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Why Use Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to Galvanisation?

The process of galvanisation

The process of galvanisation applies a protective coating of zinc onto the metal. This type of coating is commonly used on steel or iron in order to prevent rusting. Galvanisation prevents a ferrous item from rusting, as the corrosion resistance of zinc is much higher than that of steel or iron. Advantages of galvanisation are that it is relatively cheap and easily applied. It also has a very long life and needs little maintenance.

Galvanised componentHot dip galvanisation

Hot dip galvanisation is the most common method of galvanisation. The steel part is submerged in a bath of molten zinc, coating the component with a layer of zinc. Hot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable.

Electroplated galvanisation

Galvanisation can also be achieved using electrochemical and electrodeposition processes. Electroplated coatings are generally less durable and not really appropriate for outdoor applications because the deposit is very thin. This can be helped by painting the surface of the component, which slows down zinc consumption, delays the corrosion and extending its durability.

The advantage of electroplating is that it is much cheaper than hot dip galvanising. It is used for many different outdoor applications but despite looking good when it is new, it isn’t very durable and won’t withstand the elements very well.

An alternative to galvanising

Although galvanisation is cheaper, the final finish isn’t as attractive or durable as some other types of metal finishing. Electroless nickel plating can be used as an alternative to galvanisation as it is durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Electroless nickel plating can also be used in harsh environments because of its high corrosion resistance. The uniform coating created by this process can be a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defense, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Considering the extent of its durability and the attractive finish it creates, electroless nickel plating is cheaper than you might think. It is also the ideal plating for a surface exposed to friction and wear, which can also be increased by using heat treatments.

If you would like to find out more about using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to galvanisation, contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel Plating – The Cheaper Alternative to Stainless Steel

Electroless nickel plating can be a great alternative to stainless steel. It’s much more cost effective and it still offers amazing corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is very expensive and it’s often hard to find a source to cast very large components made of stainless steel.

Making large parts out of cast iron and then electroless nickel plating them is a cheaper and quicker solution.

Hardness and Wear Resistance

It’s also perfect for plating large machined parts that need to be resistant to corrosion. Electroless nickel plating is also a great alternative to stainless steel because of its hardness and wear resistance.

Here at NiTEC, we’re experts in the process of electroless nickel plating and our equipment means that we can plate even the most difficult large parts accurately and consistently.

If you would like to find out more about reducing costs by using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to stainless steel, contact NiTEC on  0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

NiTEC Sponsor Well in Africa for AquAid

Here at electroless nickel plating specialists NiTEC, we are pleased to be able to make a difference to people’s lives in Africa by getting our water coolers from AquAid.

We have recently been asked to sponsor a water well on behalf of this great charity, and of course we jumped at the chance to do our bit!

Aquaid saves the lives of children in Africa by raising funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, like in schools and villages.

For every water cooler and bottle of water that we get from Aquaid, a donation is made on NiTEC’s behalf to The Africa Trust.

As a way of spreading the word about the great work that AquAid do, we have put a badge of support on to the NiTEC website to show our commitment to helping AquAid’s recent project installing Elephant Pumps in Africa.

One of the many installed water pumps will be inscribed with NiTEC UK, and in time we look forward to receiving a certificate and letter of thanks from the villagers/pupils.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we can help to support such a worthwhile and needy cause,” said NiTEC Commercial Director Marcus Hill. “It’s fantastic to be involved in supporting AquAid and The Africa Trust, everyone at NiTEC is thrilled to be involved and doing their bit to help.”

The Africa Trust  was founded by AquAid in order to bring sustainable solutions to poverty in Africa. This amazing charity works tirelessly to establish sustainable supplies of clean productive water and decent sanitation. Income generating projects are also used to pay school fees, improve clinics and generate the funds needed to run orphanages.

For more information about NiTEC and our services, including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, and copper plating, please visit our website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the NiTEC website.

 

Reduced Lead Time for Nickel Plating

The last few months have been a really exciting time here at NiTEC. The new laboratory is finally finished and it has made a dramatic difference to the way we run the business. Before the lab, nickel plating jobs often took up to 2 weeks to complete, because we had to send samples off for testing before returning them to the customer.

But now we have a brand new lab and we can do this testing in-house, which has reduced our lead time to 24 hours! It really is a massive improvement on the turnaround time of our work, and in turn benefits customers a great deal too.

Quality Director Paul Allen said, “The lab is a fantastic step for NiTEC. Not only can we reduce offsite costs for testing, we can offer our customers a much faster service. Completed metal plating jobs would often have to wait to be dispatched until the required test results and paperwork had been completed by a third party laboratory. Now that we do the necessary testing in-house, our service is so much quicker. So far, our customers are very happy!”

The new lab has the facilities to perform all the tests that verify hardness, phosphorus levels and diffusion layers. We have also invested in a Mitutoyo Micro Hardness Tester and we use colour metrics to measure the phosphorus levels of diffused nickel.

If you have a project that requires a fast turnaround for your plating needs – we can meet them! For more information about our new laboratory and the positive impact it will have on your metal plating order, please call 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk.

NiTEC Nickel Plate Bespoke Furniture for Meta

As electroless nickel plating specialists, NiTEC have been approached for various plating techniques for a variety of projects.

One of our more unusual projects involved nickel plating a very out of the ordinary table for Meta, the contemporary objects and furniture company created by Mallet Antiques.

Designed by Asymptote Architecture, this amazing coffee table has been hand cut from a 5.2 tonne billet of gunmetal-quality steel, and nickel plated by us! Named ‘Ivo 03’, this unique piece of furniture has been exhibited in Milan, New York City, London and Miami.

This type of steel is perfect for this piece, as it can be carved with the finest detail and then polished.

The table consists of 2,000 mathematically delineated diamond shaped pieces, each of a slightly different shape. The slumped glass top has been suspended across the surface of the steel, which is highly polished to give the look of shiny waves of steel.

The base of this beautiful table is made from bespoke Tula steel. Tula steel is an historic metal that Meta has carefully recreated by analysing an original and rare piece of Imperial Tula steel dating back to 1780.

The edges of the table’s metal base have been hand etched with an intricate and sympathetic pattern of incised relief, by the same craftsmen who restored parts of the Kremlin Palace.

In addition to nickel plating, the table was also hand finished using traditional polishing methods to bring out the smooth, reflective qualities if the metal.

If you would like to find out more about the special projects we have undertaken at NiTEC, visit the electroless nickel plating case studiespage of our website. For help with your unusual plating project, contact us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk