Electroforming Troubleshooting Case Study

Scientific analysisProblem

A Black Country-based manufacturer of high-tech electroformed products had been experiencing problems at the nickel electroforming stage of production.

Inclusions within the electroformed deposits were resulting in high reject rates at a critical point in the process. As the raw materials supplier to this company, Hart Materials was contacted for assistance in eliminating the problem.

Action

Examples of the defective product were supplied to Hart Materials for assessment. The defects were visible to the naked eye but, even under low magnification, the precise nature of the inclusion could not be determined.

Identification was critical if the problem was to be eliminated, so Hart Materials submitted examples to the University of Warwick's engineering, manufacturing and technology department, the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), for further in-depth analysis.

Outcome

SEM examination and EDX analysis of the inclusions found in the electroformed deposit enabled WMG to pinpoint the precise nature of the included material. Using this information, Hart Materials was then able to work with the customer and identify the cause of the problem as a mechanical failure in the solution filtration system.

Solution

A complete replacement of the filtration system was required.

Future

The multi-million-pound UK manufacturing business was able to eliminate a problem that could possibly have affected all of its production.

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