Nickel has a number of areas of application: 1 of these is decorative and as an underlayer for chromium. From a galvanotechnical point of view, nickel is used in two ways, electrolytically and autocatalytically (chemical nickel). Electrolytic nickel is mainly used in the decorative market, in addition under hard chrome with an anti-corrosive meaning.
The electrolytic nickel processes are mainly based on an ancient recipe, the so-called Watts nickel. The main components here are nickel sulphate, nickel chloride and boric acid. To obtain shine, organic additives are added.
Copper was one of the first metals to be precipitated. Today, the main application is found in the printed circuit board production and gravure printing industry. Copper baths are used both acid (sulfuric acid) and cyanidic. The acid baths have excellent filling properties (the ability to fill out scratches) due to organic additives of various kinds. This property is used in the decorative market. In addition, acid copper is used in the printed circuit board industry, offset industry and in the restoration of old-timer parts.
The acid copper bath uses G&R Chroming and Restoration for all the steel parts. The cyanidic copper bath is used by us for Aluminum and Zamak.
Chromium is the best known of the precipitated metals. It is applied in the sanitary market, the automotive industry, bicycles, motorcycles, gravure printing, and so on. It is widely used to give metal or plastic a more beautiful appearance. Chrome itself does not have high-gloss properties, the shine comes from the underlying nickel. Chrome can be polished. If the chrome layer is applied too thickly to the shiny nickel, a mouse-grey layer is created. A chrome layer of approx. 3-5 µm is sufficient to obtain a beautiful appearance. Chromium baths are among the simplest in terms of composition, they largely consist of chromic acid, in addition additions of sulfuric acid (catalyst in the process) are added. The chromium bath removes the chromium from the chromic acid present, the anodes are made of lead, these only supply the necessary electrons.