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Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by mcsmithy, May 9, 2007.
How was nickel plating done before electricity? Can anyone refer me to a reference for this? Thanks.
Plating is a short way to say, electro-plating which, of course, requires electricity. Do you maybe mean something other than "plating"?
Electroless nickel plating (EN) is an auto-catalytic chemical technique used to deposit a layer of nickel-phosphorus or nickel-boron alloy on a solid workpiece, such as metal or plastic. The process relies on the presence of a reducing agent, for example hydrated sodium hypophosphite (NaPO2H2·H2O) which reacts with the metal ions to deposit metal. The alloys with different percentage of phosphorus, ranging from 2-5 (low phosphorus) to up to 11-14 (high phosphorus) are possible. The metallurgical properties of alloys depend on the percentage of phosphorus.
This technique did not come along until the mid 1800s, so electroplating was already being done. Bright nickel requires a DC power supply.
Remember that plating does add a layer onto the metal.
Some parts may require fitting afterwards.
I think electricity has been around for a long time. Longer than we have been commonly using it, at least. Wasn't electricity harnessed in the mid to late 1800's?
Electroplating nickel usually gets a thin layer of copper (called a strike) on the steel first. Then the nickel goes on. One problem that can come up is the copper layer can be damaged when using cleaners that contain ammonia. Then the nickel plating can come loose.
And again an Internet myth is perpetuated!
Most, if not all, gun makers do not underplate with copper. It is not necessary.
Electricity use has been around for a long time. Much longer than most people think.
Rudimentary plating can be accomplished by simply mixing the proper solution and immersing the item.
Surprise, guys -
Electroplating has been around for around 2,000 years:
One of those STRANGE archaeological finds that intrigue me -
Caswell plating search electroless nickel plating kit
OK- I am going to close this. Gents- take a look at the date of the original question.
Then start taking up a collection for the birthday cake.