Datalab provides regular testing on chemical baths to help our clients maintain contentrations and impurities inside control ranges. Some of our clients rely on Datalab for all bath testing, and for these clients samples are tested daily, weekly, or bi-weekly and reports show test results and recommended additions. Datalab also tests for clients who periodically confirm their in-house test results.

After Datalab has tested a chemical bath for long enough to have a meaningful statistical sample, we are able to provide statistical process control reports showing result tables as well as σ, µ, and Cpk (Process Capability).

Look through the table on the right to see some of the chemical baths that are being tested by Datalab.


Bath Testing Performed


MIL-A-8625 ¶4.3.1 requires analysis of all process baths to be done at least bi-weekly. Test results and additions are to be recorded and available for inspection. This is the minimum process control requirement for any anodizing line.

Datalab is routinely testing soap tanks, including chemistries from Enthone, MacDermid, OMG Fidelity and others. We also test nitric acid based deoxidation, stripping and etching tanks. For Class 2 processes, we test various dyes. We also test chemfilm, including Alodine 600 and Alodine 1200. Of course we also test anodize baths based on sulfuric, chromic and oxalic acids. We also test other special prep and processing tanks including electropolish.

The performance of anodizing baths and the properties of the coating are negatively impacted by metallic impurities which build up due to etching of base materials in the baths, as well as drag in and other sources of contamination. Datalab recommends that tests for Al, Cr, Ni, Cl, Cu, Fe and NO3 be performed along with the sample testing or with the monthly coupon testing.

Electroless Nickel

AMS-C-26074 ¶ and MIL-C-26074 specifically require a test plan to be established by supplier and approved by customer. ASTM B733 ¶6.5.1 specifies bath temperature, pH, nickel concentration and sodium hypophosphite concentration be tested and maintained. Nickel contration is to be maintained between optimum and optimum-10%. Hypo concentration is to be maintained between optimum and optimum-10%. Of course, MetalChem, OMG Fidelity, MacDermid, Enthone and Atotech, to name a few, also require tight regulation of nickel and hypo to ensure plating results. Datalab is experienced in testing all of these manufacturer’s ENi baths, and will work with you to generate a test plan that is validated by statistical analysis. We will periodically test bath samples for nickel and hypo to confirm your in-house results: this is normally done along with periodic specimen testing (salt spray, abrasion, etc.). In addition to the ENi bath, the nitric and zincate baths are critical to process performance. Datalab is familiar with zincate chemistries from Enthone, MacDermid, Atotech, OMG Fidelity and MetalChem and we are able to use both generic tests (NaOH) or vendor-specific test methods as required.

Electroplated Nickel

From the early days, FED QQ-N-290 required processors to keep records of all chemical concentrations and additions, and this remains a requirement for certification to any of the AMS or ASTM specifications for nickel plating. Datalab is intimately familiar with all of the nickel chemistries. We routinely test for nickel sulfamate, nickel sulfate, nickel chloride, boric acid, wetters, and a host of impurities in a host of bath types. Whether you are working with MacDermid’s Barrett Sulfamate Nickel, MetalChem’s Meta-Plate Sulfamate, or one of the in-house Woods or Watts chemistries, we have the experience to help. We also routinely perform AA tests for a range of impurities that poison nickel baths.

Cadmium Plating

Whether you are certifying the FED QQ-P-416, the AMS 2400, or other cadmium specifications, Datalab can help. We routinely test for CdO, NaCN and NaOH in cadmium chemistries including those based on Atotech’s ROHCO 20-XL and other brighteners. If you are doing in-house testing, we can confirm your results by testing bath samples when panels are submitted for periodic salt spray testing.

Gold Plating

If you certify to MIL-G-45204, ASTM B488, AMS 2422, or any other gold plating specification, you are required to keep your baths in control by regular analysis and additions. It is particularly important to keep conducting salts in control ranges and to closely monitor impurities that can affect the plating: Pb, Cr, Cu and Fe in both hard and soft gold, and Co and Ni in soft gold. The impurity tests can be done by AA when the metal concentration is tested (also by AA). Some of our clients use amp-time meters to make blind adds, and then true up their tanks with Datalab’s periodic AA analysis. Conducting salts affect cathode efficiency, which in turn affects plating time and energy costs, and the concentration of conducting salts can be easily tested using volumetric analysis (i.e. titration) or specific gravity tests. Datalab is familiar with the test methods recommended by Technic, Enthone, and other precious metal vendors.

Copper Plating

Whether you cert to the venerable MIL-C-14550, ASTM B734, AMS 2418 or one of the other copper plating specifications, you are required to "specify frequency and analysis methods and establish periodic test plans". Datalab can help. We routinely test acid copper and cyanide copper baths. We are familiar with the Rohm-Haas Copper Gleam and Cuposit, Enthone’s Cupralite and UBAC WC, Atotech’s Copper Lume, MacDermid CuMac and a few home brews. In the acid baths, we test copper sulfate, sulfuric acid and impurities. In the cyanide copper we test for copper metal and potassium cyanide.

Zinc Plating

Whether you cert to the QQ-Z-325, ASTM B633 or the AMS 2402 you must test cleaning and plating solutions to ensure plating conformance to specifications. At Datalab we test acid zinc, black zinc, chloride zinc and cyanide zinc baths.

Chrome Plating

FED QQ-C-320 requires the processor to maintain bath records showing analysis results and chemical additions as does the AMS 2460 specification. Datalab routinely tests both hexavalent and trivalent chromium chemistries

Tin Plating

AMS 2408 ¶4.2.2 requires periodic tests of cleaning and plating solutions to ensure results as does the MIL-T-10727. Datalab is familiar with a number of tin plating baths including the Rohm-Haas Sat-Tin chemistry and the MacDermid Tin Mac chemistry. We are also able to test tin-lead baths for clients certifying to MIL-P-81728.

Silver Plating

QQ-S-365, ASTM B700, and the various AMS specifications (AMS 2410, AMS 2411, AMS 2412) all require periodic testing of both cleaning and plating solutions used in the silver process. We are familiar with the Enthone Silvrex chemistry, the Rohm-Haas Silver Glo, and proprietary mixes. We use AA to test for silver metal and we recommend specific additions of either silver cyanide or potassium silver cyanide per customer requirements. In the silver bath, we analyze for free cyanide and potassium carbonate to keep your bath operating perfectly. We also analyze the chromate conversion baths use for tarnish protection, including the MacDermid Iridite 14 and the Henckel Alodine family.


Chromate Conversion

MIL-DTL-5541 and the earlier MIL-C-5541 both specifically require weekly analysis of chemical concentrations, pH, and temperature in all process solutions. We routinely test Henckel Alodine 600, 1200 and 1500. We can also test MacDermid Iridite 14 and other chromate baths.

Passivation for
Stainless Steel Parts

Whether Citric or Nitric, we can test it. ASTM A967 ¶5.5.2 requires bath records of both concentration and temperature of the passivation solution be maintained for each lot of stainless steel parts processed.


Sampling & Analytics

We are able to take air monitoring, liquid, solid and stack samples. Our analysis equipment includes flame AA, ICP, Ion Chromatography, Spectrophotometry, Cyanide Distillation and a fully stocked analytical laboratory.

We are certified as an Environmental Laboratory by the California Department of Public Health, ELAP #2663.

Chemical Process

For our clients needing Statistical Process Control (SPC) we provide results using ChemTrak software.


We are able to provide PE and CIH certifications. You may require these for tank and containment or industrial hygiene certifications.

Mechanical Testing

We have sectioning and mounting capabilities for such items as PC boards and metallurgical specimens. We have a salt spray test unit, a Taber abrasion testing instrument and an Instron tensile tester.

Contact Us

Phone: 510-867-9534

Accredited Laboratory

California Department of Public Health, ELAP #2663
© Datalab 2012. All rights reserved.

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