Free nickel smoky - coating process for different effects
Smoky nickel, also known as black nickel, has various fields of application and is excellently suited for the decorative coating of different components. Depending on the light and the viewing angle, the result is an interplay of anthracite to dark grey to black shades. Dr. Galva's Free-Nickel Smoky is a high-performance product that is ideally suited for various electroplating processes. Particularly noteworthy is the consistent colour fidelity over a long period of use. The Free-Nickel Smoky - black nickel electrolyte has been specially developed for free sale and may be supplied to private individuals without an end-use declaration.
What exactly is black nickel?
Dr Galva's black nickel electrolyte has been specially developed for the decorative plating of various metals. When applied correctly, a visually appealing anthracite-coloured layer is formed, which gives the component a special attractiveness. The result is an appearance that is comparable to black chrome. The areas of application are manifold. For example, you can use Free-Nickel Smoky to make fittings or visible screw connections of a special piece of furniture just as attractive as components of a workpiece made of metal. There are hardly any limits to your own creativity.
Which metals are suitable for black nickel plating?
With the exception of chrome, aluminium and titanium, black nickel plating is suitable for various metals. These are for example:
In many cases, a base layer of normal nickel is recommended for components made of the metals mentioned for long durability, especially on copper and its alloys in the exterior. On the one hand this increases the corrosion resistance and on the other hand it leads to more attractive results. For this bright nickel layer, we recommend normal free nickel, a high-performance nickel electrolyte suitable for all the metals mentioned.
For stainless steel workpieces, we recommend pre-treatment with nickel strike to optimise the adhesion of the smoky nickel.
Application of Dr. Galva Free-Nickel Smoky Black Nickel Electrolyte
Prepare the component with great care before applying the black-nickel in order to achieve an optimal result. This includes, above all, thorough cleaning and absolutely grease-free surfaces. Therefore, remove all impurities such as dirt, rust film and the like and use suitable degreasing agents. Wear protective gloves during degreasing to prevent skin grease from being deposited on the component.
The black nickel is suitable for use in bath electroplating as well as for pin electroplating.
The following anodes are suitable for smoky nickel:
- nickel anodes
- graphite anodes
- platinum anodes
- stainless steel anodes for brush plating permissible
For plating, the anode is switched to positive and the workpiece to negative.
Observe the formation of gas bubbles closely during the electroplating process. If too many gas bubbles rise on the workpiece, the voltage must be reduced. This also applies if an intensive black colouration appears in places. If there is no deposition, the tension is too low and must be carefully increased. All in all, the deposition with black nickel electrolytes is slower than with normal nickel electrolytes.
Wear appropriate protective clothing during the entire process and ensure good room ventilation.
Parameters (these may vary, please test):
- tank plating: 2-8V (approx. 3-5V recommended)
- brush plating: 6-10V (approx. 6-8V recommended)
- current density: 1-5 A/dm²
- working temperature: 15-50°C
- pH-value: approx. 4-5 (can be corrected e.g. with citric acid or sulphuric acid)
- deposition rate: approx. 0.5μm/min at 2.5A/dm² and 20°.
- blackness L* (CIE Lab measurement): 42-47
Identification of the mixture:
(contains nickel sulfate, nickel dichloride, nickel bis(sulfamidate), nickel sulfamate, nickel di(acetate), diammonium nickel bis(sulfate))
Signal word: Danger
H317 May cause an allergic skin reaction.
H412 Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
P102 Keep out of reach of Children.
P103 Read carefully and follow all instructions.
P261 Avoid breathing dust/vapours/spray.
P280 Wear protective gloves and eye/face protection.
P302+P352 IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of water.
P333+P313 If skin irritation or rash occurs: Get medical advice/attention.
P501 Dispose of contents/container according to regional/national regulations. Do not discard with household waste.