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Significance and Use
4.1 The specialized use of the electroplating process for electroforming results in the manufacture of tools and products that are unique and often impossible to make economically by traditional methods of fabrication. Current applications of nickel electroforming include: textile printing screens; components of rocket thrust chambers, nozzles, and motor cases; molds and dies for making automotive arm-rests and instrument panels; stampers for making phonograph records, video-discs, and audio compact discs; mesh products for making porous battery electrodes, filters, and razor screens; and optical parts, bellows, and radar wave guides (1-3).3
4.2 Copper is extensively used for electroforming thin foil for the printed circuit industry. Copper foil is formed continuously by electrodeposition onto rotating drums. Copper is often used as a backing material for electroformed nickel shells and in other applications where its high thermal and electrical conductivities are required. Other metals including gold are electroformed on a smaller scale.
4.3 Electroforming is used whenever the difficulty and cost of producing the object by mechanical means is unusually high; unusual mechanical and physical properties are required in the finished piece; extremely close dimensional tolerances must be held on internal dimensions and on surfaces of irregular contour; very fine reproduction of detail and complex combinations of surface finish are required; and the part cannot be made by other available methods.
1.1 This guide covers electroforming practice and describes the processing of mandrels, the design of electroformed articles, and the use of copper and nickel electroplating solutions for electroforming.
1.2 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.
B183 Practice for Preparation of Low-Carbon Steel for Electroplating
B242 Guide for Preparation of High-Carbon Steel for Electroplating
B252 Guide for Preparation of Zinc Alloy Die Castings for Electroplating and Conversion Coatings
B253 Guide for Preparation of Aluminum Alloys for Electroplating
B254 Practice for Preparation of and Electroplating on Stainless Steel
B281 Practice for Preparation of Copper and Copper-Base Alloys for Electroplating and Conversion Coatings
B311 Test Method for Density of Powder Metallurgy (PM) Materials Containing Less Than Two Percent Porosity
B343 Practice for Preparation of Nickel for Electroplating with Nickel
B374 Terminology Relating to Electroplating
B489 Practice for Bend Test for Ductility of Electrodeposited and Autocatalytically Deposited Metal Coatings on Metals
B490 Practice for Micrometer Bend Test for Ductility of Electrodeposits
B558 Practice for Preparation of Nickel Alloys for Electroplating
B571 Practice for Qualitative Adhesion Testing of Metallic Coatings
B578 Test Method for Microhardness of Electroplated Coatings
B636 Test Method for Measurement of Internal Stress of Plated Metallic Coatings with the Spiral Contractometer
B659 Guide for Measuring Thickness of Metallic and Inorganic Coatings
B849 Specification for Pre-Treatments of Iron or Steel for Reducing Risk of Hydrogen Embrittlement
E8 Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials
E384 Test Method for Knoop and Vickers Hardness of Materials
ICS Number Code 25.220.40 (Metallic coatings)
UNSPSC Code 12141711(Copper Cu); 12141729(Nickel Ni)