Upscaling from Lab Beaker to Plating Cell: Mastering Challenges in Ni-Alloy Electrode Production
Nickel plating processes, while widely used, come with their own set of challenges, especially when it comes to upscaling from laboratory setups to larger plating cells. The NICKEFFECT project, aimed at developing Ni-alloy plated electrodes, faces not only the inherent limitations of nickel plating but also the complexities introduced by the porous structures.
Addressing Throwing Power Limitations:
One notable challenge in nickel plating processes is the limited throwing power compared to other methods, leading to edge effects with uneven deposit thickness near substrate borders. The NICKEFFECT project acknowledges this hurdle and seeks to overcome it during the upscaling process.
Managing Current Density Variations:
Ni-alloy plating introduces an additional layer of complexity, as the alloy content in the deposit strongly depends on current density. Factor in the three-dimensional structures, and you face varying current density and deposit thickness throughout the substrate. Achieving uniformity in thickness and alloy content becomes a formidable task, especially when upscaling from small lab samples to larger dimensions.
Elsyca’s Innovative Approach:
In tackling these challenges, Elsyca employs a cutting-edge Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) strategy, leveraging its proprietary Elsyca PlatingMaster software platform. This tool allows for comprehensive simulations, accounting for all relevant phenomena in the plating process. Elements such as plating cell and substrate holder geometry, anode and cathode polarization, plating efficiency, and electrode contact methods are all considered.
From Lab Beaker to Plating Cell: The Upscaling Journey
The transition from a CIDETEC lab beaker setup to a plating cell capable of accommodating substrates with dimensions up to 20 cm involves strategic planning and CAE-based design. Elsyca PlatingMaster simulations play a pivotal role in this upscaling process, ensuring a seamless transition by addressing the nuances of plating cell design.
The CAE-based plating cell design incorporates innovative control strategies. This includes the strategic use of tooling components such as current robbers, shields, and auxiliary anodes. These elements work in tandem to maintain control over the deposit thickness distribution across the porous or cloth-based substrates, even as they increase in size.
In conclusion, the journey from lab-scale experimentation to industrial-scale production of Ni-alloy plated electrodes involves overcoming several intricate challenges. With Elsyca’s advanced CAE strategy, the NICKEFFECT project is ready to master these challenges, paving the way for efficient and uniform electrode production on a larger scale.
Stay tuned for more updates as we delve deeper into the world of electrode plating!