This practice covers the preparation and electroplating of metals on stainless steel. The preparation of stainless steel for electroplating involves three basic steps in the following order: removal of scale, removal of oil, grease, or other foreign material by cleaning, and activation immediately before electroplating. Activation shall be done by removing the thin transparent film of oxides from the surface to be electroplated. This film will reform if the parts are allowed to dry or are exposed to oxygen-containing solutions. For this reason, the shortest interval practicable should elapse between the time the parts are removed from the activating solution and covered by the electrodeposit, unless a simultaneous activation-electroplating procedure is used. The parts should be transferred to the cold-water rinse and to the plating solution as rapidly as practicable after the activating procedure; otherwise the surface will passivate itself and the electrodeposit will not be adherent. The rinse water should be kept slightly acid. After activation, an adherent electrodeposit of commonly electroplated metals like cadmium, copper, brass, chromium, gold, nickel, or silver may be electrodeposited directly on stainless steel provided the surface of the stainless steel. After stripping with nitric acid, post electroplating operations such as stress relieving, buffing or coloring, and forming or drawing may be applied to stainless steel in the same manner as to any other basis metal, as long as the natural differences in the characteristic of the stainless steel are taken into consideration. The methods of testing for thickness, hardness, and adhesion of electrodeposits applied with the usual basis metals may be employed for similar tests on stainless steel.
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1.1 Various metals are electrodeposited on stainless steel for color matching, lubrication during cold heading, spring-coiling and wire-drawing operations, reduction of scaling at high temperatures, improvement of wettability (as in fountain pens), improvement of heat and electrical conductance, prevention of galling, jewelry decoration, and prevention of superficial rusting.
1.2 This practice is presented as an aid to electroplaters and finishing engineers, confronted with problems inherent in the electrodeposition of metals on stainless steel. It is not a standardized procedure but a guide to the production of smooth adherent electrodeposits on stainless steel.
1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
A380 Practice for Cleaning, Descaling, and Passivation of Stainless Steel Parts, Equipment, and Systems
Brass electrodeposition; Cadmium metals (coating/plating); Chromium electroplating; Electrodeposited Cu coatings; Electrodeposited gold coatings; Electroplated steel coatings; Nickel coatings; Silver (electrodeposited); Specimen preparation (general)--electroplating; Stainless steel; Steel; Steel--electroplating
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