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Acid-Copper Electroplating Module Model 1000 Manual
Electroplating - Panel plating II


Loaded Cathode Clamp
Figure 13
  1. Mount the board into the cathode clamp, making certain that both copper surfaces have good electrical contact to the negative terminal of the plating power supply (fig. 13).
  2. Turn the power supply on.
    Note: The power supply is adjusted so that, at its lowest setting, it establishes an electrical potential of about 0.25 VDC when the board is first lowered into the bath. This will help prevent the formation of a low adhesion "electroless" copper layer that might lead to trace peeling and cracking during soldering.
  3. Lower the board into the plating.
  4. Swish the board gently back and forth to drive any trapped air bubbles out of the through holes.
  5. Turn on the air compressor and adjust the air flow until a uniform blanket of agitation roils the top of the bath on both sides of the board. You only need about 2 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of air flow per square foot of bath surface.
  6. Slowly ramp up the current (take about 20 sec.) to the value C calculated above.
  7. Plate the board for ½ the total time (TC calculated in the preceding section.
  8. Turn the current down and lift the board from the tank. Let electrolyte drip off of one corner.
  9. Remove the board from the cathode clamp and flip the board top to bottom and left to right.
  10. Remount board in cathode clamp. Flipping the board in the middle of plating will help minimize any plating non-uniformity that results from asymmetric, inconstant plating conditions.
  11. Lower the board back into the bath and ramp the current back up to C.
  12. Again plate the board for ½ TC.
  13. Remove the board from the bath and thoroughly rinse in the rinse tank to remove most of the electrolyte. Rinse the board under running tap water to remove the rest.
Note: If no outside contamination is introduced, the water in the primary rinse tank can be added back into the plating bath to make up for drag out and evaporative losses. This is crucial to reducing the effluent from this process to near zero.
  1. Blow dry.
  2. The plated board is now ready for further processing.
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