Custom Masters/Flo King
Phone: 407-331-4634
Fax: 407-331-0575

FAQ

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CARBON TREAT? AND HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THE CARBON IS NO LONGER EFFECTIVE ("SPENT")?

Flo King carbon cartridges, bags and canisters remove organic contaminants. Sources of organic contamination include brightener breakdown products in plating solutions, drag-in of organic contaminants (such as surfactants from cleaner tanks or small amounts of oil), and deterioration of maskants and photoresists.

Many of these organic impurities cannot be seen by the human eye, though some can make the solution cloudy.

The carbon absorbs organic impurities in solution. Eventually, the carbon will become saturated with these organic impurities, is no longer useful, and must be disposed of in accordance with environmental regulations.

If the solution contains a small amount of organic contaminants, then the carbon may last longer. But if the solution contains lots of organic contaminants, then it may be necessary to change the carbon more frequently.

Unfortunately, there is no simple way to test the carbon to determine if it is saturated with organic impurities. Many customers carbon treat for four hours to 24 hours, then dispose of the carbon cartridge or bag.

Bright nickel and acid copper plating typically require frequent carbon treatment. But other solutions may need only occasional treatment or none at all.

Most platers conduct Hull Cell tests to detect the onset of plating problems, such as loss of deposit brightness. At the first sign of trouble, they use carbon treatment.

A good preventive maintenance schedule can usually be established based on these Hull Cell test results. Some platers have learned from experience that they need to carbon treat once a week or once a month, for example. See this link for Hull Cell info: http://www.pfonline.com/articles/the-hull-cell-key-to-better-electroplating-part-i

Click here to read a detailed article, "Organic Compounds & Carbon Treatment," from our newsletter. To open this PDF file, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader.