: June 09, 2020, 05:28:44 AM »
First, let me apologize because my background is computer science, and I am probably asking something trivial.
I watched several videos on electroplating nickel by first making nickel acetate and then using it to plate metals.
Most videos use white vinegar, 10 %,some 5%.
I have some glacial acetic acid.
Should I mix it with water or will I have a faster reaction if I leave it without water (while applying voltage to the two nickel electrodes)?
If I should mix it, which is the optimal ratio?
I read that adding tin makes things more shiny, how and how much should I add?

Offline Borek

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Re: Production of nickel acetate for nickel plating
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 06:35:14 AM »
I would dilute. While probably none of the concentrations listed is optimal, high concentrations don't necessarily guarantee any improvement, quite the opposite - you may end with some unexpected, side reactions/problems.
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Offline tms9918

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Re: Production of nickel acetate for nickel plating
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 07:18:31 AM »
Thank you. I will dilute.
Another question. Are there suitable / unsuitable voltages?
Most people seems to suggest "the lower, the better", at least for the plating phase, suggesting to go at around 1V.
I am now (during nickel acetate production) running at 4V, and I get around 40mA of current (I did not add salt).
Can I estimate something about the concentration of nickel acetate / how much acetate I can still get  / when I should stop based on the electrodes area,distance between the electrodes and resistance of the solution?

Offline Borek

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Re: Production of nickel acetate for nickel plating
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 07:57:07 AM »
From what I remember the important parameter is not voltage itself (it depends on many difficult to control factors, including resistance of the solution and object geometry) but current density (A/m2). Sorry, no idea what is the best value, it is something that has to be chosen experimentally.

I would go for something like: increase the voltage till you see gas starting to form up, measure the current, then decrease the voltage to halve the current. Not guaranteed to be optimal, but at least should be in a reasonable range. The higher the current the faster the plating, but slow deposition produces better quality surfaces, so if the surface looks grey or flaky, try to further reduce the current density.

Just an (a bit educated) guess.
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Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Production of nickel acetate for nickel plating
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 05:13:05 AM »
The current changes completely when you add the salt.

Electrolyte concentration, temperature, current density need a long optimization process. Just apply what other people painstakingly found and published.

Surface preparation is paramount, especially for adhesion. Here too, stick to published procedures.

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