Advanced Materials for Electronics

Sulfamate Nickel Plating SN-10


Transene Sulfamate Nickel Plating solution SN-10 is a versatile plating process for electrodepositing nickel over a wide range of properties. SN-10 is used for direct plating of for electroforming for replication applications. Processes requiring very low stress nickel over complex shapes benefit from SN-10.


pH 4.2-4.8
Specific Gravity 1.5g/cc
Hardness 175-230 VHN
Tersile Strength Up to 620 MPa
Enternal Stress 3.4-28 MPa
Deposit Satin
Nickel Content 10.2 oz/gal typical
Boric Acid Content 4.0 oz/gal typical
Temperature 90-140°F, 120°F typical
Current Density 5-200 ASF
Voltage 4-12 volts
Anode:Cathode Ratio 1:1
Agitation Continuous
Anodes Sulfur Depolarized nickel, bagged


Hardness, brightness, smoothness, and stress are controllable, inter-related properties of the SN-10 deposit. See the application notes for detailed instructions.


SN-10 Solution
The entire nickel content of the SN-10 solution is in the form of nickel sulfamate. In a properly operated sulfamate nickel solution, nickel concentration is lowered only through drag-out, as nickel anode corrosion maintains the nickel concentration during plating. When necessary, the nickel metal content can be raised by the addition of SN-10 concentrate.

Operation at low nickel concentrations can cause burning at normal current densities as well as a decrease in solution conductivity and cathode efficiency. Higher metal content permits operation at higher current densities if proper anode material is used.

Boric Acid (pH buffer)
Boric acid is used to buffer the pH of sulfamate nickel solutions, allowing use of higher current densities without burning and minimizing pitting. When shipped, the SN-10 solution contains 4.0 oz/gal (30 g/L) of boric acid. This is the maximum amount of boric acid that will stay in solution at normal shipping temperatures.

Operation at low boric acid concentration may cause pitting of the deposit, so the boric acid content should be increased with an increase in the temperature.

SN-10 Hardener
SN-10 Hardener is added to a sulfamate nickel plating bath when a hard, compressively stressed, high tensile strength nickel deposit is required. Hard, compressively stressed sulfamate nickel deposits improve both the wear resistance and fatigue life of high strength metals.

SN-10 pH Adjuster
Normally, the pH of a sulfamate nickel solution using active anode material will rise slowly in value. SN-10 pH Adjuster is used to lower pH values as needed.

If the reverse is occurring, this is usually an indication of poor anode corrosion which should be corrected. Nickel carbonate is used for the purpose of raising pH values. It should be introduced through a filter to avoid deposit roughness caused by undissolved nickel carbonate.

SN-10 Wetter
SN-10 Wetter is designed for mechanically agitated sulfamate nickel plating solutions. SN-10 Wetter is a wetting agent with low foaming characteristics which enable it to function equally well in air-agitated or mechanically agitated solutions.

At the recommended concentration of 0.5-1.0 g/L, the superior wetting action of SN-10 Wetter significantly lowers surface tension, allowing the plating solution to spread uniformly over, and intimately contact, the metal surface of the part being plated. As a result, deposit pitting caused by interference of hydrogen bubbles and/or organic contamination is greatly reduced, or eliminated.

In addition to its effective wetting action, the SN-10 Wetter additive provides other operational benefits. It does not codeposit with the metal plate and thus do not affect deposit characteristics, such as stress; it aids in keeping anode bags clean; and its concentration in the plating solution can be easily checked with a stalagmometer.