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5 Great Properties of Electroless Nickel Plating

No other metal coating has the combination of properties offered by electroless nickel, which is why so many industries use the coating and reap the benefits of it. As specialists in electroless nickel plating, us know that the properties of nickel plating are incredibly useful to our clients, enabling parts coated to have the highest levels of corrosion protection and hardness. Here are the top 5 great properties of electroless nickel, and why they are so important.

Uniform Thickness

The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has an even thickness over all surfaces of the component, virtually regardless of its shape. This uniform coating is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Electroless nickel can be deposited to produce a wide range of coating thicknesses. Even when plating large and small parts and on components that are fairly complex with recessed areas, the uniformity can be can still be maintained. The range of thicknesses for electroless nickel in commercial applications is 0.1 to 5 mils, although it is possible to create deposits as thick as 40 mils.

Corrosion Resistance

Electroless nickel coatings are often used in functional applications because of its excellent corrosion resistance. Electroless 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.


Excellent adhesion of electroless nickel deposits can be achieved on a wide range of substrates, including steel, aluminium, copper and copper alloys. 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 can occur 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.

Tight Manufacturing Tolerances

Tight manufacturing tolerances can be achieved as the electroless nickel is deposited evenly on the surface of the part. It can be also used to improve the surface of a component so that it is back within the specified tolerances, and provides a surface that allows post finishes to be carried out effectively.

Chip Free Coating

When using electroless nickel to plate a component, the coating provided is guaranteed not to chip or flake like other top coats such as paints or lacquers.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on our phone number or email us at to talk to us about your electroless nickel plating requirements.

Fast Turnaround Metal Plating Services

As one of Europe’s largest electroless nickel plating specialists, us are proud to be able to offer a 24 hour turnaround on our metal plating services. Up until recently, we outsourced testing to an external company with a lead time of up to 2 weeks, but our new on-site laboratory means that we have access to in-house testing facilities including phosphorus levels, micro-section testing and hardness tests.

Our laboratory specialises in the testing, validation and certification of specific customer requirements associated with various aspects of the plating industry. We decided to set it up in order to fill the gap in response in lead time processes, certification and verification.

  • Phosphorus testing
  • Kesternich testing
  • Hardness testing
  • Salt spray testing
  • Micro-section testing

Quality Director Paul Allen said, “The lab is a fantastic step for us. Not only can we reduce offsite costs for testing, we can offer our customers a much faster service. Completed plating jobs would often have to wait to be dispatched until the required test results and paperwork had been completed by a third party laboratory. Now that we do the necessary testing in-house, our service is so much quicker. So far, our customers are very happy!”

The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Since the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, there has been a considerable refocusing in the oil industry on the verification and traceability in subcontractor processes. The metal testing services available at us will ensure that your metal plated parts and components are safe, reliable, and fully certifiable to meet regulatory standards.

Accurate, Certifiable Testing

The specialist metal testing laboratory available at us has facilities ensure that all our testing methods are closely controlled. In addition, our ongoing investment in instrumentation means that thickness, micro-hardness and phosphorous analysis measurements can be obtained using non destructive testing methods, ensuring that we maintain a high level of quality.

Worldwide Metal Testing Services

The metal testing services at us are available throughout Europe and the rest of the world including the UK, France, Holland, Brazil and Germany. Once we receive your samples, we can turn around most tests in just 72 hours, with the exception of salt spray and sulphur dioxide (Kesternich) testing, which by definition will take a number of days. Once the tests are complete, you will receive your results in the format you have requested, including photographic evidence should you require it.

To find out more about our metal testing services, please call the us team on our phone number, email or get in touch via our contact page.


us Sponsor Second African Water Well

As experts in metal finishing services including electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating, we carry out metal plating for a variety of industries all over the world. Last year, we shared the news that the water well we sponsored for AquAid had been built and was in full working order out in Africa.

Making a Difference in the Lives of Those Less Fortunate

Our relationship with AquAid remains the same; they do an excellent job of supplying the us offices with water coolers, so we decided to go ahead and sponsor another well. We were really pleased to learn that our last well made a huge difference to people’s lives in that village, so we decided to continue with the good work. Obviously, we are very proud to be associated with such an amazing project, and delighted to be able to make such a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

You may have noticed that we have a badge of support on our website, to let people know about this great cause, and show our commitment to helping Aquaid’s recent project installing the elephant pumps in parts of Africa.

Who are AquaAid and What Do They Do?

Aquaid raises funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, such as schools and villages. And for every water bottle that we get from Aquaid for the us offices, a donation is made to the The Africa Trust.

UK Metal Plating Services

For more information about us and the metal plating services that we offer, including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, and copper plating, please call us on our phone number, email us at or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the us website.

Types of Electroless Nickel Plating and the Different Benefits of Each

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we offer a range of metal plating services which all have different properties. Here’s a guide to our main services, including the benefits of each.

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 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. Other advantages include low porosity, pit-free deposits and a very stable and robust coating.

Nickel PTFE Plating

Nickel PTFE plating is a unique 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.

Nickel Boron Plating

Nickel boron is a surface deposit coating that can be applied to a wide range of metals including steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, aluminium, cobalt alloys, copper alloys, and titanium. It is a great alternative to chrome plating and has many benefits, including excellent wear and corrosion resistance. It is also resistant to fretting and galling, resistant to abrasion, ductile, solderable and has excellent rigidity.

Nickel Diamond Plating

The features of nickel diamond plating enable it to provide a highly corrosion and wear resistant coating. Due to the electroless chemical method of deposition, nickel diamond plating is able to cover surfaces with perfect uniformity. Therefore, regardless of the geometry of the component, the nickel diamond coating creates a uniform deposition on all areas of the part, even on recesses and holes. Nickel diamond plating has many other benefits which make it a superior choice of coating, including hardness and increased thermal transfer.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on our phone number or email us at to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements. We are able to talk you through the different services that we offer, and provide more details on the benefits of each one.

Explaining the Process of Electroless Nickel Plating

Here at us, our metal finishing experts regularly carry out the process of electroless nickel plating. As professional electroless nickel platers, we have put together a step by step guide that will explain the process of electroless nickel plating and how it works.

Unlike electroplating, there is no need to pass an electric current through the bath of chemical solution to initiate the plating process. The metal surface instead goes through a series of cleaning and auto-catalytic reactions, described below.

Pre-treatment Process

Before the process of electroless nickel plating can begin, the surface of the substrate goes through a pre-treatment process. During this process it is cleaned with a series of chemicals which remove oils and other corrosive elements from the surface of the metal.

Activation of the Substrate

Once the substrate has been cleaned sufficiently, it can be activated with an acid etch or proprietary solution which prepares the surface for a deposit of the plating material.

Corrosion Resistant Coating

Once the plating process has been carried out, the electroless nickel coating has the result of making the component highly corrosion resistant. A coating of this type will provide superior corrosion protection in a number of environments where corrosion resistance is necessary for the longevity of the part and protection of the component. Electroless nickel acts as a barrier coating that protects the substrate underneath by providing a pore free barrier coating against the corrosive environment.

Choosing an EN Coating Based on the Nature of the Corrosive Environment

When selecting a type of electroless nickel coating for optimum performance, it’s important to consider the nature of the corrosive environment and the deposit’s resistance to corrosion through environmental factors.

Optimising the Performance of Electroless Nickel Coatings

In order for the performance of electroless nickel coatings to be optimised for maximum corrosion protection, the coating must provide a number of properties. For example, the electroless nickel coating must be continuous and free of any microporosity, roughness, nodules and irregularities within the microstructure.

UK Based Metal Finishing and Metal Hardening Company

For more information about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used to provide superior corrosion resistance, please visit the us website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email

New Ultra-Large Electroless Nickel Plating Line at us

We are pleased to announce the installation of a new, ultra-large plating line at our metal finishing and plating factory in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. This will be our 6th nickel line and has been designed to accommodate very large pieces of up to 12 metres long and 3 metres high.

World’s Largest Electroless Nickel Plating Tank

Commercial Director of us, Marcus Hill said: “Due to the increasing demand for a nickel plating line that can take very large components, we have met the needs of our customers with exactly that. The new nickel plating line will adhere to our usual high standards of quality and safety, and will mean that size will never be a limit for plated parts. We believe that we now have the largest electroless nickel plating tank in the world, with the capacity to plate items 12 metres in length.”

Expansion of Production Capacity

2014 was a busy year for us when we closed the deal on a funding boost that allowed us to expand our nickel plating services. As leaders in the market place for providers of electroless nickel plating services, we were really pleased to be able to expand our capabilities and production capacity. And this new, large nickel plating line will expand our services even further!

Metal Finishing Services at us

Here at us, we have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process and we also offer a variety of other surface treatments. Just last year, we expanded our services to include nickel PTFE plating, nickel diamond plating, tin plating and nickel boron plating, in addition to our already well established services of diffused nickel plating, copper plating and electroless nickel plating.

All our line staff are time served in their own disciplines, meaning that every job is managed by personnel with a knowledge and understanding of the specialist process of electroless nickel plating. For more information, please call us on our phone number or email