Think & Tinker, Ltd.
P.O. Box 1606, Palmer Lake, CO 80133
Tel: (719) 488-9640, Fax: (866) 453-8473
Sales: Sales@ThinkTink.com, Support: Support@ThinkTink.com
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Tin/Lead Electroplating Module
-Hull Cell/Principle of Operation
  1. Using the syringe filled with additive, add 10 ml to the sample bath and run another test plate. This will be equivalent to adding C mL to the main bath and should be enough to compensate for any additive consumption from regular use (assuming, of course, that you have been somewhat diligent in maintaining your chemistry). Examine the second plate carefully.
  2. If the high current "burn" and bright band have disappeared and the test panel acceptable, your bath is probably not contaminated and it is safe to add the equivalent amount of additive to the main bath.
    It is safe to dump the contents of a Hull Cell back into the main bath but MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THE CORRUGATED ANODE FROM THE CELL PRIOR TO DECANTING THE LIQUID. IT IS A CLASS PAIN TO FISH AN ANODE OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE PLATING TANK.
  3. If the test panel indicates that the plating solution could use a bit more tuning, start with a new sample, add 10 ml additive (to bring the additive up to the level used in step 11 and add an additional 2 ml to the cell. Plate a new panel and examine it very carefully to see if its appearance has improved. Continue in this fashion until no further improvement is observed. Total up the additions to the final test cell, multiply by C, and add the resulting quantity of PC SolderOn Additive to the main bath.
  4. If the addition of additive in step 11 did nothing to improve the panel, the bath is probably contaminated and should be carbon treated prior to further use.
  5. Once the plating bath is properly adjusted you may proceed. Remember to diligently record any and all additions to your plating bath so that you can build a "consumption database" to assist you in cost of goods determination when estimating the operating costs of your shop.
  6. Once the plating bath is properly adjusted you may proceed with your board plating.
Proactive Additive Maintenance
The additive is constantly being consumed by the plating operation at the rate of approximately 0.35 to 0.50 ML (cc) per Amp hour. Before plating each board, use this relationship to determine the amount of additive to add prior to using the bath. This will help insure that the bath is always operating at an optimum level and should reduce the need for large periodic additive adjustments. A small amount of carrier is present in the additive so the proper carrier level in the bath is accomplished by additive maintenance.
Example:
If you are plating a board with 100 sq. in. of copper exposed (both sides including robber bars), and you are plating up 260 micro-inches at 20 Amps per Square Foot (ASF). Total plating time will be 6.5 minutes and the plating current will be 14 Amps (20 ASF x 100 sq.in. / 144 sq.in per sq.ft). This plating job will require about 1.5 Amp-hours of current and consume about .65 ML of additive.


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Established 1990

On the web since 1994

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Copyright © 1994 - 2014 Think & Tinker, Ltd. Updated 2/13/2014 7:36:58 AM