A Step By Step Guide For Copper Electroplating Solution
Copper, the unstoppable metal, has been around in use for most of man’s existence. Perhaps it’s one of the first metals used by humans. Although it has often been used for religious purposes, man discovered the practical benefits of copper and copper plating. Since copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, copper electroplating is a great choice for metal surfaces. The process of copper electroplating could be challenging because it needs great skill, precision and an enormous amount of patience. So please consider this three-step guide for copper electroplating solution.
Step 1: Pre-treatment procedure
Preparation is the first key to success in the matter of copper electroplating. It ensures the quality and uniformity of the product. As the product ages, copper plating could blister or flake. So, a good pre-treatment procedure controls such mishaps.
- Stripping: The metal might arrive with a layer of particles which eventually blister or flake. Therefore it is important to remove that layer so that the copper electroplating could be done on the base layer.
- Polishing: It is the line of defense against most issues, such as oxidation and imperfections. This copper electroplating solution ensures that the surface is refined and evened out in preparation for copper plating.
Step 2: Treatment
- Cleaning: Cleaning the metal before copper plating ensures that the coat adheres to the metal and protects it from the environment. To this effect, the metal needs to be immersed in the cleaning solution and electrified.
- Set-up: Ensure a proper power supply. Connect the electrical lead of the rectifier to the substrate and have the positive lead in the copper plating solution.
- Plate bath: The plate bath can have several challenges. There are certain things that could be done to overcome these challenges and ensure near perfect copper plating.
Here are five things to keep in mind with regard to the copper plating solution for a perfect plate bath.
- The right plate bath composition — There are two types of compositions in plate bath, one is alkaline which could be cyanide or non-cyanide and the other could be acid-based. An acid-based plate bath would be a more appropriate choice for brighter finish products. The key is to choose the right composition for the desired copper plating outcome.
- Elimination of cyanide bath contaminants — Organic residues from material and cleaning compounds are some of the contaminants. The best solution for this challenge is to constantly filter the plating solution. This ensures that the contaminants are eliminated.
- Agitation of acid baths — High-current density burning and dullness of the finished product are a few challenges in the acid bath. Proper agitation can prevent the burning and helps in obtaining maximum brightness. There are two types of agitation, air and mechanical. Mechanical agitation is suited better for the copper plating process of circuit boards and air agitation for decorative plating.
- Elimination of contamination in acid baths — The elimination of contaminants in a bath is much easier in acid baths when compared to cyanide baths. The green tint is a clear indication of contaminants. Residues of grease, oil or the cleaning product could be easily eliminated with a light carbon bath. And carbon or hydrogen peroxide treatment could ensure the removal of the other contaminants.
- Tackling the poor “throwing power” phenomenon. — One challenge in copper plating products which have holes and blind vias is that the plating may not be uniformly deposited in through-holes and blind vias. The throwing power could be increased by increasing the acid concentration.
Step 3: Post-treatment
Well, the treatment seems to be the final step. But there is this last step of post-treatment which ensures that your product is out clean and shiny.
- Anti-tarnishing (or) Cleaning: Not all products react the same way to treatment. Some need a final touch up. Anti-tarnish or clear coat treatment is required to improve resistance and prevent tarnish.
- Go green attitude: The copper electroplating process would create toxic material which could be hazardous for the community and the working staff. Therefore ensure that the waste is properly disposed off or recycled.
These copper electroplating solution not only ensure that your product is ready to amaze your customers but also provide you with great practical solutions.
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