PFOS-Free Electroplating and Etching

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The adoption of alternative PFOS-free additives, such as MacDermid’s MiniMist Liquid, offers the easiest path to the future and involves no significant investment.

For more than 10 years, the entire range of PFOS substances (perflurooctane sulfonate) have been under siege with regards to their future viability. Numerous studies have shown PFOS materials to be bio-cumulative and hazardous to fish, mammals, birds, and insects. Like many substances, these environmental effects were not evident until sufficient exposure or time had elapsed for them to become apparent. However, it is now clear that the use of PFOS-containing products should—where possible—be avoided and/or eliminated.

The question now is whether the electroplating industry—one of the largest consumers of PFOS—will share in the responsibility in managing this change or try to resist the loss of another trusty chemical substance. According to MacDermid, which has been working hard to develop and replace PFOS in many plating additives since the late 1990s, the key lies in deciding what’s right for your company or customer. Adoption of alternative PFOS-free additives such as MacDermid’s MiniMist Liquid will be the route most users will take. In fact, for decorative chrome electroplating PFOS-free mist suppressors like MacDermid’s MiniMist Liquid are already in use in some countries, including the UK, Italy, and Japan.

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