Metals, Ceramics and Composites: Electrochemical Brush Plating as a Means for Plating Nickel, Metal Matrix Composite Materials, and Plating on Titanium

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Exhibit Hall 1 (America's Center)
Dr. Joshua Thomas , SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts, Independence, OH
Mrs. Danijela Milosevic-Popovich , SIFCO ASC, Independence, OH
Brush (selective) plating is a technique for electrodeposition which is used for the deposition of materials from pure metals, to alloys, and even composite materials. In brush plating, the part or area to be coated is not submerged in a tank. Instead, after the area is masked off, the anode is wrapped in a porous, non-conductive, flexible material. The anode is saturated in the plating solution and then “brushed” along the part to be plated as current is applied. Relative to tank electroplating, some of the advantages of brush plating include portability, less masking when plating smaller areas of larger parts, and a smaller amount of plating solution. Brush plating is often performed to repair small areas on larger parts. Without the need for a large tank brush plating can be done on the job site, often without even disassembling the part in need of repair. Brush plating is currently used for numerous specialty applications in the fields of aerospace, oil and gas, marine environments, manufacturing, and many others.

Applying plating solution by brushing it onto the affected part promotes faster solution replenishment and can allow for faster attainable plating rates for the deposits. Plating rates are increased through higher applied current densities and higher metal concentrations in brush plating solution. Depending on the type of wrap material used on the anode, the surface finish of the part or even the structure of the overall deposit can be altered or controlled.

This presentation will inform attendees about brush plating through a brush plating process for depositing nickel pre-plate on titanium with robust adhesion, highlighting advancements made to the plating process for a classic sulfamate nickel plating solution, and evaluating differences in solution composition focusing on particle loading for metal matrix composite materials deposited by brush plating.

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