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Acid-Copper Electroplating Module Model 1000 Manual
Chemical Analysis - Hull Cell III
Proactive Brightener (HTL) Maintenace
- Examine the test panel.
- A properly adjusted bath will yield a test plate that looks something like:
- If the test plate shows burning that extends to current densities lower than 45
amps per square foot (ASF) or if the region below 40 ASF is anything but
mirror bright, the plating bath needs attention. To save time (and brass
plates), check the copper and sulfuric acid levels with the a
titration analysis kit and
adjust if necessary.
- Once you have ascertained that the copper content, sulfuric acid, and
chloride ion (black anode deposit) are at acceptable levels and that the
copper to acid ratio is to within 10% of optimum, run another test
plate. If the board shows dullness or rough plating in the low current
density area, the bath is low on brightener.
- Using the syringe filled with brightener, add PCM+ to the sample bath. If the
test plate run above was slightly dull in the low current area, add 0.4
milliliters (cc) of brightener to the sample bath and run another test
If the first plate was very dull or rough add 0.7 milliliters (cc).
- Continue adding brightener 0.4 cc at a time until you achieve an
acceptable test plate. Record the total amount of brightener you added
to achieve acceptable results.
- Multiply this number by the scaling factor
calculated at the beginning of this section to determine the amount that
should be added to the plate through module
(A11 gal = 156, A22 gal = 312)
- Repeat steps 1 through 8 until acceptable results are achieved.
Do not use a drawn sample for more than 3 Hull cell tests. If more than
3 are needed, pour the used sample back into the plating tank (REMOVE
CORRUGATED ANODE FIRST!!!) and draw a new sample.
- Once the plating bath is properly adjusted you may proceed with your board plating.
- If the plate refuses to brighten with the addition of more brightener, the bath
has either become polluted with excessive organic plating by-products or
the individual components of the additive system are out of balance.
Performing a dilution Hull Cell
test is about the only way, short of cyclic voltametric stripping (CVS, think
$12,000 or more), to accurately determine the root cause of the problem.
If the bath is found to be contaminated, it should be
carbon treated to remove
the bulk of the dissolved organics.
The brightener is constantly being consumed by the plating operation at the
rate of approximately 0.50 milliliter (cc) per Amp hour. Before plating
each board, determine the amount of brightener to add. This will help
insure that the bath is always operating at an optimum level and should
reduce the need for large periodic brightener adjustments.
To determine the amount of brightener to add:
- Calculate the total area to be plated. Be sure to include both sides of
the board as well as robber bars and any other areas of exposed copper.
- Calculate the total plating time. An acid copper plating bath based on
the Lea Ronal PCM+ additive system deposits 0.0011" (1.10 mils, 28
microns, 0.81 oz) of high ductility copper in 1 hour at 20 ASF(Amps per
Square Foot). TIME
- In a well maintained bath, Lea Ronal Copper Gleam PCM and PCM+ are consumed
at a rate of 0.25 to 0.5 ml of brightener per Amp-hour of plating. To
calculate the total probable consumption use:
PCM+ to add (ml) = AREA x TIME x 20 ASF x 0.35
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