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How to Choose the Perfect Electroless Nickel Coating for your Needs

electroless nickel composite coatingThere are a variety of considerations to be addresses before you can decide which type of electroless nickel plating will best suit the specifications of your metal plating requirements.

 

What Will the Part Be Used For?

One of the first considerations when choosing a plating method is the industrial application of the part. By determining what it will be used for, a list of requirements or traits that are needed from the metal coating can be established. For example, does the part require conductivity, or good adhesion properties?

What Sort of Environment Will it Function In?

The characteristics of the environment that the component will be used in should be considered before a decision is made on the type of metal coating that would be most appropriate. Corrosion resistance will be an important factor here, and determining the quantity of atmospheric testing that is needed for the required function is imperative.

How Hard Does it Need to Be?

The required hardness of the coating needs to be quantified in order to establish which type of electroless nickel coating would be most appropriate. Our hardness testing facilities use the Vickers hardness test to ensure that parts meet the required specifications.

Types of Electroless Nickel Coatings

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of electroless nickel coating types to suit a variety of applications including the following:

  • High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Medium Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Low Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Electroless Nickel PTFE Plating
  • Nickel Boron Plating
  • Nickel Diamond Plating

Electroless Nickel Plating Company

As experts in the process of elecrtroless nickel plating, the experienced professionals at NiTEC will be able to talk you through a series of questions in order to determine which one would best suit your needs. Call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Top 3 Benefits of High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel

The phosphorus content in an electroless nickel coating is a key component in the determination of the properties of that coating. There are varying levels of phosphorus content, and each provides unique properties. High phosphorus electroless nickel typically contains a phosphorus content of between 10-12%, making it ideal for applications where a uniform, hard and highly corrosion resistant coating is required. Here are the top 3 benefits of a high phosphorus electroless nickel coating.

Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings with a high phosphorus content offers high levels of hardness and a lack of porosity, which makes it an ideal barrier coating for components, especially those that are used in hostile environments or are subject to aggressive use. The as-plated hardness of electroless nickel is approximately 48-52 Rc, but it can be heat treated to 68-70 Rc for a more wear resistant finish.

Corrosion Resistance

High phosphorus electroless nickel coatings are recommended where the maximum level of corrosion protection is needed. This makes it ideal for industry standards requiring protection from highly corrosive acidic environments such as oil drilling and coal mining.

Uniformity

nickel plating technical figureThe process of high phosphorus electroless nickel plating involves a chemical reaction, rather than electricity which is used in electroplating. Electroplating often produces a number of unwanted effects such as edge build up, uneven thickness, no plating in corners and recesses etc.

But electroless nickel plating, on the other hand, guarantees full coverage that is so uniform that the surface finish is normally duplicated. This also eliminates the need for post plate grinding or polishing. Even complex shapes such as threads keep their original geometry after plating.

Other advantages of high phosphorus electroless nickel are as follows:

  • Low porosity
  • Non-magnetic
  • Less prone to staining
  • Pit-free deposits
  • Fast deposition rate throughout life
  • Consistent deposition rate throughout life
  • Very stable and robust

Corrosion Resistant Metal Coating

If you are looking for a highly effective corrosion resistant metal coating, high phosphorus electroless nickel is a great solution. Call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

7 Advantages of Electroless Nickel Coatings

For engineers looking to protect parts from wear, friction and corrosion, electroless nickel plating offers a range of advantages.

1. Effective Barrier Coating

Electroless nickel coatings are often less porous than electroplated nickel and hard chrome, providing an effective barrier of corrosion protection to steel. It can also be applied with none or little compressive stress, therefore making it gentle in application.

electroless nickel plating company uk2. Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings can reach up to 1000 VHN with the appropriate heat treatment and provide an excellent hard coating for light metals.

3. Wear Resistance

This type of coating has excellent wear resistance properties, and can, therefore, extend the life of a part or component. As parts can be used for longer, plating components with electroless nickel means that money can be saved on repairs and replacements, and the impact on the environment can be reduced.

4. Uniform Deposit

The process of electroless nickel plating provides flexibility of thickness and volume of the plating on metal surfaces. It can also be used to easily fill recesses or pits in the metal surface, resulting in a uniform deposit and surface finish. This means that a wide variety of industrial parts can be plated, including oil field valves, pumps, drive shafts, electrical and mechanical tools, and engineering equipment etc. The uniformity of electroless nickel coatings also means that close tolerances can be adhered to.

5. Natural Lubricity

Electroless nickel plating has natural lubricity, and has excellent release and anti-galling properties.

6. No Electricity Needed

Electroless nickel plating does not need any electricity; therefore the process can be completed in a more controlled environment with less equipment than traditional electroplating.

7. Cost Effective

Electroless nickel plating is a much more cost effective way of plating metal, requiring fewer coats to produce a strong, high quality coating. Also, the reduction in equipment and time needed for the process in comparison to electroplating makes it an efficient, cost effective process. Electroless nickel plated mild steel is also an excellent replacement for more expensive materials.

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating Company

For more information about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used to benefit your business, visit the Nitec website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email web@nitec-enp.co.uk

UK Aircraft Engine Blade Casting Facility Opened by Rolls-Royce

aircraft blade engine crafting facilityAs experts in metal finishes and plating techniques used in the aerospace industry, we were delighted to read the news about the new £110 million advanced blade casting facility which has been opened nearby in Rotherham. Rolls-Royce have opened the 50,000ft² facility, which is expected to produce more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year, including high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades.

New Technology and Modern Manufacturing Processes

Rolls-Royce plan to open the facility in 2017, and it is estimated to bring 150 new jobs into the region. Matthew Hancock, who is the UK Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “This new facility will house the most advanced blade casting facility in the world, and is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. Our aerospace growth partnership has put in place a long-term industrial strategy for the whole aerospace industry, and this investment by Rolls-Royce in new technology and modern manufacturing processes is testament to the ongoing strength of this sector.”

The facility will make use of the manufacturing methods that have already been developed within Rolls-Royce and at the Coventry based Manufacturing Centre. The facility will include automated manufacturing techniques, including integrated wax fabrication lines, 3D structured light inspection and computed tomography (CT).

Turbine Blades for Trent, Rolls-Royce and Airbus

The new plant will produce turbine blades which will be used in various Trent aero engines, Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, which will power Airbus A350 XWB. Each Trent XWB engine requires 182 HP and IP turbine blades, which are 10cm in height and 300g in weight, and undergo 200 processes before being installed. The blades operate at temperatures of up to 200°, and are placed in a disc that rotates at over 12,000rpm. The turbine extracts energy from the engine’s combustor hot gas stream, and uses it to drive the fan and compressors.

UK Based Metal Plating Services

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services. Our high quality electroless nickel plating service is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive andaerospace industries. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

How to Get the Best Results from Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating specialistsElectroless nickel plating is a cost effective and high quality solution to protecting metals from corrosion and increasing their life span. Nickel coatings have a variety of fantastic properties from wear resistance to hardness, making it a popular choice of metal plating for the defence, automotive, aerospace and healthcare industries.

However, electroless nickel plating is quite a complicated process that involves precision and careful execution. As experts in the process, we’ve put together a few top tips that will ensure that the best results are achieved during the process of nickel plating.

Continuous Monitoring of the Plating Solution

For the electroless nickel plating process to be effective, the chemicals in the plating bath need to be of a precise balance. This requires continuous monitoring of the plating solution to ensure that the chemicals a replenished sufficiently.

Filtration of the Plating Bath

In order to remove insoluble materials that can cause substrate roughness, the plating bath needs to be filtered continuously.

Correct Preparation of Parts

Components should be chemically pre-treated and rinsed thoroughly before the plating process to ensure that any surface contaminants are removed. There are other mechanical finishing techniques that can also be used to prepare the surface of the part for electroless nickel plating and improve the condition of the service, for example shot blasting.

Plating Bath Temperature Control

The temperature of the nickel plating bath needs to be monitored closely throughout the plating process. If the temperature is too low, it will have the effect of lengthening the plating process and in extreme cases may prevent the metal coating from depositing properly. If the temperature is too high on the other hand, the speed of the deposition will be speeded up beyond a level that is optimum for quality, and may result in the substrate blistering.

Bath Water Purity

Any impurities in the water used for the EN bath can result in unacceptable plating results. The water should be free of metal ions, particulates or other foreign matter.

UK 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.

Corrosion Resistant Coatings for Marine Environments

Rusty mining equipment

Mining equipment suffering from rust and corrosion

Corrosion can be a big problem for parts and machinery operating in marine environments. Mild steel is commonly used for marine applications due to its strength, ease of fabrication and relatively cheap price.

The only problem is, it corrodes very easily when exposed to seawater. So when mild steel isn’t protected by a corrosion resistant layer or barrier, it quickly loses its strength and can, therefore, result in failure of parts.

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is the gradual destruction of materials by chemical reaction with their environment. It is the oxidisation of the metal at the interface between the metal and the environment, and the reaction results in the degradation of the mechanical properties of the metal. Corrosion is dependent on many factors, including oxygen concentration, pH, water temperature and the presence of dissolved salts such as chloride, sulphate and sulphites.

Pitting Corrosion

Pitting corrosion is a type of corrosion that occurs on mild steel in a localised fashion. The steel penetration can be very deep in relation to the area under attack, and it is therefore one of the most dangerous types of corrosion.

Bacterial Corrosion

Bacterial corrosion can also be referred to as micro-biological corrosion or anaerobic (without oxygen) corrosion. This type of corrosion is likely to happen if the environment that the metal is exposed to supports bacterial activity. For bacterial corrosion to occur, there must be stagnant water, a hydrocarbon food source e.g. oil or coatings, the presence of sulphates, an operating temperature of between 20 – 40C, and the presence of bacteria.

Corrosion Prevention Using Metal Coatings

The prevention of corrosion requires the elimination or suppression of the chemical reaction between the environment and the metal. One way of preventing this reaction is by applying a metal coating to the surface of the substrate, and the effectiveness of the coating depends on factors including the type of coating used, the operating environment and the coating type.

SeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion Protection

Here at NiTEC, we have developed a corrosion resistant metal coating that effectively protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. For more information about SeaTEC 100 and its ability to extend the life of parts exposed to subsea conditions, please contact the expert team at NiTEC by calling 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk.