Custom Masters/Flo King
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Flo King Carbon Treatment
Many electroplating solutions require periodic or continuous carbon treatment to remove organic impurities. Fortunately, in-tank carbon treatment using Flo King products is a relatively simple and inexpensive way of removing these undesirable organics without leaks or spills.

Depending on tank size, type of solution, and other variables, you can use Flo King Carbon Cartridges, Carbon Bags, and Carbon/Resin Canisters. All of these products can be attached to the Flo King pump quickly and easily. See this link for video.


Carbon Bag Carbon/Resin Canister
Carbon/Resin Canister


Organic Contamination
Sources of organic contamination include brightener breakdown products, drag-in of organic contaminants (e.g., 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 naked eye.

Organic contamination has an adverse effect on the plating process, resulting in pitting, peeling, blistering, high stress, and overconsumption of brighteners. Contamination also results in organically saturated particulates that can build up in the tank as harmful sludge.

Conventional Carbon Treatment
Conventional methods of carbon treatment can be messy, labor-intensive, and expensive. With one approach, the plating solution is transferred from the production tank to a holding tank, batch treated with powdered carbon, allowed to settle, then decanted back to the plating tank. This results in considerable downtime, solution losses, and sludge buildup on the tank bottom.
   A second approach is to continually recirculate the plating solution through an out-of-tank chamber filled with carbon. This procedure is also prone to leaks and spills and may involve downtime, tools and significant labor.
  By contrast, in-tank carbon treatment using Flo King products is a relatively simple and inexpensive way of removing organic impurities without leaks or spills!

Carbon Treatment of Non-Plating Processes
Carbon treatment is most popular for plating processes but there are occasions when other metal-finishing solutions can benefit. Examples include:
   Rinse Tanks: The cleanliness and life of final rinses can be improved using carbon treatment to remove dragged-in impurities.
   Other Tanks: Lightweight oils can be carried into critical tanks by poor parts cleaning, equipment leakage, and drag-in from prior tanks. In-tank carbon treatment is a candidate for the removal of small volumes of lightweight oil (but not heavy oil or large volumes of oil).

Flo King Pelletized Carbon
Powdered carbon and granular carbon are commonly used to remove organic impurities from electroplating and related solutions. But powdered carbon is messy and granular carbon may restrict flow because of its irregular size and shape.

Flo King Pelletized Carbon is cleaner than either type, easier to use, and has a unique size and shape for uniform mechanical packing and little flow restriction. The pellet diameter is 0.8 mm. This results in faster and more thorough adsorption of harmful organic impurities.

Flo King Carbon Pellets


Flo King offers two types of Pelletized Carbon—HIGH GRADE for non-critical applications and acid-washed HIGH TECH for most plating applications. All Flo King carbon cartridges are loaded with High Tech carbon.

For more information on Flo King Pelletized Carbon, see this PDF file.

Flo King Carbon Treatment Attachments

Just attach a carbon cartridge, bag or canister to the bottom of a Flo King pump and you are ready for in-tank carbon treatment. This is accomplished simply and easily, without tools. Just remove the filter cartridge and insert in its place the preferred carbon accessory. Then tighten the Filter Screws on the pump and you are ready to treat.


How Often Is Carbon
Treatment Needed?

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 implement 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.

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