However, adding the typical 7% or 15% of nickel will drive the cost of the plating up anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 times the cost of basic zinc plating...so do you improve plating efficiencies?
Increased costs only heighten the need for accurate process control having a quality control system in place to verify that plating meets specifications and avoiding costly over plating. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology is the most popular approach to obtaining accurate and repeatable measurements of zinc nickel plating thickness.
Eastern Applied Research can provide three XRF related options when metal finishers add ZiNi capabilities or convert from other processes to this alloy plating.
Those options include:
Desktop XRF: newer model XRF analyzers will have the ability to measure Zinc-Nickel thickness and the alloy composition, some will even allow users to monitor plating bath compositions. Eastern Applied offers the Hitachi line of XRF analyzers for coating measurement needs. Featured is the Hitachi FT-110A XRF Analyzer for basic coating thickness applications and composition.
Handheld XRF: Also from Hitachi High-Tech, the XMet8000 (formerly by Oxford Instruments) is one of the few portable XRF analyzers that will provide accurate and repeatable coating thickness measurements. The XMet8000 can be calibrated for this specific interest (assuming the Ni present remains consistent) and can be beneficial when large components need to be measured.
Adding Capabilities to an Existing XRF: It is often possible to add alloy coating applications to existing XRF analyzers by simply adding a set of certified reference standards. Unfortunately, some older models of x-ray fluorescence (Twin Cities International, Veeco, Oxford XRF, and some Fischer XRF Instruments, etc) will not have the flexibility to add this application. The Eastern Applied Research technical staff can confirm if this is possible with your existing system and our in-house XRF standards laboratory can supply these standards.
Has your organization added Zinc Nickel (ZiNi) coating capabilities? Are you considering it? Contact Eastern Applied to discuss the options that can be made available so that you can control your processes.