Limit hydrogen uptake during plating

OCAS developed an in-house methodology to investigate both the uptake of hydrogen during plating as well as the hydrogen release afterwards, in metallic coated materials.

Hydrogen is typically introduced into the steel during the electrodeposition process from water-based electrolytes. The electrolyte composition and the plating process (potential, current density, plating time, …) both have an impact on the kinetics of hydrogen formation and hydrogen uptake into steel. It is furthermore known that pre-treatment processes, such as pickling, can also lead to hydrogen uptake.

Understanding the uptake of hydrogen and the impact on coated components becomes ever more important as the industry is gradually introducing high strength grades as lightweight alternative, for instance in fasteners and springs.

OCAS developed an in-house methodology to investigate the uptake of hydrogen in materials during the electrodeposition process.

The presence of hydrogen in coated high strength steel parts can cause hydrogen embrittlement leading to failure, especially when exposed to a certain level of tension.
It is OCAS´s ambition to have tools available that allow optimisation of the electro-deposition process to limit the hydrogen uptake below the risk level of hydrogen in electroplated parts.

“With the OCAS permeation set-up, we are able to precisely measure and analyse hydrogen related issues.”

Krista Van den Bergh, Senior Research Engineer Surfaces, OCAS