Pretreatment for Aluminum Alloys

Like steel, aluminum is catalytic to electroless nickel deposition and could be plated after only a simple cleaning. Aluminum is very reactive, however, and oxides form very rapidly on its surface during rinsing or exposure to air. The oxide films that develop prevent metallic bonds from forming between the coating and the substrate and can result in adhesion failure. To avoid this problem, special processing procedures are required, including deoxidizing and zincating or acid zinc immersion. Processing procedures for aluminum alloys are discussed in the article on cleaning and finishing of aluminum alloys in this Volume.

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