Standard Guide for Electroforming with Nickel and Copper
4.1 The specialized use of the electroplating process for electroforming results in the manufacture of tools and products that are unique and often impossible to make economically by traditional methods of fabrication. Current applications of nickel electroforming include: textile printing screens; components of rocket thrust chambers, nozzles, and motor cases; molds and dies for making automotive arm-rests and instrument panels; stampers for making phonograph records, video-discs, and audio compact discs; mesh products for making porous battery electrodes, filters, and razor screens; and optical parts, bellows, and radar wave guides (1-3).3
4.2 Copper is extensively used for electroforming thin foil for the printed circuit industry. Copper foil is formed continuously by electrodeposition onto rotating drums. Copper is often used as a backing material for electroformed nickel shells and in other applications where its high thermal and electrical conductivities are required. Other metals including gold are electroformed on a smaller scale.
4.3 Electroforming is used whenever the difficulty and cost of producing the object by mechanical means is unusually high; unusual mechanical and physical properties are required in the finished piece; extremely close dimensional tolerances must be held on internal dimensions and on surfaces of irregular contour; very fine reproduction of detail and complex combinations of surface finish are required; and the part cannot be made by other available methods.
1.1 This guide covers electroforming practice and describes the processing of mandrels, the design of electroformed articles, and the use of copper and nickel electroplating solutions for electroforming.
1.2 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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