Archive for September 28, 2015

To Be Or Not To Be? That Is The Automotive Question

Before you decide what coating you need to enhance the surface of any metal, you should first think about your operating environment and the impact the coating in question could have, what it could be and what it definitely should not be.

Specialised coatings are used to:

  • Enhance metal surfaces permanentlyMINIandClassicMini
  • Solve wear
  • Prevent corrosion
  • Increase lubrication
  • Decrease release problems

The Automotive Industry

In this industry, surface coating usage has grown hugely over the last fifty years.  It was then that the internal combustion engine was usually manufactured out of cast iron, forged steel and die-cast aluminium alloysHeat treatment was combined with white metal or bronze bearings in order to provide wear surfaces.  These were lubricated by the oil films pumped through large expanses created between moving surfaces. Though they operate in the same way, cars and their engines today must last greater distances, adhere to emissions regulation and aim for  reduced consumption of fuel in order for lighter engines, lower engine tolerance and lower friction between moving parts.  This has meant that a wider array of coatings has become necessary to overcome certain common problems, such as wear, corrosion and friction and aid the long-life performance that our modern cars need.

Automotives Bare All

  • Piston crowns are often coated with thermal insulated ceramic coatings, usually in diesel engines.
  • Mating cylinder linings can be coated with electrolytic or electroless plated composite finishes Silicon carbide, diamond or boron nitride.
  • Fuel storage and delivery systems need electroless nickel plating (especially in bio fuel consuming cars), frequently enhanced by powder coatings or e-coat top coats.
  • Brakes require hard anodising, enhanced by applying paint or powder coating top coats.
  • Brake systems, fluid delivery pipework and air suspension systems use ductile zinc nickel plating.
  • Motors contain neodymium, iron, boron magnets which need TriCem coating and heat treatment, to enhance magnetic performance but to leave the alloys unaffected.

Specialist Plating Company, NiTEC UK

NiTEC UK, Derbyshire, are leading specialists in the plating industry, specialising in electroless nickel plating.  We have developed a wide range of techniques and are able to provide high-end, cost-effective services for you.  We have great experience working with many companies in the automotive industry, as well as the aerospace and military industries, too.  We service the whole of the UK, France, Holland, Brazil and Germany, offering many services, such as nickel diamond plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shot blasting and heat treatment.

Contact Us at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in finding out more about any of our specialist treatments then please give our friendly and professional team a call today on 0845 224 3571, you can send us an email at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can visit our website by clicking here.

 

The Treat of Heat

The Wallwork Group are set to celebrate the next phase of their programme of great expansion which is enabling them to offer a more extensive service of heat treatments and development services.  To celebrate this, they are going to be exhibiting at the Advanced Engineering Show 2015 at Birmingham NEC from the 4th-5th November this year.

Vacuum Packed Britain

Wallwork Group service clients in a variety of industries including that of the aerospace, motorsport, medical nuclear and engineering services, providing a nationwide  service from their three sites – Manchester, Birmingham and Cambridge.

A £2 million investment programme has driven the expansion of Wallwork Group in its three locations across Britain.  As part of this expansion they have built on their already well established expertise in vacuum brazing, doubling the company’s capacity at the Cambridge site.  They have also added a new state-of-the-art vacuuComputerised_Heat_Treatment_Furnancem brazing workshop to the Manchester site in order for them to expand their national coverage.  Each establishment has an array of vacuum furnaces which enable components to be efficiently processed and offer bespoke development to full scale volume processing.  The Cambridge site is looking to be extended further as a greater capacity is still apparently needed.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

The process of nitride is offered in multiple ways by the Wallwork Group, embracing thermal treatments like salt baths and computer controlled furnace treatment.

The Manchester branch specialises in the treatment of aluminium and magnesium alloy treatments which now have the accreditation of the international aerospace Nadcap standard.  Birmingham has become the company’s centre of excellence for engineering components of large size, as it has one of the largest, most advanced Seco Warwick vacuum furnaces across the UK.

Heat Treatment Solutions From NiTEC

NiTEC offer heat treatments which can be used for stress relieving and de-embrittlement purposes and can be used as both a pre-plate and post-plate treatment.  High temperature heat treatments solutions are also offered which last for substantial lengths of time.  These diffuse an electroless nickel layer in the steel, giving flexibility to the coating, whilst keeping the deposits corrosion protection levels high.  NiTECs heat treatment furnaces range from 0 to 700 °C and staff use chart recording equipment in order for temperature changes to be monitored and recorded of the furnace itself and the work, too.  Through this, staff are enabled to create heat treatment profiles to work out shotblasting solutions.

NiTEC Heat Treatments, Sheffield

Here at NiTEC UK, we are experts in heat treatment solutions.  If you would like to find out more about heat treatment or any of the other metal plating services that we offer, such as electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating and shotblasting, please call our friendly and professional team on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@NiTEC-enp.co.uk or alternatively, you can get in touch with us via our contact page.

 

Electroless Nickel Plating – The Accidental De-scovery

During analysis of something else entirely, Brenner and Riddell actually resulted in discovering electroless nickel plating purely by mistake.  It was in 1946 that they noted the additive NaH2PO2 actually caused cathode efficiencies of 100% and more, in a nickel plating bath, leading them directly to the conclusion that a chemical reduction was indeed taking place.  Initially, they named this process electrodeless plating, but when the name autocatalytic was adopted the –de was discarded, creating the word electroless which we still use today.  Nearly 70 years later, electroless nickel plating has developed massively in to one of the most substantial sectors of the NaH2PO2metal finishing industry, with the coatings being readily available to both engineers and
designers for over half a century.

The Pros of Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP)

  • ENP is a high quality, cost effective solution to coat metals like stainless steel.
  • ENP can dramatically elongate a components longevity.
  • ENP deposits a metal layer of equal thickness all over the surface of a component, despite its shape or size.
  • The uniformity of the coating is favoured by engineers working in the industries of defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace.
  • ENP is highly corrosion resistant, so is ideal in harsh environments like the marine, oil, gas and defence industries.
  • ENP prevents rust formation from occurring.
  • Due to ENP’s corrosion resistance, it reduces the cost and frequency of repairs and replacements needed on stainless steel parts (for example).
  • The quality of components coated with ENP noticeably improves.
  • ENP acts as a protective layer from wear because it is self-lubricating and therefore reduces the friction of the component in question.
  • When a component is EN plated, it is guaranteed not to chip or flake, unlike other substances used as top coats, such as paint or lacquer.
  • ENP can be hardened up to 950vhn through the use of heat treatment if substantial friction and wear are issues.
  • Pit-free deposits are created using ENP.
  • ENP acts as an excellent adhesive to other substrates like aluminium and copper.
  • ENP causes components to have a lower percentage of porosity.
  • Components are non-magnetic after being EN plated.
  • Staining is much less likely to occur once ENP has taken place.

 

Suppliers of Electroless Nickel Plating

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire, UK, company, who are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating or ENP for short.  If this process is something you or your business would like to find out more about, then please give our friendly and professional team a call on 0845 224 3571, send us an email at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can  get in touch with us through our contact page.  Visit our website to find out more about other metal plating services, too, such as diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shotblasting and aqua blasting.

 

 

The Importance of…Electroless Nickel Plating and the Benefits

You may be aware of Electroless Nickel (EN) plating, but do you know all about the process of EN and how it could help you in your industry?  This article informs you about the concentration ranges, the environmental legislation by which EN complies and flags up specific industries which it is now prevalent in.  Could Electroless Nickel plating help you?

Process This

The process of Electroless Nickel plating is autocatalytic – A controlled reaction between a nickel-phosphorous alloy and a metal or plastic substrate, electroless-nickel-plating-company-chesterfieldwithout the use of electric current or other external electrical power supply.  The metal being used in submerged in an aqueous solution called a bath, during this chemical reaction.  An agent within the bath, normally sodium hypophosphite, acts as a reducing agent, releases hydrogen, which reacts with the metals ions producing a negative surface charge.  This creates nickel alloy as a deposition on to the metal or plastic substrate.  This method is a reliable, repeatable typical thickness layer which is known to prevent the need for post-plate grinding.  Electroless Nickel plating is often thought highly of due to its mechanical properties, stabilities and brightness which the plating obtains.  This process also provides superior corrosion protection, solderability, lubrication and wear resistance.  Due to these reasons, it has been widely used in the Automotive, Aerospace, printed circuit board industry and Military fields and can be applied to a wide range of base materials such as aluminium, titanium, stainless steel, copper brass and die-cast zinc.  This shows the usage flexibility of Electroless Nickel plating, thanks to its three phosphorus concentration ranges: low (2-5%), mid (6-9%) and high (10-13%).  It is beneficial to these industries because it helps them comply with specific environmental legislations, such as End of Life Vehicle (ELV), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), to name but a few.

Anything Chrome Can Do, ENP Can Do Better

Electroless Nickel plating is now a good alternative for industries, such as Automotive, Aerospace, printed circuit board and Military, rather than chrome technology – It is more energy efficient, falls inside the engineering requirements and reduces the amount of hazardous waste matter introduced into the environment in comparison to chrome technology.

Electroless Nickel Plating Company, Derbyshire, UK

Here at NiTEC UK, we are experts in the process of Electroless Nickel plating. To find out more about our Electroless Nickel plating and other metal plating services, please call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.