By H.B. SLATER.
To those interested in the electro deposition of nickel upon zinc, the formula given below for a solution and a brief explanation of its use will be of service.
The first sample of this solution was made as an experiment to see what substances could be added to a solution of the double sulphate of nickel and ammonium without spoiling it.
In addition to several other combinations and mixtures of solutions from which I succeeded in obtaining a good deposit, I found that the solution here given would plate almost anything I put into it, and worked especially well upon zinc. In its use no "scraping" or rescouring or any of the many operations which I have seen recommended for zinc needs be resorted to, as the metal "strikes" at once and is deposited in a continuous adherent film of reguline metal, and can be laid on as heavily as nickel is deposited generally.
I believe that the addition of the ammonium chloride simply reduces the resistance of the double sulphate solution, but the office of the potassium chloride is not so easily explained. At least, I have never been able to explain it satisfactorily to myself. It is certain, however, that the solution does not work as well without it, nor does the addition of ammonium chloride in its stead give as fine a result.
Some care is necessary in the management of the current, which should have a density of about 17 amperes per square foot of surface--not much above or below. This may seem a high figure, especially when it is discovered that there is a considerable evolution of gas during the operation.
I have repeatedly used this solution for coating articles of zinc, and always with good success. I have exhibited samples of zinc plated in this solution to those conversant with the deposition of nickel, and they have expressed surprise at the appearance of the work. Some strips of sheet-zinc in my possession have been bent and cut into every conceivable shape without a sign of fracture or curling up at the edges of the nickel coating.
The solution is composed of--
Double sulphate of nickel and ammonium 10 ounces. Ammonium chloride 4 " Potassium chloride 2 " Distilled water 1 gallon.
The salts are dissolved in the water (hot), and the solution is worked at the ordinary temperature, about 16 degrees C.
The zinc may be cleansed in any suitable manner, but must be perfectly clean, of course, and finally rinsed in clean cold water and placed in the bath as quickly as possible; care being taken that it is connected before it touches the solution.--Electrical World.