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Top 5 Properties of Electroless Nickel

As experts in the process of nickel plating, the NiTEC staff are highly experienced and knowledgeable regarding the use of this innovative plating technique. There are many benefits to using nickel plating over other metal finishing techniques, many of which are outlined below.

nickel plating technical figure

1. Uniformity of Coating

The deposit formed by electroless nickel plating is based on a chemical reaction, causing the deposit to collect in equal thickness over all the part, regardless of its shape.

This completely uniform coating is a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

2. Ultimate Corrosion Resistance

Electroless nickel coatings are often used in functional applications because of the excellent corrosion resistance it provides. Nickel coatings are able to withstand the combination of abrasion and corrosive chemicals, even in the very corrosive conditions encountered in drilling and producing oil wells.

3. Wear Resistance

Electroless nickel has excellent levels of wear resistance. As a barrier layer, it is used on oil field valves, drive shafts, electrical tools and industrial machinery. The life of any metal exposed to harsh environments can be extended using this type of plating, therefore reducing the cost of repair and replacement parts. It basically extends the life of everything it coats! And with the appropriate heat treatment, electroless nickel can be hardened up to 950vhn, which makes it ideal for areas exposed to friction and wear.

4. Excellent Adhesion

A high level of adhesion can be achieved on a wide range of substrates, including steel, copper, and aluminium. The typical bond strengths reported for electroless nickel on copper and iron alloys range from 50 to 60,000 psi. The bond strength on light metals such as aluminium tends to be lower, somewhere in the range of 15 to 35,000 psi.

Heat treatment at a low temperature is commonly used to improve the adhesion of electroless nickel on all metals, especially on light metals such as aluminium or titanium. During this heat treatment, diffusion occurs between the atoms of the coating and the substrate.

The surface preparation and activation of the electroless nickel plating is one of the most important factors for producing excellent adhesion.

5. Cost Effectiveness

Specialist electroless nickel plating is much cheaper than you would imagine. NiTEC now have 7 dedicated nickel plating lines and can offer reasonable quotations based on drawings or photos sent to us.

As you can see from the points made above, electroless nickel plating has many huge benefits that make it the plating method of choice for many industries. 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.

Bikes, Nickel Plating and the Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France 2014

As you are no doubt aware, the Tour de France will be sweeping into Yorkshire this July as it stages the Grand Depart. Here at NiTEC, we’re really excited about the region hosting such an iconic event and the interest and visitors it will bring to the area.

tour de france yorkshireThe Yorkshire roads will host the first stage of the tour, which starts in Leeds and finishes in Harrogate on 5 July. The second stage will leave from York and finish in Sheffield. After that, the riders race from Cambridge to London before the Tour moves on to the French stages.

Stage One of the Tour de France

The race will start on the Headrow in Leeds and then head out of the city north towards Harewood. It will also to visit Ilkley, Otley, Ripon, Skipton and Hawes before finishing Harrogate. This stage is a total 118 miles (190km).

Stage Two of the Tour de France

Stage two will start in York and go through Knaresborough, Keighley, and over Holme Moss into the Peak District National Park. It finishes after 124 miles (200km) at Sheffield Arena.

Electroless Nickel Plated Bike Frames

We’ve always been interested in the use of electroless nickel for plating bike frames a way of keeping it rust and scratch free. Road bikes and mountain bikes alike are exposed to a variety of conditions through general use including being exposed to mud, water and salt.

nickel plated bike frameHere at NiTEC, we often receive requests to nickel plate bike frames on behalf of our customers as the process ensures that the frame will be immune to rust, scratches and corrosion forever. We charge £185 to nickel plate a bike frame, and we can have it nickel plated and scratch and corrosion resistant in just 5 days of receiving it.

All you have to do is disassemble your bike, send us the handlebars and frame, and we’ll electroless nickel plate the parts and return them to you for reassembly. To find out more about having your bike frame electroless nickel plated, contact the team at Nitec today on (0)845 224 3571 or visit our website at for more information.

Nickel Plate Outdoor Metal Sculptures for Corrosion Resistance

As specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, we have previously worked with metal sculptor David Mach, and have nickel plated a few of his pieces. For example, we nickel plated his spaceman and gorilla sculptures which are both made from coat hangers.

nickel plated garden sculptureElectroless nickel can coat metal such as mild steel or stainless steel and make it last for years – that’s why the process of nickel plating is simply perfect for outdoor sculptures. Its corrosion resistance properties and its ability to withstand adverse weather conditions make it the perfect plating solution for metal garden sculptures, and any other sculpture that will be displayed outside.

Large Capacity Electroless Nickel Plating Tanks

The process of electroless nickel plating deposits a uniform coating on to whatever it is plating, and compared to stainless steel, it is also relatively cheap. Our huge nickel plating tanks that are big enough to accommodate very large pieces of sculpture, such as garden sculptures and bespoke pieces such as those plated for David Mach.

The main reason Mach decided on electroless nickel plating to plate his pieces was due to its excellent corrosion resistance and the assurance that gave him that the piece would look stunning for years to come, no matter where it was located. In fact, the corrosion resistance offered by electroless nickel plating is actually better than stainless steel!

A Great Alternative to Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion, and can therefore be used when the levels of hardness of the metal are important. But using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to stainless steel has many advantages. Mild steel or cast iron with an electroless nickel coating is a much more cost effective way of achieving high levels of hardness and corrosion resistance.

The process of electroless nickel plating is a great way to prevent corrosion from occurring on outdoor sculptures made from metal. If you are interested in the process as a cheaper alternative to stainless steel, contact NiTEC on 0845 2243571 or email web@nitec-enp.co.uk and we’ll show you how much you can save.

Prevent and Eliminate Microbial Growth with Copper Plating

copper plating service chesterfieldIn our last blog post we discussed the antimicrobial action of copper and its power to inhibit the growth of micro organisms.

But the process of copper plating isn’t just limited to laboratory equipment such as the incubator that we copper plated on behalf of New Brunswick. Copper is also used in a variety of everyday products to effectively prevent and eliminate microbial growth, including the following:

  • Copper -sulfate and -chelate aquacades control aquatic pests in ponds and municipal water supplies.
  • Copper based pesticides are widely used to control fungi, algae and nematodes.
  • Brass (copper/zinc alloy) used in machining coolant filters removes bacteria and algae.
  • Copper can be incorporated into cement or paint. This can be particularly useful when used in basements which tend to be very humid and sometimes damp, as it prevents the growth of bacteria and fungus.
  • It is used in cooling systems and towers to reduce bacteria and algae.
  • Plumbing pipes that contain copper have been proven to reduce the threat from the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research carried out a study showing that copper piping reduces the growth of these particular bacteria, which is the causative agent of Legionaire’s Disease.

Pure Copper Touch Surfaces in Incubators

Copper is a recognised approach for preventing microbial growth in the incubator. Copper has recently enjoyed a popular resurgence within the clinical sciences, and in 2018 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified that pure copper “kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours.” Copper has also been proven to be effective against bacterial spores.

The cell culture research community now strongly back the use of incubators featuring copper interior chambers in recognition of copper’s effective antimicrobial activity. Copper is often used in C02 incubators because it is understood that the higher the temperature and relative humidity, the better the effectiveness of coppers antimicrobial action.

If you are looking for a reliable copper plating service for laboratory equipment such as the interior chambers of incubators, NiTEC can help. Call us on 0845 224 3571 to speak to a member of our team or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Copper Plating a Laboratory Incubator to Prevent Cell Culture Contamination

copper plated incubator

Here at NiTEC, we love sharing our recent plating projects with our blog readers. This copper plating job has a particularly interesting story behind it!

We were asked by New Brunswick, producers of laboratory products, to copper plate the interior of this incubator in order to prevent bacteria escaping and cell culture contamination.

Incubators such as this provide the perfect environment for cell cultures to grow. However, these warm, humid conditions can also encourage and sustain the growth of microorganisms that can cause contamination. This is where copper can help.

Antimicrobial Action of Copper

Copper has the power to inhibit the growth of many different micro organisms. It can, in fact, slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast. Copper ions are able to bond to contaminants and disrupt the key proteins and processes that are critical to microbial life.

The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) has recently carried out a study that explored the suppression of bacterial colonization by solid copper, proving that copper piping reduces the growth of Legionella pneumophila, causative agent of Legionaire’s Disease.

The Use of Copper in Incubators

Copper reduces microbes in a wide range of laboratory equipment, including medical and scientific devices such as incubators. Testing, studies and experience have shown that copper wire, copper sulphate or even a simple penny added to a water reservoir of carbon dioxide incubators can significantly inhibit microbial growth. And copper surfaces clearly reduce the number of contaminants present too.

The incubators produced by New Brunswick, therefore, are manufactured using copper interiors, as copper has been proven to have antimicrobial properties. If you would like to find out more about the process of copper plating, its antimicrobial properties and NiTEC’s expertise in projects such as this, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk