Archive for December 22, 2014

UK’s Largest Electroless Nickel Plating Tanks at NiTEC UK

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK have the largest electroless nickel plating tanks in the UK.

Pre-Treatment for Electroless Nickel Plating

Before a component can be electroless nickel plated, it must be suitably prepared for the process. Firstly, the part is cleaned in a series of pre-treatment tanks and rinsed in water. It then enters the coating tank which is heated to a critical temperature above 90C and contains the plating solution made up of the nickel-phosphorus alloy and a reducing agent.

electroless nickel plating lineThe thickness of the coating that is deposited is dependent on the immersion time, and the phosphorus content of the solution governs its hardness and corrosion resistance.

In order to achieve the maximum thickness achievable, the part needs to be in the plating tank for approximately 9-10 hours, during which time the solution is agitated and continuously re-circulated to prevent debris being incorporated into the coating. The total contents of the tank will be filtered and re-circulated within 10 minutes.

There are three levels of phosphorus in solution that are typically used, each of them having different benefits and attributes.

 

Low Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating

A low phosphorus electroless nickel coating typically contains 2.5% phosphorus. This produces a very uniform porous free coating which uniformly covers the complete surface of the component, including inside recesses. It has excellent corrosion resistance in alkaline conditions, but the coating is relatively soft, below 235VPN, and is therefore not particularly wear resistant.

Medium Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating

Medium phosphorus solutions contain between 6 and 10% phosphorus and produce a coating which effectively combines intermediate hardness with good corrosion resistance. Medium phosphorus coatings deposit rapidly and produce a bright or semi-bright coating.

High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating

High phosphorus coatings contain between 11-14% phosphorus and produce hard coatings of up to 600VPN. This level of hardness is ideal for wear resistant applications in harsh acid environments typical of the conditions experienced in oil and gas drilling or mining applications. The high phosphorus level also renders them non-ferromagnetic and hence suitable for coating, for example, austenitic stainless steels, for applications where ferro-magnetism cannot be toleration such as MRI scanners. Such hard coatings are also used on stainless steel to improve its galling resistance in wear situations.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how NiTEC can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

New Aerospace Project Could Revolutionise the Design and Manufacture of Aircraft Wings

A group of 13 partners have been chosen to take part in a new £30 million research programme which could revolutionise the design and manufacture of aircraft wings.

Aerospace Technology Institute Backing

aeroplane-wingBacked by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the VIEWS (Validation and Integration of Manufacturing Enablers for Future Wing Structures) programme will develop wing design, manufacture and assembly technologies so that they are near to being ready for use in the aerospace market.

In addition, they will select some other novel technologies that may be suitable for further development in the future.

Partners of the VIEWS Programme

Partners of the VIEWS programme include the Universities of Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Sheffield Hallam; as well as five of the UK’s high value manufacturing catapult centres: the National Composites Centre, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (the University of Sheffield),the Warwick Manufacturing Group (the University of Warwick) and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (the University of Strathclyde). The four industrial partners involved are as follows: GKN Aerospace, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, and GE Aviation.

Aircraft Wing Architecture

The programme will be based on technologies emerged from the structures technology maturity (STeM) research programme and will indentify tools and other manufacturing requirements to produce wing architectures and improve the process design and flow of production. It will also study inspection and repair tools and progress various composite and metallic manufacturing and assembly processes.

GKN Aerospace technical director Rich Oldfield said: “STeM saw us make valuable progress and VIEWS will work from that base, taking us nearer to market readiness with a new generation of automated processes and technologies that will extend what we in the UK are able to manufacture, at the same time as increasing the quality, consistency and speed of production.”

Metal Finishing Services for the Aerospace Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, our metal plating services are widely used in the aerospace industry for everything from aircraft engine mounts to aircraft control systems. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Beat Friction and Wear with Slippery Nickel PTFE

The problems of friction and wear on metal components can inhibit their efficiency and reduce their lifespan. Conventional lubricants can be harmful to some components, so unfortunately they are not always an option. However, the composite coating of electroless nickel PTFE can solve this problem, as the coating is actually slicker than the best self lubricating materials!

Durable Dry Lubrication with Anti-galling Requirements

nickel ptfe plated componentNi-PTFE has fantastic qualities of low friction wear and self lubrication, which make it the perfect choice for sliding wear applications where friction and wear on parts can be a problem.

The hardness of electroless nickel coupled with the low friction release properties of PTFE make it an ideal composite coating for components and assemblies where conventional lubricants are a problem.

The coating of electroless nickel PTFE is created by adding sub micron particles of PTFE to the plating solution, which are then co-deposited with the electroless nickel. This method ensures that an even distribution of the PTFE particles are deposited throughout the plated layer, and can be varied in the solution to give the performance characteristics required depending on what the final plated component will be used for.

Applications of Electroless Nickel PTFE

Electroless nickel PTFE can be used for a wide variety of applications in a range of industries. The coating is often used in the automotive industry, for example, where components including piston rings, valves, injection nozzles, carburetors, and oil pumps benefit from it. When treated with electroless nickel PTFE coatings, these parts contribute to increased fuel management for vehicles, and also demonstrate corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and tribological properties.

Electroless nickel PTFE is often used to coat pistons in the hydraulics industry, as its properties of corrosion and wear resistance are incredibly useful. It is also commonly used in the aerospace industry to coat connectors, again, improving their corrosion resistance and wear properties. When coated with electroless nickel PTFE, cutting tools and guides used in the textile industry show reduced noise and a longer lifespan.

Electroless Nickel with Polytetrafluoreothylene

If you want to beat friction and wear on metal components, electroless nickel PTFE is the perfect solution. Call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an inquiry.

Common Applications of Electroless Nickel Coatings

Here at NiTEC UK, we have an impressive total of 7 nickel plating lines, making us one of the largest nickel plating providers in Europe. As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we’ve put an article together describing the common applications of this unique metal plating service, illustrating its versatility and wide reaching advantages.

Aerospace Components

Electroless nickel plating is commonly used for aerospace components due to its excellent wear resistance, corrosion protection, chemical resistivity and lubricity. These fantastic qualities are perfect for use on valves, pistons, engine shafts, engine mounts, compressor blades and other flight-critical components.

Oil & Gas Components

Nickel plating is used primarily for corrosion protection in the oil and gas industry. It is incredibly effective at protecting parts used in harsh undersea and underground environments, for example on parts such as valves, pumps, and pipe fittings.

Automotive Components

brake caliper nickel platingElectroless nickel plating is commonly used for the purpose of wear protection and corrosion resistance on components such as pistons, cylinders, gears, differential pinon ball shafts, fuel injectors, ball studs, transmission thrust washers, knuckle pins, hose couplings, heat sinks and others.

Food Service Equipment

With its superior corrosion and wear resistance, attractive finish and cleanliness, electroless nickel coatings are perfect for food service equipment.

Electrical Equipment

Electroless nickel is often used for electrical equipment due to its solderability and conductivity properties.

Packaging and Handling Machinery

Electroless nickel is commonly used to plate components used in the packaging and handling machinery due to wear resistance, cleanliness and attractive finish.

Chemical Manufacturing and Transport Equipment

The chemical resistance of electroless nickel coatings makes them ideal for chemical manufacturing and transport equipment.

Molds and Dies

Electroless nickel coatings provide corrosion protection on molds and dies, and also help to minimise erosion and abrasion. Also, their low coefficient of friction improves release.

Plastics Manufacturing Equipment

Nickel plating is a common choice of plating of plastics manufacturing equipment due to its durability and release properties on injection molds and extrusion dies.

Printing Industry Equipment

It is often used for plating components and equipment used in the printing industry due to its excellent abrasion resistance on conveyance and chemical resistance on printer cylinders.

Salvage

Electroless nickel plating is commonly used to salvage old parts. It naturally deposits a very even layer of electroless nickel, therefore is often used to restore parts to their original dimensions, or bring mis-machined parts into tolerance.

Support for Offshore Oil and Gas Industry with New Tax Reform

oil rig north sea uk

The offshore oil and gas industry is facing a radical reform with regard to the way that the industry is taxed.

The UK government plan to move away from their previous focus of maximising revenue for the Treasury, admitting that the new burden of maximising extraction will mean a lower tax burden.

 Economic Benefits “For Years to Come”

The treasury minister announced on Thursday 4th December that this new support for the industry will provide economic benefits for years to come.

These radical reforms will mean that the tax burden on the oil and gas industry will be lower, encouraging investment in the North Sea, and providing significant economic benefits for the UK for the future. The reforms include the implementation of a basin-wide investment allowance, designed to reduce the tax rate for companies investing in the future of the UK Continental Shelf.

Offshore Exploration in the North Sea

This will be in addition to tax concessions announced in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which included an immediate cut in the supplementary charge element of offshore tax, from 32% to 30%. There will also be more flexibility in tax allowances for companies that haven’t yet seen an income from their investments. Furthermore, the government has committed to boosting offshore exploration through supporting seismic surveys in under-explored areas of the North Sea.

Reducing the Tax Burden on the Oil and Gas Industry

“The government is demonstrating its long term commitment to supporting the North Sea oil and gas industry with a package of measures expected to drive around £7bn of additional investment,” said MP, Priti Patel. “These measures will reduce the tax burden on the industry, driving investment in the North Sea that will provide economic benefits to the UK for many years to come.”

The changes to the tax regime follow the recent review of the sector by Sir Ian Wood. The review recommended a new regulator, and a requirement that the industry, government and that regulator should be co-operating more closely.

Chief executive of industry body Oil and Gas UK, Malcolm Webb, said: “We are encouraged to note that fiscal policy will now be framed in the context of the sector’s wider economic benefits and will also take account of the global competitiveness of the industry in terms of commodity prices and costs.”

Metal Finishing Services for oil and Gas Applications

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services for both onshore and offshore oil and gas applications. Our revolutionary metal coating SeaTEC100 is a solution to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk