Aluminum Corrosion Resistance and How to Get Consistent Results from Neutral Salt Spray Testing

corrosion resistance

Plated aluminum is notorious for its susceptibility to corrosion. When it undergoes NSS testing, aluminum plated with electroless nickel often falls short of the 100-hour MIL-SPEC standard. That’s why it’s so important that you use a high-quality electroless nickel plating bath. Here’s a look at why corrosion resistance with aluminum is difficult and how you can increase your chances of success.

HOW do finishers use neutral salt spray (NSS) testing?

Neutral salt spray (NSS) testing is a quality-assurance test for metal parts finished with a surface coating. It’s used to check the corrosion resistance of a particular finish. Surface finishers use NSS testing to evaluate the corrosion resistance of their electroplated, galvanized, and painted finishes. Typically, testing subjects parts to 96 or 120 hours of salt spray before checking how well finishes hold up to the corrosive effects of salt and water.

WHY is aluminum so difficult to plate to MIL-SPEC standards?

Achieving consistent corrosion resistance results with aluminum is notoriously difficult. Aluminum must pass a 100-hour NSS test to meet MIL-SPEC standards, which is a very high bar. Without a robust electroless nickel bath, the salt spray used in NSS testing pits and corrodes aluminum after just 36 hours of exposure.

WHAT should I look for in an electroless nickel bath for aluminum?

Look for an electroless nickel bath that is pH self-regulating and offers unique stabilizer/complexor chemistry, so the finish protects the aluminum within the salt bath. Compliance with RoHS, WEEE, and ELV standards is a plus, too.

The electroless nickel bath Seacole recommends

We recommend Metal Chem’s Meta-Plate UCB to meet corrosion resistance specifications over aluminum. No other electroless nickel bath comes close to consistently meeting the 100-hour MIL-SPEC standard for aluminum.

Meta-Plate UCB easily attains the 100-hour standard and can be used in your monthly NSS testing. It has excellent copper initiation and contains no lead or cadmium. Meta-Plate UCB consistently produces pit-free surfaces. It’s also compliant with ELV automotive, RoHS and WEEE electronics, and Green Initiative standards.

If you’re looking for an electroless nickel plating finisher that delivers consistent corrosion resistance, Seacole can help. Contact our team of experts to find the chemistries that are ideal for your process.

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Seacole and Hubbard-Hall

See You at the 2018 Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo!

Seacole and Hubbard-Hall

Are you ready for two action-packed days of all things paint and powder coating? The Seacole team is! Seacole is participating and exhibiting at the annual Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Whether you’re a supplier, plant manager, IT support, or technician, there’s something for you at the 2018 Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo.

Day One: A Symposium on the Industrial Internet of Things

You’ve likely heard of the Internet of Things (IoT)—the network of billions of devices that are connected to the Internet. Your smartphone, fitness watch, and smart speaker are all part of the IoT.

But did you know an Industrial IoT exists, too? This network of connected devices drive the automatic braking system in your car, connect patient monitoring systems in hospitals, and now, automate your manufacturing plant.

On March 14, attend the symposium on the Industrial IoT to learn how a connected plant can help you monitor inventory and processes and collect, analyze, and act on data—all without direction or intervention from humans. We’re particularly looking forward to learning how to protect the data the Industrial IoT creates.

Day One: Painter Training

We’re also excited about the virtual painter training offered on day one. The class trains participants in the best practices of spray application and technique to increase productivity and reduce errors and rework. We’ll be working with virtual reality spray equipment, which is pretty neat, too.

Day Two: Classes & Vendor Show

Day two offers nine classes on paint and powder coating pretreatment, equipment, and materials. We’re looking forward to “Media Blast or Acid Pickle: Removing Laser Edge and Weld Scale” and “Post-Addable Powder Coating Additive Technology.”

After a morning of classes, don’t forget to visit the Seacole booth at the vendor show!

Surface Finishing Products We’ll Feature

We’re splitting our booth with manufacturing partner Hubbard-Hall. We’ll feature a few of their paint and powder coating products, including Aquapure industrial wastewater treatment, Aquastrip industrial paint stripper, Emerald paint prep, and Metal Guard rust preventative.

We hope to see you at the 2018 Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo! For help sourcing and formulating chemistries for your paint or powder coating operation, contact Seacole today.

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