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Old 05-10-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
wrndln
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Default Nickel plated screws

I recently had some screws nickel plated. They were done by electroless plating. The screws came back with a dull finish. Is this the way electroless plating is? I thought the nickel plated screws should be bright finished. Maybe there is a way to polish them. The screws are for mounting the radiator splash apron on a 1928 car. If anyone knows anything about electroless nickel plating, please post a response.
Rusty Nelson
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:51 PM   #2
noboD
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Default Re: Nickel plated screws

The plated screws will only be as shiney as the metal underneath. If they were not polished they will be dull.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
ford3
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Default Re: Nickel plated screws

polish them with polishing compound using your bench grinder with a cloth wheel, they will shine up, careful tho, those suckers like to launch them selfs across the room and hide in very strange places
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:17 AM   #4
dave in australia
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Default Re: Nickel plated screws

Rusty, electroless nickel can produce various finishes from dull to bright, with different levels of hardness as well as different friction co-efficients. It all depends on the chemical make-up of the solution and the post plating treatment. The one big advantage of electroless plating is that it produces a very even thickness of coating everywhere the solution is in contact with the job piece. As no electricity is used, the are no high and low current density areas. It is the varying current density areas that produce different thickness plating with regular plating, as well as shadowing of the anode etc. The plating bath is operated at a higher temp that normal plating, around 210F from memory, and this also brings about its own problem, with that the job must be completely dry before it is placed in the tank other wise any moisture with be turned to steam instantly and violently splash solution around. One other problem, is that the solution will start to plate onto itself, causing the solution to fall out, and this will happen until the solution temp is decreased to a temp where it stops. These problems are not the customers of course, but the electroplaters.
Depending on the thickness of the plating, you should be able to polish the nickel in the same way as you would polish any other plated object, remembering not to polish through the plating. Objects can be polished before plating, and will produce a better post plating finish. We used to use electroless nickel where an even thickness of plating was the highest priority, as the parts could not be re-worked after plating to make dimensions correct.
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