Plating Q&A: Gold Pitting Problem



A Products Finishing reader writes to Art Kushner:


Q. How can we solve problems with pitting and haze on our hard gold deposit?—J.R.


A. Pitting can be caused by a number of different factors. Hydrogen gassing, particulate matter suspended in the plating solution and inadequate cleaning of the base material are three common causes. 


Hydrogen gas formed during the plating process can stick to the surface of the parts being plated. If the bubbles that stick to the surface do not slide off rapidly, the plate will form pits. Typically, a pit due to hydrogen has a “small” tail. In most plating baths, this problem can be minimized by adding wetting agents/surfactants. The problem also can be minimized by increasing the agitation of the bath. Depending on the type of agitation, different wetting agents may be required.


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