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Decorative Aluminium Bathroom Sink Nickel Plated for Protection

Most people think of the plating activities we carry out at NiTEC as being purely for engineering applications, but as you may have seen from our last few blog posts, we do plate a lot of items for sculptors and artists too. We occasionally receive enquiries to plate more unusual domestic pieces, such as balustrades, staircases, furniture, and this metal basin.

nickel plated basin sink

Aluminium basin nickel plated for corrosion protection

The sink itself was originally cast out of aluminium and featured a large round inset for the basin itself. The bottom of the sink was a rugged texture that looked a lot like the texture of the surface of a jagged rock. As you can see from the picture, it’s a really impressive piece, and will undoubtedly look fantastic in the bathroom of its new home!

Protection for Prolonged Exposure to Water

Due to the amount of running water and handling that the sink would receive when it was used, the aluminium it was cast from was not really appropriate for a sink. Aluminium is very prone to corrosion and can tarnish and discolour easily. Although it doesn’t rust, the surface of the aluminium could become encrusted with calcium and hard water stains, which would leave it looking dull and possibly even stained.

We plated the aluminium sink with an electroless nickel coating to ensure that the surface of the basin remained bright and shiny, and to ensure that the prolonged exposure to water wouldn’t cause any staining or discolouration of the basin. Electroless nickel plating also ensures that the metal coating it deposits grows at a uniform speed all over the part and covers any crevices and rugged areas evenly and thoroughly.

Total Uniform Coverage with Electroless Nickel Plating

The uniform coverage of an electroless nickel coating doesn’t just benefit decorative items such as this sink, it’s also perfect for ensuring uniform coverage for engineering components too. Electroless nickel deposits do not build up on the edges or ends of components, and leave a uniform deposit both inside and out. This means that components can be plated to tight tolerances, meaning that there is no need to machine the part afterwards. This accurate coverage saves both time and money. It’s also a great alternative to stainless steel, too.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of using electroless nickel plating for corrosion protection and the uniform, even coverage of parts, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Nickel Plated Aluminium for Great Looking Garden Furniture

Garden furniture is a lovely addition to any garden. It’s a pleasure to have somewhere to sit and enjoy the sunshine, and it is fabulous for outdoor BBQ’s and summer gatherings. Keeping your garden furniture in top condition, however, can be a bit of a struggle. If you’re like the many people that leave their garden furniture out overnight and throughout the warmer months, it may be subject to the elements. This can result in fading from the sun, damp and mold from rain, and tarnishing.

Metal garden furniture can easily tarnish through exposure to the weather, and it’s hard to keep it looking good after a few seasons use. But there is a way to keep your garden furniture looking fantastic all year round, whatever weather condition it is exposed to!

Electroless Nickel Plated Aluminium Garden Chairs

These pictures illustrate a recent nickel plating job undertaken here at NiTEC, which involved electroless nickel plating unusually shaped chairs for use outdoors as garden furniture. The manufacturers wanted the chairs to be fully protected from the elements to minimise the problem of tarnishing and staining, and electroless nickel is the perfect metal coating to achieve this.

As you can see from the pictures, the chairs are a very unusual shape with a deep recess at the front which formed a cylindrical shape at the base of the chair in order to hold it up. Electroless nickel plating is a great choice for complex shapes such as this as it can be deposited evenly onto the surface of the aluminium and on all parts of the object or component it is covering.

Corrosion Resistant Metal Coating

Electroless nickel was also a great choice as it is extremely corrosion resistant and can withstand the elements for years without discolouring or tarnishing. Due to its unique ability to prevent the formation of rust, it can substantially extend the life of garden furniture. Another advantage is that electroless nickel coatings won’t chip, flake, peel or rub off like some paint or lacquer type top coats.

If you are looking for a way of keeping your garden furniture looking great all year round, electroless nickel plating has outstanding levels of wear and corrosion resistance. Call NiTEC 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 a Mild Steel Phoenix Sculpture

Here at NiTEC, we are regularly approached by artists and metal sculptors who want a cost effective, corrosion resistant method of plating their work. As you can imagine, sculptures made of any material are susceptible to wear, corrosion, and weather damage as a result of the elements. That’s why using a coating such as electroless nickel plating is perfect for metal sculptures that are to be displayed outside; the nickel coating is incredibly corrosion resistant and can protect the piece for tens of years to come.

Electroless Nickel Plating for Sculptures

This particular sculpture was commissioned for use at the entrance to an industrial park in Castleford in West Yorkshire. Fabricated using mild steel, the sculpture took the shape of a phoenix with its wings spread, rising from what appeared to be an abstract representation of flames. It really was a truly stunning piece of sculpture; there was something very majestic and impressive about its large open wings and long bowed head.

The staff at NiTEC built a special plating tank in order to accommodate the phoenix sculpture, one that would be big enough to comfortably house the piece and ensure that the nickel plating process would achieve the best and most accurate results. The sculpture itself was a very delicate and complicated shape; the wings alone were made up of a number of intricate metal feathers which had many recesses and sharp angles that needed to be covered fully with the electroless nickel coating.

Corrosion Resistance and Protection from the Elements

Electroless nickel plating is the perfect metal plating solution for projects with unusual and complex shapes such as this sculpture because the electroless nickel can be deposited evenly on its surface. It will also ensure that the sculpture is protected against the formation of rust, and will not flake or chip like a painted surface can do.

If you are an artist or metal sculptor and you would like more information about the advantages of using electroless nickel plating to prevent corrosion and wear on sculptures, contact NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Behind the Scenes at NiTEC: Nickel Plating David Mach’s Gorilla Sculpture

In addition to nickel plating ‘The Spaceman’ sculpture by David Mach, we have also been involved in the plating of a similarly constructed sculpture by the same artist, this time of a gorilla. Whilst looking through our extensive archive of photos, the staff at NiTEC came across these great before and after images of the gorilla sculpture that we just have to share with our blog readers!

gorilla sculpture before nickel plating process

Gorilla sculpture before the electroless nickel plating process

David Mach is a British sculptor and installation artist who specialises in creating unique sculpture from mass-produced objects such as coat hangers. Following several shows, public installations and much success, Mach was nominated for the Turner Prize back in 1988 and joined the Royal Academy of Arts as a Professor of Sculpture in 200.

Coat Hanger Sculptures

Mach once said “I like to work in as many different materials as possible. It’s no understatement to say I am a materials junkie – jumping from highly-painted realistic cast fibreglass pieces to sculpture with coat hangers, to a thatched barn roof laced with fibre-optics to designs for camera obscures (or at least the buildings to house them) and layouts for parks.”

 

Electroless Nickel Plating the Sculpture

gorilla sculpture after nickel plating

Gorilla sculpture after the electroless nickel plating process

The gorilla sculpture featured here consists of hundreds of wire coat hangers which have been bent and twisted and then welded together to keep the shape.

Mach decided that the best way of plating the sculpture was to have it have it professionally electroless nickel plated in order to create an aesthetically pleasing finish and provide a high level of corrosion and wear protection.

 

Electroless nickel was the perfect choice of plating for this piece as it ensures that all the recesses of the metal are fully plated.

Here at NiTEC, we have plenty of experience handling large parts such as sculptures, and the equipment and man power needed to do so. If you would like to find out more about the process of electroless nickel plating 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.

Jobs Growth for UK Oil and Gas Sector

oil rig at nightBBC News has recently reported that companies in the oil and gas sector in the UK expect to create nearly 40,000 jobs in the next two years. According to a survey commissioned by the Bank of Scotland of 100 UK companies, the expectations of employment growth has increased this year, with 69% of company executives being optimistic about their prospects for growth in 2014 and 2015.

International Expansion and Investment

The companies involved in the study also expressed that international expansion was a priority, with 64% of them already planning further growth in foreign markets in the next 2 years.

The research, carried out by BDRC Continental, analysed companies over a range of size, location and service type. There was also a study carried on the same topic last year, which found that companies in the oil and gas sector were expected to hire an extra 34,000 people over a period of two years.

The commercial area director of the Bank of Scotland, Stuart White, said: “The findings of this report are excellent news for the economy, demonstrating the employment-generating nature of the oil and gas industry now and in the future. With most of the UK’s oil and gas firms clustered in Aberdeen and the north-east, Scotland should reap the largest share of these new jobs, however other parts of the UK will benefit from expansion plans.

“The results also demonstrate the global nature of the industry as more firms look to expand internationally and tap into the markets with the largest levels of recoverable reserves,” he explained. “With 44% of income already generated internationally, this is not a new trend, and reflects the reach UK firms have as the industry benefits from the expertise gained in the challenging North Sea environment.”

Marine Corrosion Protect for the Oil and Gas Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, our metal plating and metal finishing service are often employed on components used in the oil and gas sector. We regularly deal with parts such as end fittings and flexible pipelines, among others. In addition to electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating which provide excellent corrosion resistance, we have also developed our very own SeaTEC100, the ultimate in marine corrosion resistance. This specialist surface increases the life of components used in subsea conditions and effectively protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time.

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