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Do you need heat treatment after electroless nickel plating?

2021-09-11

Many newcomers may have questions about whether electroless copper nickel plating requires a heat treatment process. They believe that in order to increase the hardness of nickel and improve wear resistance after nickel plating, a heat treatment process should be carried out, but the answer is no.


After nickel plating, no heat treatment process is required, just rinse with water, if heat treatment will peel off.


No matter what the plating is, the solderability after heat treatment will not be good, because the plating will oxidize at high temperatures. Unless the heat treatment is carried out in a vacuum state or a protective gas environment. The solderability of fresh nickel plating is better. If heat treatment is necessary, it should be before nickel plating. According to the process of processing, the surface treatment is the last step. There is no such thing as heat treatment after plating. If heat treatment is required, it can only be stress relief annealing, which is heated to a certain temperature in an electric furnace and then slowly air-cooled.


The method of plating a layer of nickel on metals or certain non-metals by electrolysis or chemical methods is called nickel plating. Nickel plating is divided into electroplating nickel and electroless nickel plating. Nickel electroplating is in an electrolyte composed of nickel salt (called main salt), conductive salt, pH buffer, and wetting agent. The anode uses metallic nickel, and the cathode is a plated part. Direct current is applied to the cathode (plated part). A uniform and dense nickel plating layer is deposited. Bright nickel is obtained from the bath with brightener, and dark nickel is obtained from the electrolyte without brightener.


Electroless plating is also called electroless plating, and it can also be called autocatalytic plating. The specific process refers to: under certain conditions, the metal ions in the aqueous solution are reduced by the reducing agent and precipitated on the surface of the solid substrate. ASTMB374 (ASTM, American Society for Testing and Materials) is defined as Autocatalyticplatingis "depositionofametalliccoatingbyacontrolledchemicalreductionthatiscatalyzedbythemetaloralloybeingdeposited". This process is different from displacement plating in that the plating layer can be thickened continuously, and the plating metal itself also has catalytic ability.



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