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MONTHLY REVIEW

Published by the
American Electroplaters Society
Publication and Editorial Office
3040 Diversy Ave., Chicago

VOL. XVII    MARCH, 1930    No. 3


EDITORIAL

EXPERIENCE

In these days of advancing thought neither producing systems nor industrial methods can remain constant. Systems of yesterday are not those of today. It is the learning of things, the fuller knowing of things, that accounts for the change in the doing of things.

There is no such thing as unrequited mental toil, we are broader and bigger for it regardless of material consequence. Experience is a great school. Some learn much from experience, others little; the difference is a personal matter. Possibly you don’t like the business of plating. Perhaps you did not choose it, just drifted in or was sort of forced in and have always imagined yourself a better something else. If you don’t like, can’t make yourself like the business, one thing is sure, you will take but little enjoyment out of your daily experience, while the man who delights in daily contact with new problems will go after a new idea as voraciously as a hungry infant grabs for a rubber teat. Nothing spurs a man to greater effort than honest contention, but don’t argue for the sake of appearing clever. Our Branch meetings furnish splendid opportunity for honest contention and exchange of opinions. Are you a regular attendant? The society needs you, you need the society, it’s a mutual affair so there is no argument over that point. Experience is the sum total of small affairs and the best way to cash in on the sum total is to attend the annual convention. There you will meet the best and broadest men of the electroplating industry. ”Believe it or not” it will broaden you to hear them talk. The opportunity is yours, if you neglect it you play a losing game. It’s an inspiring, broadening experience and you can’t afford to miss it.

Get out and see what others are doing, it’s a poor plating plant that possesses no individuality and a poor plater without a notion or two of his own. A narrow man stays at home and thinks he knows it all. A broad minded man gets out and sees what is going on in other shops and the firm that denies its foreman plater this pleasure at least once each year is ”durned small pertaters.”

Never be ashamed to ask for information, it will aid in rounding out your experience, but be ashamed of your indifference toward the attainment of practical knowledge. And above all,—BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE, LEND A HELPING HAND WHENEVER YOU CAN, IF YOU HOPE TO EXPERIENCE GENUINE SATISFACTION.


EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING—MARCH 21, 1930

The Executive Board met in session at the Powers Hotel, Rochester, New York, on Friday, March 21st, 1930, with President Smith, 2nd Vice President Kennedy, Past President Feeley, Editor Hanlon and Secretary-treasurer Gehling, present.

First Vice President Van Derau telephoned, business at his plant was such, that he regrets he cannot be present.

Minutes of the Board were read, and it was recommended that the words ”Research Committee” be stricken out on the vote of December 1st, 1929. Carried.

Mr. Geo. B. Hogaboom read his report of the ”Incorporation Committee,” as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

Directly after the convention of the A. E. S. in Detroit, July, 1929, you requested me to arrange to have the A. E. S. incorporated.

A thorough investigation was made of the incorporation laws of New York, New Jersey; with the aid of a very competent lawyer, it was claimed that organizations which have a ruling body, such as our Supreme Society, always have a constitution to rule the whole organization and by-laws to govern subordinate bodies, such for example as our Branch societies.

The A. E. S. has two constitutions, one for the Supreme Society of ruling body; and one for the subordinate bodies, the Branch societies, there are no by-laws.

The opinion obtained is that it would be well for the A. E. S. to have one constitution and a set of by-laws.
This change cannot be made by me and as I am not a member of the Supreme Society, I cannot serve upon such a committee.

I am also of the opinion that you cannot appoint a committee to make this change, this authority to do so would have to be given you at a convention of the Supreme Society, this was not done at Detroit.

I recommend that the reconstruction of the A. E. S. constitution be brought before the A. E. S. convention at Washington, D. C., July, 1930, and that a committee be appointed, if the Society so votes, to make the necessary changes, this committee to report at the 1931 convention.

It is realized that this procedure causes a long delay in incorporating the A. E. S., but there is no other way that would be in accordance with the present constitution.

I would be pleased to serve as an adviser to a committee and offer the advantage of my experience in performing the work you assigned me.

Geo. B. Hogaboom.

Motion made the committee get a lawyer to draft constitution and by-laws so that the society can be incorporated and the same to be ready for presentation to the Washington convention. Carried.
Mr. Philip Sievering reported as treasurer of the Research Committee as follows:

Receipts
June 1st, 1929, to March 21st, 1930 $1160.21
June 1st, 1929, balance on hand 4539.35
$5699.56 $5699.56
Disbursements
June 1st, 1929, to March 21st, 1930 $3375.43
Balance on hand $2324.13
On the above receipts $675.00 is paid on the 1930 campaign.

Philip Sievering,
Treasurer of Research Committee.

Motion made report be received. Carried.

Mr. Geo. Hogaboom reported for the Membership Committee and stated he sent out 3,600 letters and intends to send out 1,500 more, and this expense was being borne by him as his contribution to the Society.

The Metal Industry has donated to the Society one full page in both the Metal Industry and the Brass World, for advertising for the committee, to run for six months beginning January 1st, 1930.
Motion made progress report be received. Carried.

Secretary Gehling reported the inactivity of the. Cincinnati Branch, as the branch was not holding meetings and had not paid any P. C. T. for the past nine months.

It was suggested that Secretary Gehling notify all members of the Cincinnati branch of the laxity of their branch and asking them for suggestions and their opinions as to the best way to have the branch function again. Carried.

After discussing a letter received by the President from one of the branches, the following resolution was read:

We the Executive Board in session March 21st, 1930, offer to the Supreme Society in annual convention at Washington, D. C., the following resolution:

That in view of the continued desire of many branches to sell advertising or solicit funds for annual meetings and banquets, we the Executive Board, respectfully request to save future executive boards embarrassment, that Sec. 3, Article XII, be stricken from our constitution. Carried.

Secretary was authorized to get new charters printed for the Dayton, Detroit, Montreal and Newark branches. Carried.

The following tentative plan towards zoning the branches was adopted by the Executive Board and the same to be placed before the Washington convention:

The location of the branches are such that it calls for nine zones, so as not to have the vice-presidents traveling too long a distance to get to the branch meetings in their zones.

Instead of calling the vice-presidents, i. e., first vice-president, second vice-president, etc., their title should be vice-president of zone one, and zone two, etc.

All vice-presidents should be members of the Executive Board together with the president, secretary-treasurer, editor, and the past president.

All vice-presidents shall keep a record of the progress of the branches in their respective zones, and see that the branches meet regularly, and make a report of the same to the Executive Board prior to the annual meeting or convention, so that the same can be reported at the convention.

Zones
l—St. Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton. 2—Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids. 3—Toledo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh. Montreal, Toronto. 5—New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington. Rochester, Detroit. 7—Boston, Worcester, Providence. Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford-Connecticut Valley. 9—Los Angeles.
Carried.

The following letter was read from the Metal Industry:

To the Executive Officers, A. E. S.

Gentlemen: Referring to the Rochester meeting.

It is our desire to cover this meeting, as we have all other similar meetings, but find that it is a hard matter to go into the meeting in detail without being able to refer to the discussion.

We enclose a copy of the editorial covering the Newark meeting in 1929, and we should like to hear if you will grant us permission to cover the Rochester meeting by referring to the papers read and the discussions.

Yours truly,
The Metal Industry.

After discussing the letter, it was the sense of the Executive Board, that we appreciate the courtesy of the Metal Industry in asking for the privilege of reporting the Rochester meeting, and recommend that they cooperate with the editor of the ”Monthly Review,” Mr. Frank Hanlon, in reference to the same. Carried.

Meeting was adjourned at the call of the President.

Geo. Gehling, Secretary.


MODERN METHODS OF CLEANING METALS
FOR CHROMIUM PLATING AND THE FUTURE OF CHROMIUM PLATING

Jacob Hay, Detroit, Michigan Read at St. Louis Branch, 18th Annual Meeting

With so much written and published about the cleaning of metals for all kinds of plating it seems that there is very little to say about cleaning metals for chromium plating.

About five years ago when we first heard about chromium plating, our organization was approached by a certain company to chromium plate the reflectors for Mining Head Light Reflectors, the type that miners use in coal mines and so forth.

Some time later chromium plating was specified on such parts as automobile head lamps, fender lamps and cowell lamp brackets and later on reflectors.

Chromium plating was practically new to the platers and therefore countless troubles were experienced in its commercial application.

Everything seemed to work out all right in a laboratory scale, but when we started on a large production basis it appeared at once that the Electro-Plater had to learn the art of plating all over again.

Better methods of polishing of base metals, cleaning, closer control of copper, nickel and chromium solutions and buffing of metallic coatings had to be maintained in order to obtain a finish that would be passed by our inspection department.

Minute scratches, either in the base metal or metallic deposits, that had been left there by the polishers and buffers and also particles that were carried over by the electro-cleaning solution would be highly magnified by the highly reflective chromium finish.

One can readily perceive the number of obstacles which we had to overcome. These troubles were not confined to our organization alone. No one contemplating chromium plating escaped trouble.

Many of you have noticed that chromium and nickel plates have had some parts peel that have only been in use a short time, and that some nickel plating peels the minute you try to chromium plate the same.
This is due in most cases to improper cleaning and deoxidizing the base metal surface prior to plating.
Head lamps or fender brackets have, in many cases, shown the brass base in a very short time. This is caused by either extremely thin deposits of nickel or an abundance of hydrogen bound gas which was absorbed by the pores of the nickel plate during the electrodeposition of the chromium.

Most of these troubles were experienced by us about a year ago when the automobile manufacturers to whom we furnished lamps received complaints from customers about the chromium finish on their cars. Some of the vendors were not prepared to do justice to the class of work that should have been furnished to the public in order to withstand corrosion, and at the same time satisfy the production schedule demanded. Most of them had to learn chromium plating all over again, the same as we had to do five years before. We fortified ourselves against these troubles by spending time and money to develop a chromium finish that would stand up under the most severe test that could be given our product. Some of the complaints were justified but most of the complaints were unjustified.

This, I believe, was largely responsible for the advertising propaganda issued in various trade journals that chromium plate finish would resist wear, tarnish, corrosion and what not. The public, reading of this, or hearing of it, immediately began noticing defects of a minor nature on their newly chromium plated decorative automobile parts.

Head lamps, fender lamps and brackets get the most severe test of all automobile parts by the inspectors.

In our line of manufacturing we have only four metals to contend with as far as the plating, polishing and buffing department is concerned.

I will try to explain, step by step, the method we employ in finishing the same.

In polishing and buffing we use a buffing composition with not more than 5 per cent petrolatum. After the metals have been cut down with tripoli on the automatic buffing machines or otherwise, and all buffing machine work and stamping have been completed, the finished parts are cleaned in a washing machine to remove all tripoli and grease left on the surface of the metal by the preceding operations. The parts should then be buffed with a lime composition of high quality. Brass parts are then ready for the final cleaning before nickel plating.

I will not go into any detail to explain the action of different chemicals’ and emulsifiers that are used. Any one of you that is seeking that information can find the same in ”Principles of Electro-Plating and Electro-Forming by Blum and Hogaboom.” They have a very good article on the subject.

We use a cleaner made up of soda ash, trisodium phosphate, sodium silicate, rosenate and a very little caustic soda. A fuse cleaner is to be preferred. We find that the temperature closely controlled in operating a cleaning solution is one hundred per cent of our success, as the temperature has a very marged effect on the alkalinite of the cleaners.

The following method is used in our cleaning cycle: Semi-Automatic cleaning machine, moving cathode, cleaning time one and one-quarter minute, temperature of the cleaning solution 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 12 volts-used in the cleaner, and the brass parts made the cathode. Then into a second cleaner consisting of nothing else but soda ash, two ounces per gallon of water; the parts to be cleaned are made the anode for two seconds; the temperature of this cleaner should be maintained at 150 degrees Fahrenheit; voltage is 12 volts.

The following rinse methods are used from cleaner: Water rinse, cyanide dip, water rinse, acid dip consisting of 20 per cent hydrofluoric acid, water rinse, nickel solution of the following composition:

32 ounces nickel sulphate
11 ounces nickel chloride
4 ounces boric acid
2 ounces sodium sulphate

This solution is maintained at temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, P. H. 5.9, metal content not lower than 6 ounces per gallon, nickel chloride content, 10 to 11 ounces per gallon.

We plate our head lamps 13 minutes at 30 amperes per square foot. This gives us a deposit of three-ten-thousandths of an inch of nickel. This amount of nickel is very essential for a good substantial chromium finish.

In preparing zinc die castings for nickel and chromium plating our procedure is the same as for brass, with only two exceptions: we do not use the second cleaner with the soda ash and the reverse current, and after dipping the zinc castings in hydrofluoric acid we go direct into the nickel solution without rinsing in water. The nickel solution here used is:

10 ounces nickel sulphate
2 ounces ammonia chloride
3 ounces boric acid
24 ounces sodium sulphate
1 gallon water
pH from 5.9 to 6.1, temperature 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

We clean steel parts in washing machine, cyanide copperplate, nickel plate, acid copper plate, copper buff, nickel plate again and nickel buff.

All told we get about eight ten-thousandths of an inch of metal on our steel parts, not counting the chromium.

In plating aluminum, though we do very little work on aluminum, we follow Dr. Work’s method.

All our metal parts are plated on plating hooks under spring tension and operators on the racking of the parts all wear rubber gloves so as not to touch the buffed parts with their bare hands.

After nickel plating the parts are nickel colored. We use care to get the best nickel color obtainable. The nickel buffers usually have two wheels, one to cut down and one to color the nickel. By this method, they get a very good color on the nickel. It also helps in the final cleaning of the nickel buffed parts.

When we first started cleaning nickel plated parts for chromium plating I never realized how much trouble there was in it. I do not believe there was a cleaning expert in the country that I did not consult about the problem of cleaning nickel before chromium plating. Everyone of them failed me. On a visit to Chicago I had a long talk with our old friend, Dad Liscomp, whom you all know. He advanced a theory to me. He said, ”Why not try cyanide in the cleaner?”

When I got back to Detroit, I tried cyanide and, believe me, we had some fun! Things were worse than ever. But the fact that I had faith in Dad Liscomp got me to thinking and I tried cyanide alone, cyanide with the cleaner in different strengths and cyanide after cleaning. It went from bad to worse. In despair I tried cyanide cleaner water rinse and alkaline cleaner. The results were very favorable. At the present time I am using the following lineup with success:

1 gallon water
4 ounces sodium cyanide
2 ounces caustic soda

The temperature should be 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 7 volts pressure, cleaning time: 2 seconds, water rinse, then into a cleaner of soda ash trisodium phosphate and caustic soda and silicate of soda. This cleaner does not contain any rosenate or soaps of any kind. The temperature of this cleaner must be thermostatically controlled or else there will be many failures. From this point on the following cycle of rinses is recommended: water rinse, acid dip consisting of muriatic acid and water, the strength of the acid should be from 8 to 9 beaume on the hydrometer, water rinse, cyanide dip with 14 beaume on the hydrometer, water spray, and chromium acid bath for chromium plating. At this point, many of you will ask, ”Why clean the nickel for chromium plating?” I consider it the best thing to do and think it ought to be done whenever a finish of high quality is required.

But, gentlemen, I will try to explain with these slides, that I am going to show here, that chromium plating can be done without cleaning and that it is sometimes necessary to chromium plate without cleaning. Cleaning may interfere with the chromium plating.

For instance we have four chromium solutions of 1200 gallons each. Each of them is operated with a different ratio of sulphate content. We try to maintain the same chromic acid content in all of the solutions.

CHROMIUM TANK NO. 1
Date
Content of H2SO4
Density of CrO3
Oz. per gal. CrO3
Ratio of CrO3 to H2SO4
Sept. 14
.30
24.17
38.06
126
Sept. 21
.32
23.15
36.04
112
Sept. 29
.31
23.15
36.04
116
Nov. 6
.33
23.15
36.04
109
Nov. 13
.30
23.15
36.04
126
Nov. 20
.28
23.15
36.04
128
Nov. 27
.34
26.15
42.03
123
Dec. 4
.24
23.15
36.04
150
Tank No. 1 would give a very good chromium deposit from ratio 112 to 130, above. 130 it would plate cloudy and rough, below 110 it has no throwing power.

CHROMIUM TANK NO. 2
Date
Content of H2SO4
Density of CrO3
Oz. per gal. CrO3
Ratio of CrO3 to H2SO4
Sept. 14
.24
23.15
36.4
150
Sept. 21
.32
23.15
36.4
113
Sept. 29
.31
23.15
36.4
117
Nov. 6
.33
24.17
38.6
116
Nov. 13
.34
26.15
42.3
124
Nov. 20
.32
26.15
42.3
132
Nov. 27
.42
25.17
40.3
95
Dec. 4
.32
25.17
40.3
125
Head Lamp Bodies.

CHROMIUM TANK NO. 3
Date
Content of H2SO4
Density of CrO3
Oz. per gal. CrO3
Ratio of CrO3 to H2SO4
Sept. 14
.30
22.12
34.4
113
Sept. 21
.32
22.12
34.4
107
Sept. 29
.29
22.12
34.4
118
Nov. 6
.26
24.17
38.6
147
Nov. 13
.31
24.17
38.6
124
Nov. 20
.30
22.12
34.4
114
Nov. 27
.30
22.12
34.4
114
Dec. 4
.30
22.12
34.4
114
Small Side Lamps.

CHROMIUM TANK NO. 4
Date
Content of H2SO4
Density of CrO3
Oz. per gal. CrO3
Ratio of CrO3 to H2SO4
Sept. 14
.41
24.17
38.6
94
Sept. 21
.40
23.15
36.4
91
Sept. 29
.47
23.15
36.4
77
Nov. 6
.46
25.17
40.3
87
Nov. 13
.62
27.11
44.2
71
Nov. 20
.52
25.17
40.3
77
Nov. 27
.52
25.17
40.3
77
Dec. 4
.47
23.15
36.4
77

H2SO4 is kept very high as we plate parts in this solution that we can not clean.

12 volts are used for this solution.

In noting the many valuable properties which chrome plate possesses many harbor the impression that the finish as applied to decorative parts will even withstand the diamond scratch test.

This belief is erroneous, for when we consider the thickness of chromium as applied for instance over our highly buffed nickel plated parts, such as head lamps, as being only .00002, it will be clearly seen that the plating may be scratched with an ordinary steel pin.

However, chrome deposits may be plated sufficiently hard to resist the action of a file or of machining by plating to the thickness of .001 or more. It has been found that the degrees of hardness on various thicknesses of chrome plate as compared with heat treated steels may be obtained by a scratch test using a sapphire jewel and then measuring the width of the scratch in microns a few examples may be illustrated at this point:

 
Width of scratch,
in microns
1—Chrome deposit .01968 Plated on
2.09
2—Chrome deposit .00669 base metal
2.00
3—Chrome deposit .00047 Deposited on hard steel
1.68
4—Hardened high carbon chrome steel
2.30
5—Hardened nitrallo steel
2.03
6—Cyanide steel
2.60
7—Electro-deposited nickel
3.74

So it will be noted from these figures illustrated that the hardness of the base metal upon which- the chromium is deposited plays quite an important part. Many of the factory plug gauges are salvaged by chrome plating directly over the hardened steel from an economical standpoint as the gauges when treated in this manner will give from 10 to 20 times the service of ordinary hardened steel. So much for hard chrome plate.

Let us revert for a moment on chrome plating as used on decorative parts and its future. This paper would be incomplete at this time if mention was not made of the use of stainless steel as a substitute for chrome plate finishes. Many of you, no doubt, know that automobile manufacturers have already released for production stainless steel for such parts as hood top hinges and body mouldings displacing the brass base nickel-chrome plate finish. The properties of stainless steel are very similar to chrome plate largely due to the presence of a high percentage of chromium which is incorporated into the steel at the time of manufacture. In order to produce a surface on stainless steel which will resist corrosion and the weather elements it is absolutely necessary that the metal be polished carefully, as small particles of scale on the surface of chromium will induce a difference of potential which results in pitting. The difference in appearance of a highly polished piece of stainless steel as compared with chrome plate is very small, and would not be noticed by the average layman. The chief reason for the enthusiasm displayed for stainless steel at this time, it is believed to be due to the fact that the steel companies manufacturing this wonderful non-corrosive metal have increased their production the past three years, which has resulted in a price reduction of approximately forty per cent, making it attractive for the engineers to consider in it price competition with chromium plating as there will be no necessity to plate stainless steel.

It may be interesting at this time to make mention that the new Chrysler office building is being equipped quite extensively with stainless steel. The lofty tower, a large portion of the exterior architectural metal decoration, store fronts and casement windows of the lower floor, and for interior ornamental metal work. These points are mentioned here merely to show the interest awakened in stainless steel the past six months. There are other decorative automotive parts where the use of stainless steels at the present time would be prohibitive, such as bumper bars, head lamp tie rods and radiator shells. This is due to factors such as too high a scrap loss, difficulties in fabrication and polishing costs, although automatic polishing machines have been designed lately to take care of some of the high cost of polishing this material.

Summarizing what has been said and done on chromium plating its future will depend on the type of work furnished by those engaged in the art and the cost in producing a finish in competition with some of the newer metals which have been developed and introduced to the metal trade.


REPORT OF ELECTROPLATING CONFERENCE
HELD AT ROCHESTER, N.Y., MARCH 22, 1930

For several years conferences on electroplating problems have been held under the auspices of the American Electroplaters’ Society and the Bureau of Standards. These were held in Washington until 1929, when the meeting was held in Newark. This year the conference was held in Rochester, N. Y., and was well attended.

A—Sylvester Gartland Presiding

The first session was devoted to industrial plating problems.

1. Automobiles.—W. M. Phillips of the General Motors Corporation, reported that, partly as a result of the competition with stainless steel, the total thickness of copper and nickel plated on steel prior to chromium plating had been materially increased, and is now usually from 0.0008 inch to 0.001 inch. An increase in the present thickness of chromium (about 0.00003 inch) is not advantageous. It would be better still to increase the total thickness of copper and nickel to about 0.002 inch. The cost of steel with such coatings is much less than that of stainless steel. In nickel deposition at high temperatures and current densities, a very low pH, for example from 1 to 3, gives a wider range for good deposits. The solutions with a pH of 3 or less are practically free from suspended matter. Initial pitting can be overcome with hydrogen peroxide. A plea was made for a better quality of steel. One cause of failures of chromium plating on automobiles, is the use of calcium chloride for snow and ice removal. It is more corrosive than sodium chloride, as it is not only hydroscopic and stays wet, but it also dydrolyzes to liberate hydrochloric acid.

2. Aircraft.—M. R. Whitmore, of the U. S. Air Corps, at Dayton, stated that on steel aircraft parts, either 0.001 inch of zinc or 0.00(3 inch of cadmium is used. The cadmium is especially good for dimensioned and threaded parts and for marine exposure.

On aluminum alloys plating has not been extensively applied The oxide films, such as are produced by anodic treatment in dilute chromic acid, are especially valuable for holding films of grease or lacquer,’ which protect against corrosion. The oxide films may also be dyed. Aluminum castings may be protected by dipping in 25 per cent sodium silicate solution, and then baking for 30 minutes. ”Alclad” metal consists of duralumin, coated with a layer of pure aluminum, applied by rolling. It is only available in sheets.

The speaker concluded that more work should be done on the relation of accelerated tests, such as the salt spray and intermittent immersion, to the actual protective value of zinc and cadmium; and on the factors that affect the value of the aluminum oxide coatings.

3. Hardware.—R. E. Hicks, of Yale and Towne Manufacturing Company, stated that they have practically overcome stain spotting by allowing the plated articles to stand a few days before finishing and lacquering. The porosity has also been decreased by changes in the patterns. In the discussion, the use of burnishing instead of bung was suggested as a means of closing the pores.

Crystal spots are now infrequent, as sulphur is excluded by an oil film. There is also less danger of sulphur gases in the holds of oil-burning steamships than in the coal-burning vessels.

For nickel plating on die castings, satisfactory results are obtained with solutions containing sodium sulphate. Chromium has proven valuable to increase the life of taps and dies used for cutting non-ferrous metals.

A reference to the cleaning of metals led to an interesting discussion regarding the removal of grease and buffing materials. Cleaning with oil or turpentine at 250 degrees Fahrenheit was mentioned; and also the application of ”red oil” to facilitate removal of kerosene or similar oils in the alkaline cleaners. ”Vapor cleaning,” by condensing vapors of liquids, such as trichlorethylene on the metal surfaces, was also described.

4. Silverware.—F. C. Mesle, of the Oneida Community, described the methods used for plating 18 per cent nickel silver. He pointed out that the following problems are in heed of study. (a) Better and more rapid cleaning methods. (b) A means of controlling the carbon bisulphide content of ”bright” solutions, and an explanation of its effects. (c) Control and measurement of metal distribution. (d) Control and measurement of hardness of the deposits. (e) The irregular corrosion of silver anodes. (f) The comparative value of sodium and potassium cyanides. (g) The effects of carbonates and other salts.

A discussion of ”non-tarnishing” silver included the addition to the silver of cadmium, zinc, gold, and platinum. A cathodic treatment in dilute chromic acid was reported to retard the tarnishing.

B—G. B. Hogaboom Presiding

In the session devoted to reports from research laboratories, the following subjects were discussed:

5. Researches at the Bureau of Standards.—W. Blum summarized the work in progress, including (a) the protective value of chromium plating, (b) pH measurements with a glass electrode, and (c) miscellaneous activities of the section. Owing to several resignations, the research work, both by the Bureau staff and by Research Associates, has been seriously interrupted. Steps are being taken to fill the vacancies and to continue the researches.

6. Analysis of Silver Plating Solutions.—R. M. Wick, of the Bureau of Standards, reported the results of a study of methods of determining (a) free cyanide, (b) total cyanide, (c) silver, (d) carbonate, and (e) chloride in silver plating baths. In each case the methods were studied with respect to their value for research work and for plant control. It is hoped to publish the details of the methods in the near future.

7. Plating on Zinc and Die Castings.—E. A. Anderson of the New Jersey Zinc Company, discussed the methods of plating nickel on zinc and zinc base die-castings. The use of chlorine was suggested to coagulate grease suspended in the alkaline electrolytic cleaner. Dipping in 1 per cent hydrofluoric acid just before plating was found to promote good adhesion of the nickel. The latter is usually deposited from high sulphate baths.

Nickel and chromium can be stripped from zinc by a reverse current in concentrated sulphuric acid containing a small amount of glycerine. Chromium can be plated directly on zinc die castings, but only in a dull form. When this is buffed, it furnishes excellent protection against corrosion, and is now used commercially.

The outstanding problems are (a) improved methods of cleaning, and (b) the production of softer nickel deposits with a thickness of about 0.0004 inch.

8. Deposition of Zinc-Cadmium Alloys.—C. J. Wernlund, of the Roessler and Hasslacher Company, described in detail the production of deposits containing from 10 to 15 per cent of cadmium and the balance of zinc. The cadmium serves as a brightener, and produces coatings which are harder than either zinc or cadmium, and which yields nearly as good protection in the salt spray as pure cadmium.

The deposits are made from ”high alkali” zinc cyanide solutions, to which a small amount of cadmium oxide is added. The anodes consist of an alloy of zinc and cadmium in about the proportions desired in the deposit. The composition of the deposit is affected by the bath composition, including the content of free alkali, the temperature and the cathode current density.

9. Plating Researches in American Universities.—A report, compiled by W. Blum, showed that researches on electroplating have recently been conducted, or are now in progress in at least fourteen institutions, including Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, University of Indiana, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, College of the City of New York, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh (Mellon Institute), University of Toronto, Vanderbilt University, Washington University, and the University of Wisconsin. Through such researches, many of the problems of plating are being solved.


TO MEMBERSHIP OF A. E. S.

This is answer to an inquiry from Mr. Edwin S. Gray, member of Pittsburgh Branch to the United States Public Health Service at Washington, D. C., on cyanide poisoning.

Mr. Gray has been in bed for eight months under treatment by physicians and felt that by publishing this reply to his inquiry he might help some member of the society and also caution members who work in cyanide solutions and do not use utmost care. He is a silver plater and was in contact with lots of cyanide.

They state that with regard to electroplating that the chief element of danger is in the use of a solution of potassium of cyanide. The fumes of which are breathed by the worker. The symptoms of acute poisoning are those of vertigo, headache, rush of blood to the head. appression of the chest, palpitation of the heart, a sensation of constriction around the throat with dryness, nausea and vomiting, and gasping respiration. To the stage of dysphnoea succeeds that of spasm with cold, perspiring skin, convulsions and involuntary micturition with loss of consciousness. In the stage of asphyxiation there is temporary suspension of respiration, retardation of heart action, delation of the pupils of eye, loss of consciousness, inspirations, cyanoses of the skin and mucous membranes, collapse, death.
Total of twenty-six symptoms in cyanide poisoning.

MR. E.S. GRAY, Pittsburgh Branch.


PROGRESS AND BENEFITS OF STANDARDS

Read at First Annual Meeting Los Angeles Branch, March 15, 1930,
by F. A. Maurer, B. S., Chemist at Edison Elec. App. Co., Ontario, Cal.

A standard is a criterion of excellence—since early times man has struggled for some definite standard by which he may measure the fruit of his labors. In some lines of endeavor it has been very easy to set up standards. Definite weights may be taken or measurements made, or a definite count taken: It has always been exceedingly difficult to measure the quality of plating, however, because there has been no tangible basis of measurement. On account of the difficulty of measurement the plating industry has been backward about setting up standards. Now, however, there is insistent demand from purchasers of plate for definite guarantees of performance. The purchaser is demanding that he be shown the comparative value of the plate he is buying.

A great deal of research work has been done on testing the quality of nickel plate, copper plate and zinc plate in response to this demand. Also methods of insuring an absolutely uniform deposit of metal on each piece are being devised.

A few years ago standards in the plating industry were unheard of. Each shop put its plate on its own way. There was no universal method of specifying a plating job. As a result there was the greatest kind of confusion. The axiom, ”let the buyer beware,” prevailed. No definite guarantees were made, in fact none could be made. As the situation with respect to plate, so the situation with respect to plating supplies. Each plater had his own favorite grade or brand of each of the materials he used.

In line with the insistent demand from purchasers for quality standards to base their purchases upon, this situation has greatly altered. We believe it has altered for the better. We believe it has caused the production of better plating supplies, and we believe it has caused the production of a better quality of plate.

A few years ago, how often was the salesman asked about the composition of his supplies, how often was the purchasing agent interested in anything but the price ? Probably seldom did he consider what effect the purity of chemicals would have on the ultimate cost. Usually he wanted to pay out the least per pound—and single nickel salts were only single nickel salts with very little interest shown in them except the price.

Now, however, man demands a standard of excellence in the plate he buys. Since the plater must knuckle down and meet certain specifications as to thickness of plate, luster, and ability to withstand corrosion, he has had to intensively study his methods of producing the plate, and he has had to make a study of the properties of his plating supplies. He has demanded better plating equipment from his supplier and he has demanded better plating chemicals.

The more intelligent platers of the country have long since learned the value of swapping ideas. When two men exchange dollars they each have one, but when they exchange ideas, each has two. Through the medium of the Electro Platers’ Society money was made available for research work in plating at the Bureau of Standards. This work has been the means of arousing a great deal of interest in better plating methods. Rapidly we are dispersing the great thick blanket of mystery and secrecy which formerly permeated the plating industry. We are now opening up the industry to investigation and research. As a consequence we are getting results never before dreamed of. An illustration of what I mean may be seen in the extremely short time it has taken us to get into large scale production of high quality chromium plating. It was only accomplished because results were widely published, and the interest of the whole country concentrated on the subject.

Some time ago Blum and Hogaboom in their authoritative work, ”Principles of Electroplating,” stated ”There is today no greater need in the plating industry than the development of reliable specifications and methods of testing the products.” A yardstick has most certainly been needed. We ought to know the thickness of the coat, the evenness of distribution, its resistance to corrosion, the degree of adhesion to the base metal, the porosity, and the hardness.

The literature has contained many helpful articles on methods of determining and setting up standards for these variable factors in plating. Prof. Baker has published a system of rating results from Salt Spray tests. Blum and Thomas, Karl Pitschner and N. J. Gebert have published good work on the ferroxyl method for testing porosity of nickel and copper plates. A method has been devised for controlling the thickness of plate from an acid copper sulfate bath. (”Metal Industry,” Vol. 27, No. 10, p. 478.)

With so much interest displayed in the subject, I think it will not be far to the day when there will be several standard grades of plating produced in the industry, which can be bought on specification and test. The bringing about of this result cannot fail to be helpful to buyer and seller alike.

In our own plants we endeavor to keep up with the latest developments in plating. We have set up in all about twelve standard grades of nickel plated finishes, from the finest finish obtainable for high grade table appliances to the lowest finish, for rust proofing only in parts ordinarily not visible. Each finish differs very slightly from every other one, either in thickness of plate, in method of preparing the surface, or applying the plate, or buffing. We have four or five separate and distinct nickel plating processes. Each process differs in some respect from any of the others. One may be intended for a bright plate, another for a heavy plate for protection against oxidation at high temperatures, another to give a rapid plating time, and another for parts of odd shape.

The variable factors in a process are as closely controlled as is consistent with good practice. These factors may be current density, voltage, chemical composition of the plating solution and the anodes, temperature, time for plating, and acidity. We have instruments which give us current density, voltage, temp. and time.

Chemical analyses of the solutions are made at frequent intervals, and the pH or acidity of the solution is very carefully maintained at the correct figure. Chemicals are added when analysis shows they are needed.

We also maintain a control over our plating chemicals. These are carefully examined before use, and are bought on definite specifications as to purity. Certain small amounts of impurities in the chemicals can be very harmful whereas in other cases a small amount of impurity may be of no consequence, or may be positively beneficial.

After the plate has been applied and buffed our work is not yet done. We must test the plate for adherence, porosity, evenness of distribution, resistance to weather conditions and thickness. If our previous work has been carefully done the plate will pass the final test satisfactorily. If certain precautions have been overlooked, the plate may not be satisfactory. In that event, search is made until the incorrect condition is determined and remedied. In some cases the fault of poor plate has been found to lie not in the plating room, but in some step in the process beyond control of the plating foreman. A general control must therefore be maintained over all materials used and over all processes, so that for example, steel suitable for electroplating is used in press work, and cast iron, which is dense, fine grained and free of pores is produced in the foundry.

A control program as outlined above involves considerable expense and time, but is the only practical way to obtain a large volume of high grade plate at reasonable cost. Money so spent should be regarded not as an expense but as an investment, which will yield very handsomely.


LOS ANGELES BRANCH PRESENT AND FUTURE

Read at First Annual Banquet, March 15, 1930, by M. D. Rynkofs, Secretary

For your information, I would like to call your attention to the fact that this assembly is the largest group of men interested in Electroplating ever congregated on the Pacific Coast at one time.

The purpose of this branch in having become affiliated with the American Electro-platers’ Society readily visible here today, is to improve our knowledge of plating and its research possibilities.

We consider this achievement (I call it an achievement because the platers in L. A. have tried to organize themselves for the past number of years with but very little or no success), very essential to the Electroplating Industry, particularly on this coast. And so we have one thing in view and that is ”A Society for the Advancement of the Science of Electroplating.”

The research work in Electroplating not only is carried on here in Los Angeles, but in the entire United States, Canada and England. ”Research” is a word that is no longer a private or ”Highbrow” term. Research is now understood by most everyone, from the plater’s helper to the president of the company, and in no industry is research more highly regarded than in Electroplating.

The initial research work is always something of a gamble. We must devote efforts to groping in the dark. We must spend money in driving tunnels through mountains in the hope that we will find the treasure of new facts or truths which will make our work clearer, less difficult, less costly and more valuable.

The Electroplating Industry is now confronted as never before with the need of true facts. Twenty years ago nobody cared much how deposition of metal was performed commercially, because a Plater was a Plater, and a Plate was a Plate and that was all there was to it. Now we know that a Plater should be a solution analyst and a Plate should not only he bright but it must be heavy, uniform, corrosion-resistant and economical. The public is awake to the beauty and utility of the fine Electroplated finish and is making demands which this trade must satisfy.

Electroplating as an industry, has grown apace and is still growing at a faster rate than ever before. It cannot continue without a firm foundation of new facts, improved methods and processes and improved results. How are these to be obtained? By guesswork? By sporadic individual efforts here and there? By accidents and stumbling over new devices ? We say that where such weak methods aid us, we are glad to accept their help. But we cannot build a great industry upon them. We must have solid, well laid plans in the hands of responsible, trained and intelligent leaders.

Therefore the most important development in this industry on the Pacific Coast was the affiliation of the Platers with the American Electroplater’s Society. A well balanced industrial development requires both new participants and expansion of those already operating. When I say this development requires new participants, I mean that we welcome all qualified platers on the Coast, particularly in this vicinity. And for the benefit of you who wish to join this branch, I suggest they fill out their application today and save the initiation fee increase, which will become effective April 1.

The next most important development is the Chemistry class of the Los Angeles Branch, which is being administered by this branch in co-operation with the Board of Education. This class had its initial session less than a month ago when 37 men responded and has been gradually increasing in such proportions that the School Board will be forced to make preparations to start another class.

Remember the Los Angeles Branch, still in its infancy, is being commented upon for its progress by the entire plating industry in the country. The Supreme Secretary made the following comment: ”I want to compliment the Los Angeles Branch and all its officers for the good work accomplished so far by your branch. You all deserve great credit for the same and your work and enthusiasm has been wonderful and far greater than that of a great many of the branches east of the Rockies, so keep it up and by this time next year Los Angeles will be pushing some of the larger branches aside and taking their place.”
Our Supreme President wrote a few days ago and he said: ”From the reports I have on hand and read in the Review and Metal Industry, you sure have some live branch, and allow me at this time to congratulate you on the wonderful start you have made.”

It is true—we did make a pretty good start.

The Supreme Secretary says something about pushing some of the larger branches aside and taking their place. For that remark we have pushed aside some twenty branches, Los Angeles standing in fifth place in membership, exceeded only by Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Newark. It will be recalled that at our Smoker Meeting last October, this position was predicted for Los Angeles and is now realized. But why stop at fifth place? Why not make it second place? It is possible, but it’s up to each one of you to help keep it up as near the top as possible. It may interest you to know that there are over 100 more Platers who will qualify right here in Los Angeles, not to speak of a possible invasion of other cities in this vicinity.

I may also call to your attention that at our monthly meeting held Wednesday evening this branch elected 18 new members to its fold. This is a distinct honor for the Los Angeles Chapter and I have learned we have set a record in electing the 18 members or the largest group ever known to be admitted to any branch after the branch had been established.





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