Monitoring the bath composition – Secondary components

Electroplating baths
In the surface finishing industry, organic or inorganic additives are used in electroplating baths:
  • to control the physical properties of the deposited metal layer, e.g., ductility, hardness, tear strength, brazeability,
  • to modify the visual appearance of the surface,
  • to keep large quantities of metal in solution (using complexing agents).

Essentially, the surface properties of printed circuit boards, contacts, or metal components are modified by means of acids, bases, and ions in low concentrations.

Ensuring that the desired properties are reliably achieved requires close monitoring of the bath additive concentration.

  • Boric acid / tetrafluoroboric acid in Ni baths, surfactants with titration

  • Concentrated acids in etching solution, nitrate in Ni baths, organic acids in electroplating baths with ion chromatography

  • Lead, antimony, and bismuth in nickel baths with voltammetry

  • Organic additives with Cyclic Voltammetric Stripping

  • Online monitoring of pH value (electroless nickel baths) and carbonate (alkaline zinc baths) with process analyzers

  • pH value, conductivity, free and total alkalinity in degreasing and rinsing baths with process analyzers