Archive for July 31, 2014

Top 5 Properties of Copper Plating

Here at NiTEC, we offer a copper plating service that is suitable for both functional and decorative applications. As experts in the process, we’ve put together the top 5 properties of copper plating that make it one of our most popular metal plating services.

natural copperThermal and Conductive Properties

Copper is often used in electrical wiring because it is an excellent conductor of electricity. This makes copper electroplating a great choice on metal surfaces where a high level of conductivity is required. As a result it widely used in the electrical and electronics industries.

Adhesiveness

Copper is perfect for providing an underplate for tin and nickel plating because of its high levels of adhesion. Some industries use copper to provide metallization of non-metallic materials such as plastics.  Also, because of its adhesiveness, it won’t separate from the material even when the object is bent.

Flexibility

Copper is a highly flexible, soft, malleable metal, which makes it perfect for plating surfaces and objects in which some flexibility is required. And because of coppers excellent adhesiveness, it won’t come away from the object even in conditions where it is bent.

Highly Decorative

As well as its functional purposes, bright copper plating can be used decoratively, giving a highly polished copper-pink appearance. A thick layer of copper plating will also cover surface irregularities and generally improve aesthetics.

Naturally Kills Bacteria

Copper plate naturally kills bacteria, therefore, is frequently used to plate laboratory and medical equipment. It has actually been proven to inhibit the growth of many different micro organisms, and is used as an effective antimicrobial agent in a variety of settings such as food production, processing plants, agriculture and hospitals. It can, in fact, slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast.

Copper Plating Service

If you are interested in the process of copper plating for either a functional or decorative application, NiTEC can help. To make an enquiry or simply to have a chat with one of our friendly team about your requirements, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plating Vs Galvanisation

Electroless nickel plating and galvanisation are both effective metal finishing techniques for the prevention of corrosion and rust on the surface of metal. If you’re trying to decide which would be a better coating for your application, we’ve put together a bit of information comparing the processes so that you can make an informed decision.

Protecting Metal Using Galvanisation

When a metal is galvanised, a protective zinc coating is applied to it. This zinc coating is applied to steel or iron in order to prevent the surface of the metal from rusting. Galvanisation is an effective way of preventing the ferrous item from rusting, as the corrosion resistance of zinc is much higher than iron or steel. It is also a cheap process, easily applied and has a long, maintenance free service life.

hot dip galvanisationHot-dip galvanisation is the most common method of galvanisation. During this process, the steel parts are submerged in a bath of molten zinc. This process is also achievable through electrochemical and electro deposition processes but there are some differences between them.

Hot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable. Electroplated coatings are less durable and unsuitable for outdoor applications because of the thinness of the deposit. This can be overcome to some extent, however, by painting the surface which slows down zinc consumption, therefore delaying the corrosion and extending its durability.

Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to Galvanisation

The electroless nickel plating process is a high quality, cost effective solution to coating metals such as mild or stainless steel and can substantially extend the life of a component. It is an excellent alternative to galvanisation as it is both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Not only does electroless nickel plating provide enough corrosion resistance to be used in harsh environments, the uniform coating it creates can be a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Electroless nickel plating is also much cheaper than you would imagine, considering the extent of its durability, and the wear resistance of the surface can be increased by using heat treatments. This makes it an ideal specialist plating where friction and wear may be problematic with regard to the use of the component.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used as an alternative to galvanisation, contact the experts at NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Engineering Coatings for the Oil and Gas Industries

As experienced suppliers of effective engineering coatings for the oil and gas industry, NiTEC have a wealth of knowledge regarding wear resistant, anti-corrosion coatings suitable for harsh and demanding environments. We specialise in a range of engineering coatings including the following:

Electroless Nickel Coatings

Electroless nickel is ideal for precision parts that are in need of anti-fretting and corrosion protection, for example, on parts such as splines, couplings, gasket faces and fibre optic connectors. It is very resistant to corrosion and will, therefore, extend the life of everything it coats.  This makes it ideal for coating parts exposed to harsh environments such as those operating in the marine, oil and gas and defence industries.

Ni-PTFE Self Lubricating Corrosion Resistant Coating

Ni-PTFE plating is a unique self lubricating plating solution that combines the hardness of electroless nickel with the lubricity of Polytetrafluoreothylene (PTFE).  Its properties of low friction wear and self lubrication make it an excellent choice for sliding wear applications, and instances where conventional lubricants would be harmful to components.

It can effectively increase the life span of components due to its properties of corrosion prevention and wear resistance, and provides long life lubrication for inaccessible parts as it dramatically reduces the levels of friction between components.

seatec marine corrosion resistanceSeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion Protection

SeaTEC 100 is the perfect coating to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions. This revolutionary product protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and provides marine corrosion resistance for an extensive period of time, making it perfect for use in sub-sea conditions.

For more information about our range of high quality engineering coatings specially designed for the oil and gas industry, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Pickling Stainless Steel for World Renowned Aerospace group Meggitt

As experts in the various processes of metal finishing, and often the company of choice for several aerospace companies, NiTEC recently took on a project pickling steel for world renowned Aerospace group Meggitt.

Meggitt PLC – Engineering for Extreme Environments

Meggitt PLC is a global engineering group specialising in extreme environment components and sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets.They are a FTSE 100 supplier of aircraft parts, and they supply flight displays and wheels to both Boeing and Airbus.

Why Pickle Stainless Steel?

The process of pickling stainless steel is a metal surface treatment that is used to remove any impurities from the surface of the metal. This could be stains, inorganic contaminants, and rust or scale. Acid is commonly used to remove these surface impurities.

The Safe Handling of Hydrofluoric Acid

pickling stainless steelStaff at NiTEC used hydrofluoric and nitric acid to remove the discoloured scale from the stainless steel, and as you can see from the pictures, the process makes a huge difference to the surface of the steel.

Hydrofluoric acid is a really effective acid for pickling; although it is typically more expensive than other acids, the process of pickling is much quicker and it effectively minimises the base metal loss.

We had the exciting task of pickling stainless steel for a project located in offshore Brazil and were lucky enough to be chosen as partners in the project because of our expertise in the safe handling of hydofluoric acid, which is an integral part in the process we carried out for Meggitt.

Metal Finishing Services in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

If you would like more information about Nitec’s capabilities with regard to metal pickling, pickling stainless steel, and our experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk.

Aerospace and Defence Set to Rebalance the Economy

Farnborough International Airshow 2014 takes place this week, an event known throughout the world for promoting UK engineering excellence and industrial expertise. Aerospace and defence industry leaders will gather at the air show to discuss new technologies and trends, sharing the very latest thinking and exploring new opportunities within the sectors.

Airbus site Filton Bristol

The Hampshire Airport will play host to politicians, military officials and airline executives from all over the world as the global aerospace and defence industry meet to display and discuss the latest commercial airliners, fighter jets and drones.

Domestic manufacturing giants Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will be in attendance. On the commercial side, airline executives will no doubt be tempted by Boeing and Airbus, looking for multibillion dollar deals, while Rolls-Royce anticipate sales for the engines that power the aircraft.

The Thriving UK Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is experiencing a definite upturn in fortune, with global air passenger traffic on the rise and the continued demand for new aircraft. Major aerospace companies have thousands of aircraft on order and have been regularly increasing the rate of aircraft deliveries. This is having an impressively positive effect on UK businesses too; the latest global commercial aircraft data shows that orders are worth an estimated £150bn to the UK alone.

This event provides the UK with an opportunity to make real waves in the aerospace and defence sectors, underlining its prominent role despite cuts being made globally. Paul Everett, chief executive of ADS, the aerospace and defence trade body, told the Guardian newspaper, “Aerospace sustains high-value long-term jobs in the UK. We help create a rich science base with the kind of high-skilled jobs that politicians dream about. Aerospace is unquestionably the Premier League of our manufacturing industries.”

Engineering Excellence

The success and appeal of the Farnborough Airshow owes much to the UK pioneers and innovators who have contributed to revolutionising the aerospace industry. The UK remains a significant industrial power in the sector, and a huge amount of the aircraft that will be flying, and on display, at the airshow rely on the advanced skills, manufacturing and engineering excellence of the UK.

Metal Plating for Aerospace and Defence

If you would like to find out more about our metal plating and coatings for use in the aerospace and defence industries, 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.

Copper Plating for The Brewin Dolphin Garden at The Chelsea Flower Show

We were recently involved in copper plating some absolutely fantastic pieces for The Brewin Dolphin Garden at The Chelsea Flower Show. Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, built by Bowles & Wyer Contracts and designed by Matthew Childs, the garden made quite an impression at the famous yearly flower show, earning a Silver-gilt medal.

brewin dolphin gardenCopper Plated Benches and Patinated Copper Archways

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the garden “highlights opportunities to nurture potential for the future.” Brewin Dolphin’s heritage of nurturing and preserving wealth was reflected in the calm, tranquil spaces and the fresh, lush planting. There were also a variety of bold, engaging elements including copper plated benches, patinated copper archways and generous paths and sculpture.

The RHS said the garden “symbolised emerging opportunities and Brewin Dolphin’s forward-thinking approach. Investing in relationships was also a key part of the garden, demonstrated by the inclusion of a sociable entertaining space.”

matthew childsGarden Designer Matthew Childs

In addition to Matthew Childs’ success at the Chelsea Flower Show, he also received a gold medal and ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2012 for the garden ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’, and in 2013 he returned to the Hampton Court Palace Flower show with a show garden for Ecover which was awarded a gold medal and ‘Best in Show’.

As you can see, the The Brewin Dolphin Garden is a really gorgeous space, created by a very talented garden designer. This garden was Matthew Childs’ debut contribution to the Chelsea Flower Show. As a designer of unique, award winning gardens and landscapes for private and commercial clients, Matthew must be over the moon with his input into this years’ show.

UK Copper Plating Service

Here at NiTEC, we’ve been asked to carry out some great copper plating jobs for a variety of clients. As you can see from above, copper plating is fantastic for decorative applications. For more information about the copper plating services available at NiTEC UK, copper platers in Chesterfield, contact us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk