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PITTEDDEPOSITS

Pittingisaverycommonproblemanditiscausedbyvariousandnumerousfactors.The
potentialforpittingismorepronouncedwiththickerdepositsastheygetlargerwith
heavierbuildup.Thisalsooccurswithcertaintypesofpartanditseemstohappenmore
withreworkedpartsthanwithnewones.

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Invirtuallyallcases,thecauseofpittingisdirectlyrelatedtotheconditionofthebase
metalsurface.Theuseoffumesuppressantswasbelievedtocausepitting,andinsome
casesthiscanbetrueifanonpermanenttypeisused.Ithasbeenproventhoughthatusing
ahighqualitypermanenttypeoffumesuppressant,likeCancelST45,willnotinitself
causepitting.Basemetalpittingdoesnotoccurjustbecauseapermanentfumesuppressant
isbeingused.
Ifpittingoccursitsalmostalwaysafunctionofimproperpreparation,poorcleaningor
imperfectionsinthebasemetal.AbusiveBPgrinding,polishingorblastingcanleavenon
visualsurfacedebristhatneedstobefullyremovedpriortoplating.Othercausescanbe
minutepinholes,microscopiccracks,surfaceoxidesandnonmetallicinclusionsinthe
basemetal.Additionalcausescanbestopoffresidue,degradationoffloatingpoly.balls,
tanklining&plumbingbreakdown,debrisfromwirebrushes,imbeddedgritblasting,buss
arching,andcertainoils&organicmaterialsinthebath.
InsomecasespittingcanbeovercomebyincreasingtheDuraAdditivelevelinthebath.In
othercasespitting(androughness)canbepreventedbychangingthereverseetchtime.
Microscopicmetaldebrisfromgrindingandpolishingcanstandupandfacetheanode
duringreverseetching.Thesemicrohighcurrentdensityareascauseadditionalchrome
buildupwhichresultsinanodulethatcanlaterbreakoff,usuallyduringgrindingor
polishing,therebyleavingapit.Shorteretchingtimesmaypreventtheirstandingupand
longeretchtimesmayremovethemcompletely.
Formoreseverecases,thesolutionistouseDuraPrepscrubbing,glassbeadingorvapor
blastingpriortoplating.
Othercausesofpittingcaninclude:
A.Substratedeficiency:
Partisalreadypittedorrough,hasinclusions,wasnotcleanedproperly,notDura
Prepscrubbed,hasremainingsurfacedebrisfromwornbelts,impropergrinding,
etc.,hasdifferentbasemetalsonsamepart,hasdifferenthardnessonsamepart,or
hasaweldingrepair.DuraPrepscrub,orglassbeadvaporblastifnootherremedy
works.
B.Bathchemistryimbalance,orcontaminantlevelstoohigh:
SendbathsampletoPlatingResources,Inc.foracompleteanalysis.Insomecasesa
highsulfatelevelcancausepitting.Adjustbathasneeded.
C.Partoverorunderreverseetched:
Checktheproperreverseetchingtimesforthebasemetalandhardnessbeingplated.
Reverseetchingcausessmallsliversfromgrinding&polishingtostandupandface
theanode.Properetchtimesremovethesesliversprovidingasmoothfinishfor
plating.Ifnotetchedlongenoughthesesliverswillplateovercausinganodulethat
willlaterbreakoffduringfinishingcausingapit.Overetchingcandamagethebase
metalandbringcarbontothesurfacealsocausingpits.
D.Organiccontaminationinbath:
Certainoilsandorganicscanbreakdowninthebathformingasurfacescum.This
cansticktothepartsonentrycausingpitting.Skimthebathifanyfloatingscumis
found.Theuseofanonpermanenttypeoffumesuppressantwillalsocauseorganic
contaminationandpitting.TheuseofapermanenttypesuchasCancelST45will
eliminatethis.
E.Foreigndebrisinbath:
Particlesfromanodesludge,bariumsulfate,polishinggritorironfilings.Filterbath
asneeded.

F.Horizontalcathodesurface:
Foreigndebriscansettleontohorizontalsurfacescausingpitting.Filterthebath,
and/orchangethepartssotheyareplatedonanangle.
G.Rectifierdefect:
Blowndiodes,rippletoohighorsinglephasing.Checkrectifierandrepairasneeded.
H.Partnotadequatelypreheated:
Preheatpartslongenoughsothattheyareuptobathtemperaturebeforestarting
plating.Massivepartswilltakelongertopreheat.
I.Carbonsmutonpart:
Inspectfordarkorblacksurfacesmutafterreverseetching.Recleanandscrubwith
DuraPrepifpresent,loweroreliminatethereverseetch.
J.Magnetizedsubstrate:
Ironparticlesbeingdrawntothepartduringplatingduetoitsmagnetism.Testwith
amagnometerorpaperclipsanddemagnetizebeforeplatingifnecessary.
K.Currentinterruptionduringplating:
Powerfailurescancausepittingifsevereenough.TheDuraAdditivebathsaremuch
lesspronetothisthanareotherbathtypes.
L.Stopoffdebrisleftonpart:
Checkforstopoffresiduebeforeplating.ScrubwithDuraPreptoensureaclean
surface.
M.Inadequaterinsing:
Besurethatthepartsareproperlyrinsedofpriorfilmsbeforeplating.
N.Currentdensitytoolow:
Increasethecurrentto2ASI.
O.UseofnonpermanentMistSuppressants:
Breakdownofanonpermanenttypeofmistsuppressantswillcausepitting.Theuse
ofapermanenttypelikeCancelST45willnotcausepitting.
P.Bathssurfacetensiontoohigh:
Atypicalchromebathhasasurfacetensionbetween75and90dynes/cm.Thishigh
surfacetensionhasbeenlinkedtopittinginsomecases.Alowersurfacetensionof
3545dynes/cm.caneliminatethisproblem.Anadditionof1%byvolumeofCancel
ST45willlowerittotheproperrange.
Q.Hydrogengasnotescaping:
Horizontalsurfacesarepronetohydrogengasentrapment.Plateatanangleif
possible,increasebathagitationoradd1%byvolumeofCancelST45tolowerthe
surfacetension.
R.Improperrepairspotonpart
CheckBPrepairsforproperapplication.Insomecasestheremaybeadifferentalloy
usedorthehardnessmayhavechangedfromannealing.Modifythereverseetching
timesasneeded.Blasting,liquidhoningorcleaningwithDuraPrepmayhelpwith
this.
S.Anodehastoomuchoxidescale:
Anodescalecancomelooseandbeattractedtothecathode.Wirebrushtoremove
heavyscaleandcleaninAnoBest104.
T.Anodeoutofcircuit:
Checkforgassingonallanodes.Cleanthecontactandclampifneeded.

Dura,Durachrome,MicroTuff,ChemlockandZeroDischargeRecoveryaretradenamesofPlatingResources,Inc.andareproductsof
theUSA.CopyrightandallotherWorldRightsReserved,1990,1995,2012.