The Boeing Company – Electroless Nickel on AlBeMet Adhesion and Bend Tests

8E7C1046-D76F-5BFF-58F2A8EC0ABF1A9ASTATEMENT OF WORK: ENGINEERING TESTING – Conduct Electroless Nickel Testing on AlBeMet Coupons

SCOPE: This SOW specifies the work and associated item requirements that the Supplier (Epner Technology, Inc.) shall provide to the Buyer (The Boeing Company). The Supplier shall electroless nickel (EN) plate Buyer supplied coupons of AlBeMet 162H base material. Supplier shall provide the necessary facilities, material, labor and services to conduct the required plating and adhesion testing.

BACKGROUND: Effective adhesion of EN plating onto an AlBeMet substrate has previously presented challenges. Execution of the Bend test per ASTM B 571 and examination of the plated surfaces on the outside and on inside break zones have not met the adhesion requirement. Consistency of adhesion testing results, surface preparations (etchant & zincate) on an AlBeMet surface and EN plating preparations have proven to be difficult. To meet the bend test and assess adhesion quality of EN onto AlBeMet, EN Platers are being sought.

MATERIAL: The Boeing Company shall supply Twelve (12) AlBeMet 162H test coupons. Coupon dimensions are approximately: .040″ x 1″ x 3″.

TASK DESCRIPTION: Prepare and electroless nickel plate (12) test coupons in accordance with AMS 2404 Class 3 with a phosphorous content of 10% minimum. Final EN plating thickness shall be .001″ to .0015″.

  • Test coupons shall be plated in four (4) separate and independent lots/baths as specified.
  • Test coupons shall be plated in lot quantities of three (3) coupons.
  • Each test lot shall begin with a new etchant bath.
  • Each lot shall use a conforming EN bath but not necessarily freshly made-up.
  • Each zincate bath chemistry shall be in accordance with preparation for EN plating onto an AlBeMet 162H substrate.
  • Each lot shall use a different zincate bath and each bath shall have a Supplier designated identifier. Note that the first lot of the initial baseline test will use the existing “production used” zincate.
  • Initial Baseline Test shall use six (6) coupons and each shall be separated into the following:

– Three (3) coupons plated using a USED (but acceptable) zincate bath (typical from production).

– For used zincate bath, document inspected chemistry and previous usage duration.

– Three (3) coupons plated using a NEW zincate bath.

– Perform “Bend Test” per ASTM B571 Section 3.

  • Based on previous test results, EN plate three (3) more coupons. Revise zincate bath as necessary based on previous tests and discussion. Perform “Bend Test” per ASTM B571 Section 3.
  • Based on previous test results, EN plate three (3) more coupons. Revise zincate bath as necessary based on previous tests and discussion. Perform “Bend Test” per ASTM B571 Section 3.
  • Record which coupon serial numbers go into which identified bath. If serial numbers are no long legible after EN plating, remark serial numbers on both sides at both ends. Supplier selected method is acceptable.
  • Return all twelve (12) test coupons to The Boeing Company.


Provided by Steven Nicinski, The Boeing Company, ABMD Program – Mechanical on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Epner Technology, as part of a test assessment effort, electroless nickel plated onto AlBeMet 162H coupons IAW AMS 2404. This was done on multiple groups of coupons on separate baths to show consistency. Coupons were subsequently bend tested and all specimens met the Bend Test Requirements of ASTM B571 per Epner.

In addition when coupons were received at Boeing, Material and Processing performed an inspection on the bent parts, also bent/broke some fresh coupons and plating met requirements. In addition per the specification, a sharp blade was used to try and peel under plating and assess adhesion.

All coupons that were inspected and tested, did not show any signs of unbounded or peeled plating. Any material that chipped off was parent material and attached plating.

All test coupons met the “Bend Test” requirements showing that Epner has a consistent process and method to EN plate onto AlBeMet.

Per Engineering and testing performed, Epner would be a suggested and proven EN plater per AMS 2404 onto AlBeMet material.

Boeing was satisfied with the positive and successful EN plating and subsequent adhesion test results.

The Boeing Company Letter