Archive for December 30, 2013

Happy New Year From NiTEC UK!

As 2013 draws to a close, we are looking back on what has been a very busy year for NiTEC in the metal plating industry. From our nomination for the Excellence in Manufacturing Award at The Sheffield Business Awards, to our new testing laboratory, 2013 has been a great year for all of us here at NiTEC UK.

New facilities to monitor phosphorus levels

Our new laboratory means that our lead times have been cut dramatically; we are now able to turn around standard plating jobs within 24 hours. Our new state of the art, in house facilities mean that we no longer have to outsource testing. We can now monitor phosphorus levels, perform micro-sections and hardness tests on site.

Excellence in Manufacturing Award

In November we were thrilled to discover that NiTEC had been shortlisted for The Wake Smith Excellence in Manufacturing Award at The Sheffield Business Awards. The ceremony took place in December and although we didn’t win, we were very pleased to have been nominated for such a prestigious award.

We have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process, and a comprehensive range of metal finishing processes and techniques. We also offer a variety of surface treatments including electroless nickel platingdiffused nickel platingcopper platingshot blasting and heat treatment. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Coatings Can Increase the Lifespan of Steam Turbines

 

Here at NiTEC UK, we have a wealth of experience electroless nickel plating components for large multinational companies and a wide variety of industries and applications.

As a leading provider of worldwide metal plating services, we have recently worked with Elliott Turbo-Steam Turbines. Elliot steam turbines are specially built to be able to perform for years, and they have an excellent reputation as being the best in the industry.

Elliot steam turbines are very reliable and hard wearing, and by adding an electroless nickel coating, their life span can be further increased. As the addition of an electroless nickel coating is very hard, it can reduce the wear of the part when friction is an issue.

Elliot steam turbines are used in power generation and food processing,  chemical and petrochemical, pulp and paper, and the oil and gas industry.

For more information on how electroless nickel coatings can be used to increase the lifespan of components and reduce wear through friction, contact NiTEC UK by visiting our website, speak to a member of our specialist team on 0845 224 357, or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Replace Stainless Steel with Electroless Nickel for Large Components

Stainless steel can be very expensive, especially when it is used on very large components. It can also be hard to find a source to cast large stainless steel components. A cost effective alternative to stainless steel is electroless nickel, therefore it is often used as a replacement on large parts. It is much more cost effective and time saving to make large components out of cast iron and then electroless nickel plate them to provide extra corrosion resistance.

Alternative to stainless steel

Electroless nickel is perfect for plating large machined parts that need to be resistant to corrosion. With electroless nickel, once the component has been plated, no more needs to be done to it.

But with conventional electro-deposit such as hard chrome or electrolytic nickel, they need to be machined after plating to hold dimensional accuracy. This re-machining on large, electroplated parts can cost hundreds to thousands of pounds.

Electroless nickel properties and characteristics often give it a significant advantage over conventional materials and methods. Here at NiTEC, the equipment and methods we use mean that even the most difficult large part can be plated correctly and consistently.

Hardness and corrosion resistance

When designing large parts, electroless nickel should be considered if hardness, corrosion resistance and wear are a concern. As leading specialists in the electroless nickel plating field, we have the facilities to plate large components, unlike small firms.

If you would like to find out how you can save money by using electroless nickel plating instead of stainless steel for large parts call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Electroless Nickel Plating a Vacuum Chamber

Here at NiTEC, we are often approached by companies with specific plating needs for bespoke applications. We were approached by Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, who had manufactured a large vacuum chamber that they wanted plating with a thin layer of electroless nickel.

Without plating, the iron from the walls of the chamber would compromise and possible affect the results of the tests carried out inside it. Lasers used during testing would also cause damage to the chamber walls without a layer of electroless nickel.

The facilities at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories are used by scientists and engineers in order to advance their research into materials and structures, light sources, astronomy and particle physics. Every year about 10,000 scientists and engineers use the Laboratory’s facilities to advance their research. Many are academics and post-graduate students working on projects funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Electroless nickel plated layer for protection

Rutherford Appleton Laboratories had manufactured the large vacuum chamber for tests that involved lasers travelling down the centre of the chamber. This area needed to be plated with a layer of electroless nickel so that the layers did not burn through the paint during testing.

The vacuum chamber came in a number of large sections, some which weighed more than 20 tonnes. The team at NiTEC manufactured tanks to fit each part of the chamber that needed to be plated. The main body of the chamber weighed 150 tonnes and was built like a small room, containing many windows, portals and doors.

Blanking plates were manufactured for each of the chamber components, and the chamber was then sheeted over and manually and internally shot blasted. Originally, the chamber was going to be used as the plating tank and filled with electroless nickel plating solution. But the portals and windows contained recesses which were identified as gas traps and to overcome this and ensure complete coverage of the electroless nickel plating, all of the blanking plates were fitted with small air pipes. These fed up the outside of the chamber and back into the top, removing gas and solution and ensuring complete coverage.

If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating services call us on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Electroless Nickel Plating for an Oil Rig Vortoil Pipe for Marine Corrosion Resistance

Electroless nickel plating is perfect for applications in the oil and gas industries due to its excellent corrosion resistance properties. When used as a barrier layer, electroless nickel provides the highest levels of corrosion and wear resistance, and the thickness of the coating can be adjusted to suit the application.

Corrosion and wear protection

A recent project of NiTEC’s involved the nickel plating of a vortoil pipe for use on an oil rig. Vortoil pipes are used for separating crude oil from seawater, and are therefore exposed to harsh marine environments and susceptible to corrosion and wear due to their surroundings.

The tolerance of the vortoil pipe had to be less than 3 microns over the length of the component, with an overall deposit thickness of 100 microns.

Electroless nickel is an excellent plating method to ensure uniform levels of thickness over a deposit, but when the competent is a large as a vortoil pipe, there may be slight variations in the thickness of the deposit due to localised changes in temperature and activity.

Because of the size of the component, NiTEC manufactured a jig with a motor which was attached to either end of the pipe. The pipe was then electroless nickel plated horizontally, while it was turned very slowly to make sure all of the surface area was covered by the electroless nickel deposit.

Accurate deposit thickness of the nickel coating

The pipe was approximately 4m in length, and needed to be electroless nickel plated internally and externally, including all the attached pipes, holes and fins. The staff at NiTEC were able to work to the tight distribution tolerances using our monitoring system, which enabled us to ensure the accurate deposit thickness of the nickel coating onto the component.

If you are looking for a metal coating that provides high levels of corrosion resistance for use in the oil or gas industries, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.