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Aerospace Masking Process for Electroless Nickel Plating

A case study on the masking process for electroless nickel plating

Challenge

Automate the manual hand-brush masking process and increase throughput of the customer's electroless nickel plating process. 

An international company specializing in manufacturing and repairing landing gear and actuation systems for the aerospace market was looking for process efficiencies in their Electroless Nickel Plating process. Their target was to automate the masking process and increase throughput. The customer’s original process involved applying 2-3 coats of long drying lacquer-based maskant prior to the electroless nickel plating of landing gear components. The customer’s manual brush application time of the lacquer maskant was 45 minutes per coating. Air-drying the parts also added a minimum of 8 hours to their production time. The customer ran production one shift per day, the masking (application and drying) process took up to 3 days (72 hours). The inconsistencies of the manual hand-brush masking application caused rework and a scrap rate of 10%.

Solution

Use the Dymax SpeedMask® 7601 maskant and the SG-150 Spray Valve System supported with Dymax BlueWave® 200 curing-system.

Dymax Territory Manager and sales partner met with the customer to review their process and understand their needs. The Dymax team selected a UV solution and light-cure system that addressed the customer issues. They proposed Dymax SpeedMask 7601 maskant and the SG-150 Spray Valve System supported with Dymax BlueWave® 200 curing-system.

Results

Reduced Processing Time to Under 45 Minutes

By adopting the proposed SpeedMask 7601 UV-solution, the customer was able to drastically reduce cycle times to less than 45 minutes and use color change to conform a proper cure.  In addition, the spray application improved part quality, consistency and reliability of the maskant helped reduce scrap and rework

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