Archive for Electroless nickel plating

Everything you need to know about Shot Blasting

shot-blasting-electroless-nickel-plating-nitecShot blasting is a key factor in the fabrication process.  It is essential so that a clean finish can be provided in order for welding to be undertaken.  It also enables a keyed surface to be produced so that paint can be accepted by the prepared façade.

The Process of Shot Blasting

Shot blasting is undertaken by shot being fired or ‘blasted’ directly at steel, yes, the process is all in the name.  The force of the shot being blasted at the surface of the steel displaces dirt and scale, therefore cleaning the steel and preparing it for the welding process.  This is due to the indentations caused by the shot repeatedly hitting the steel surface, creating a rough texture, which is approximately 70 microns deeps.  Due to this abrasion, it enables paint to stick properly and long term to the steel surface, which creates protection and aids longevity to a component part.

Shot Blasting and Electroless Nickel Plating

The shot blasting preparation is often performed prior to the electroless nickel plating process, but for this to happen the surface preparation must be high quality and thorough, which is why shot blasting is used.  To achieve the ultimate final surface finish, chemical cleaning and activation processes, such as aluminium oxide 180-220 grit are used.  By choosing NiTEC UK to undertake your shot blasting and electroless nickel plating solutions, you know that the standards met will be the highest every time.  At NiTEC UK, the stainless steel shot blasting booth has the capacity to take 216m³.  This minimises the particles which settle on the component parts during their shot blasting or heat treatment processes.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in the shot blasting process, electroless nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then get in touch with NiTEC UK?  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the plating industry offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are high-end as well as also being cost effective.  We have experience of working for many different industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We offer our services to the whole of the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk if you need more information.

 

Nickel Plating and the Heatsink Saving

diffused-nickel-plating-company-coatingTechnical Giants, Thermalright, have recently announced their latest heatsink, multilingual Le Grand Macho.  It is an upgraded, amended version of the pre-existing HR22, which is more economical for buyers whose budgets cannot quite stretch to the HR22.  It is made up of three different types of metal, which include aluminium, pure copper and nickel plating.  It has been designed to replace an active stock Intel heatsink during passive operation, making sure that there is sufficient air flow provided.  When it is paired with a fan, the duo work together to dissipate 300W of heat and the copper base creates compatibility with a large array of different processors, including Intel.  This new heatsink model is soon to be available in the UK and can be chosen in silver and anodised black finish.

Nickel Plating Information

There are two types of Nickel PlatingElectroless Nickel Plating (ENP) and Diffused Nickel Plating.

Diffused Nickel Plating is a simple process which is the most effective nickel coating and ensures a high level of resistance against corrosion due to its total encapsulation method of plating.  It has been proven that the corrosion resistance is more effective than that of the highest grade stainless steel, whilst at the same time being much cheaper.  Diffused Nickel Plating is the perfect plating method for marine and salt environments, so much so that it is given 30 years sub-sea guarantee.

In a similar way, Electroless Nickel Plating is a high quality, cost effective metal coating solution which can substantially extend the life of components.  It also is extremely well resisted against corrosion and used frequently in the marine, oil and defence industries.    Electroless Nickel Plating aids the prevention of rust, wear and friction.  It can be hardened, too, by the use of heat treatment and it is guaranteed that it will not chip or flake, like paint or varnish can do.

Diffused Nickel Plating and Electroless Nickel Plating

What is different between the two methods of Nickel Plating, is the way in which the processes are undertaken.  It has already been deciphered that Diffused Nickel Plating occurs via a total encapsulation plating method but this is not the same for Electroless Nickel Plating.  This occurs when a layer of metal is deposited of even thickness all over the surface of a component, despite the shape of it.  This uniform coating is perfect for components which are used in industries, such as, Healthcare, Defence, Automotive and Aerospace, where the components are often not standard and need to be hygienic.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then why not get in touch with NiTEC UK?  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the plating industry offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are only high-end and also cost effective.  We have experience of working for a large array of industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We offer our services to the whole of the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel Plating takes precedence in new DIY Water Cooling Kit

Thermaltake_fans_nickel_plating_cooling_NiTECClosed-loop water cooling kits are often used in computers or gaming PCs but do not have the greatest of reputations when it comes to safety, though they may be convenient.  Instead, enthusiast are using custom kits due to their performance and the fact that they can customize them to be just as they need them to be.  The new Thermaltake Pacific R360 D5 water cooling kit seems to be a great hit so far this year, because it has everything enthusiast builders need, and everything is all in one box!

DIY Water Cooling Kit in a Box

Inside this Pandora’s box of goodies (for some of us) you will find:

  • A CPU water block – has a copper base an anti-corrosive nickel plating. Block is claimed to fit all modern CPU sockets
  • A D5 pump and reservoir
  • A 360mm slim radiator
  • Six Compression fittings
  • Three Ring 12 LED blue radiator fans – hydraulic bearing and anti-vibration mounting system. This also aids the aesthetics as well as make the cooler quiet.
  • A length of tubing
  • Thermaltake 1000 Blue Coolant
  • Extra accessories – often ordered extras to improve the external appearance of the water cooling kit.

 

What does Nickel Plating do?

The CPU water block has a base made out of copper and anti-corrosive nickel plating.  What does nickel plating do to help?  Due to it being so corrosion resistant, its life is drastically extended, which means that part replacement occurs much less frequently than with other coating types, materials or if left uncoated.  Rust is unable to form where nickel plating has occurred and therefore the quality of the components is improved.  Nickel plating is great because it deposits itself evenly over a surface which not only looks nicer aesthetically, but it also makes the component a lot more durable and hard wearingNickel plating is the perfect solution for components which a subjected to a high amount of friction, wear or use and if it is treated properly, with the appropriate heat treatment, it will not chip or flake either like a top coat of paint or lacquer does.

 

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in plating, such as electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel platingheat treatment or have a special project which requires specialist assistance, then why not contact NiTEC UK?  We are Derbyshire based, leading specialists in the plating industry who offer a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are not only high-end but also cost effective.  We have experience of working for the computing, aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few and offer our services to the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

 

What to Consider before you Electroplate

tin-plating-company

Are you thinking about having parts electroplated?  Here are the most important things you need to take in to consideration before and during the process…

What should you consider Pre Electroplating?

 

  • Nesting

Electroplating involves electrical and chemical reactions on the surface of the part you are wanted to be plated, so exposure is crucial to the result of the final product.  Parts which are nesting will lack adhesion and therefore coverage on the final product.

  • Tolerance

The tolerance on vital dimensions on the part in question should be designated with the plating thickness in mind.  This is should be accounted for when the pieces are ready for assembly after the products have been through the chemical process.

  • Environment and exposure

What is your product going to be exposed to?  A high amount of friction, heat or sea spray?  This is essential for negotiating the thickness of the necessary plating required to maintain the resistance, corrosion and rust protection of the part in question.

  • Geometry

Electroplating involves using a current in order for the reaction to be initiated on the surface of a part, which means that the geometry of the parts surface will influence the distribution of electroplating across the surface.  This is called current density.  It is normal that plating builds up in parts which have sharp corners, bends and threads but it can be prevented if specialists use advanced plating processes.

  • Drainage

The preparation of the surface of a part needing plating must be correct so that the inside surfaces of a part will be sufficiently covered when the process is completed.  This is so that the plating will have the correct bond strength for plating to have been carried out correctly and for the part to have ultimate protection and increase its longevity.  This, for some parts, may mean they need to have a weep hole create during their design phase, so that this can be achieved.

  • Usage

It must be clear what your intended use is for the part you are needing plating.  Make it clear to your specialists what the use and required characteristics are of the part.  Important features include conductivity, low friction, high strength, corrosion resistance, wear, exposure to sea spray or water etc.  This will determine which metal your part is made from (eg. Copper, Nickel, Tin, etc), how your part should be finished and plated.

 

NiTEC UK and You

 

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company and we are leading specialists in the plating industry.  We offer an array of well-developed, high-end techniques which are cost effective and reliable.  We have extensive experience working for industries, such as aerospace, medical, army and automotive and offer our services to the UK, France, Germany, Holland and Brazil.  If you need plating services such as electroless nickel plating, copper plating or heat treatments, then contact us today by calling our friendly and professional team on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to be taken directly to our website and view the services we offer for yourself.

 

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s NiTEC

LED_lights

2008 saw the beginning of the EU process which took four years to put in to place, preventing incandescent light bulbs from being sold.  This was because they performed inadequately and were not eco-friendly due to the high amount of electricity they consumed.  The LED has therefore taken its place on our supermarket shelves, as they are proven to be much more efficient.

Plating Industries

The electronic and automotive industries, as well as most British households and road engineers for road lighting applications, are using LED lights.  The LED substrate can be silver plated either conventionally by rack or less conventionally by reel-to-reel plating procedures.  Plating differs depending on the thickness, and ranges from 20 to 150 A/dm², normally.

Bright Lights

How are LED lights so bright?  This is due to a low free-cyanide silver process which contains brightener additives.  This creates high luminosity.  These LEDs are much more eco-friendly, cost effective and use a fraction of the amount of electricity of an incandescent light bulb.

Heat Treatment gets the Deep Treatment

The silver deposits used to plate the LEDs were initially heated for 60 minutes at 200° and then for 120 minutes at the lower temperature of 170°C but it was quickly identified that significant reflectivity was lost during this.  So it was decided that a post-dip was going to be used in order to prevent the reflectivity loss, in the form of an aqueous treatment post heat treatment.  This seems to have worked, having been tested on multiple different types of nickel, at higher temperatures and with the nickel being treated for shorter lengths of time (up to 1 minute), as the GAM measurements do not diminish dramatically at all.  Thus, proving the effectiveness of the combination of plating, heat treatment and the post-dip aqueous treatment as a trio.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in plating, such as electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating, heat treatment or have a special project which you require specialist assistance with, then why not get in touch with NiTEC UK?  We are Derbyshire based, leading specialists in the plating industry who can offer you a wide range of well-developed techniques which are not only high-end but also cost effective.  We have experience of working for the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few and offer our services to the whole of the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Why not get in touch with us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Boeing up in the World

Boeing_777_electroless_nickel_plating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The famous aeroplane makers, Boeing, have found what seems to be the “Lightest Metal Ever” known as microlattice.  This is a material which is 99.9% air!  Developed in California, it is a way for planes and even rockets to have their weight reduced.  This 3D open cellular polymer structure will reduce the amount of fuel a plane needs to use during take off, flying and landing.  Currently, Boeing are looking in to using this structure internally on their planes in areas such as the overhead compartments, under the floor and in other fixtures to create a modern internal environment for passengers.

Boeing and Electroless Nickel Plating

Researchers decided that the 3D open cellular polymer structure should be coated with electroless nickel plating, in order to give the structure the required strength, because the web of nickel-phosphorus alloy lattice tubes are only just 100 nanometres thick.  The theory behind using this new structure coated with electroless nickel plating is a lot more advanced in the theory of aeronautical engineering, so has not been trialed yet for space-bound vehicles.  However, it is known that it would be used for exactly the same weight saving reasons to go to space, but also because it has the ability to compress, too, which could mean that objects sent in to space could expand after launch, reducing cargo hold space.  More, evidence will be needed though, before this is trialled as part of a space-bound launch, but nevertheless is a very exciting move forward in science.

Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating as a high quality, cost effective solution for metal coating, elongating the life of a component dramatically, because it leaves an equal thickness metal layer deposit all over the surface of a component, no matter what size or shape it is.  It is ideal for use in harsh environment as it is corrosion resistant, rust is prevented from forming and does not chip or flake which reduces the cost and frequency of repairs and replacement needed.  Electroless nickel plating can be hardened up to 950vhn, is self-lubricating and is non-magnetic.  These are just some of the advantages of electroless nickel plating.  If you would like to find out more then you can find out more by contacting NiTEC UK, the leading suppliers of electroless nickel plating.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

NiTEC UK are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating (ENP) and have a friendly and professional team who are more than happy to help you with any query you may have at any time.  If electroless nickel plating is something you or your business would like to find out more about, then please contact us on 0845 224 571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to go directly to our website.  Our website contains information about other services we provide, such as diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shot blasting and heat treatment.

Plating to Perfection

metal plating company OscarThey were first designed in 1928.  They are made in Chicago.  They are plated in copper, nickel and silver before being coated in 24-carat gold.  What are we talking about?  An Oscar!

These 14 inch, 8.5 pound statuettes are the literally the definition of perfection in more ways than one.  If they are not perfect, then the makers are lead to starting the statuettes from scratch, time and time again.  But once they are deemed perfect, they are guaranteed for life!  The iconic Art Deco Academy Award takes a long 10 days to repeat from start to finish, partly because there is only one Oscar mould and also because so many processes take place in their production, such as electroplating.

About the Oscar

It was designed by Cedric Gibbons, the MGM art director, who sketched the subjected standing on a film reel with five spokes.  These five spokes represent the original five branches of the Academy and was originally called the Academy Award of Merit.  Each Oscar is engraved with a serial number and now over 3,000 Oscars have been awarded.  These Oscars may begin their lives in Chicago but one classified as ‘perfect’ are packaged and flown, with guards, to Los Angeles for the award ceremony.  An interesting fact about Oscars is that although they are guaranteed for life, if they are damaged, an actor can send them back and have them either replaced or restored to their former glory.  They are meant to be priceless objects and there is an act to say that they are not resalable.  However, this electroplated objects of splendour have continued to be traded in the shadows with some of the highest sales exceeding $250,000 and Michael Jackson paid $1.5million for a Best Picture award for Gone With The Wind 1939 in 1999.

Find Out More About NiTEC UK Today

If you are interested in finding out more about any of the plating processes which you have read about in this article, such as copper plating, electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating, then why not get in touch with NiTEC UK today?  We are leading specialists in the plating industry based in Derbyshire, England, and offer an array of developed techniques which are both high-end and cost effective.  We work in the aerospace, automotive and medical industries to name but a few and we offer our services to the UK, France, Holland, Brazil and Germany.  So if you need plating done to perfection, call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

ABCD – Aluminium, Boron, Coating, Diamonds

Over the last decade, the demand for aluminium moulds has increased dramatically but consistently and apparently this shows no sign of slowing down, changing or ceasing all together.  Metal coatings are provided for a range of fabricated metal components, but the largest business currently is mould coating and plating.  Specifically the demand for aluminium itself is increasing.  This is because companies have begun to discover that that aluminium moulds can last longer, much longer, than what they were predicted.  The extra longevity of the aluminium moulds can be enhanced further if buyers opt for the mould to be plated with electroless nickel.  This is a cost effective way to extend the life of aluminium tooling and has become extremely popular with automotive suppliers.  Alternatives to aluminium coating or plating can be nickel boron plating and nickel diamond plating which are also popular but aluminium remains the optimum and is only set to continue growing in demand.

Nickel Boron Plating

Nickel boron is a surface deposit coating that can be applied to many different metals including stainless steel, aluminium and titanium.  It acts as a great alternative to chrome plating and has many benefits, which include extending wear and corrosion resistance.  The nodular structure of nickel boron reduces drag in aerodynamic and fluids in circumstances such as ship propellers, down-hole oil crude oil pumping equipment, automotive and truck transmissions and greaseless guns.

Nickel Diamond Plating

Nickel Diamond Plating is where electroless nickel deposits are combined with particles of diamonds.  Many substrates can be coated using this method such as carbon, aluminium, stainless steel and alloys.  Substrates, once coated in this, become extremely highly corrosion and wear resistant and therefore have a much increased lifespan.  Part maintenance and replacement costs are reduced dramatically, as are the costs for such.  This is a popular technique in industries such as textile industry, wood working tools, computer parts, paper handling equipment, automotive water pumps, chemical process pumps and gage blocks.nickel-diamond-plating-nitec

NiTEC UK, the Specialist Plating Company

NiTEC UK are leading specialist in the plating industry, specialising in electroless nickel plating and are based in Derbyshire, England.  We have a wide range of developed techniques available to provide high-end and cost effective services for you.  We have a great deal of experience working with companies in the automotive, aerospace and military industries and offer our services to the whole of the UK, France Holland, Brazil and Germany.

Call NiTEC UK today

If you are interested in finding out more about electroless nickel plating, nickel boron plating or nickel diamond plating, then why not get in touch without friendly and professional staff team today?  Call us today on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or you can go directly on to our website by clicking here.

Electroplating and Electroless Plating – Less is More!

less-is-more-electroless-nickel-plating

The success of many products, which a lot of us are probably unaware of, are dependent on the application of surface engineering.  Such a huge amount of products, both commercial and industrial, are needy of it.  These include aeroplanes, computers, cars, trains, buildings, medical implants, mobile phones, and electronic devices – what would you do for a week without having just the products that have been listed?

The Electroplating Process

Electroplating is a process of surface engineering.   This is where metal coating is applied to a metallic or other conducting surface by and electrochemical process.  This process uses electric current in order to form a coherent coating on an electrode.  Electroplatings number one use is to change the surface properties of an object, such as the wear resistance, lubricity, corrosion protection and abrasion, for example.  It also builds up the thickness on objects, too.

The Electroless Plating Process

Electroless plating is a high quality, cost effective and eco-friendly solution to coating metals like stainless steel, as it can dramatically enhance the life expectancy.   The main difference between electroplating and electroless plating (yes, is in the name!) is that no electricity is used in the process of electroLESS plating.  Electroplating baths are used and are closely monitored as the parts must have a constant power supply directly provided to them in order for the ion attraction to be initiated in the bath contained solution on to the metallic surface of the submerged object.  This is when the chemical reaction occurs as the ions are being reduced and oxidised.

What does Plating help with?

  • Creates adhesion
  • Creates even coverage
  • Can add thickness to plated object
  • Weep holes can be added for drainage
  • Plating can carried out on many types of metal including electroless nickel plating
  • Conductor
  • Has low friction
  • Adds strength
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Makes objects hard wearing

Electroless Nickel Plating

NiTEC are experts in Electroless Nickel Plating, also known as ENP.  We are leading suppliers in Derbyshire who perform the electroless nickel plating process as well as many other processes to the highest of specifications to suit your needs.  We undertake diffused nickel plating, copper plating, nickel diamond plating, tin plating and many other processes.  If you are interested in these processes and want to ask us to perform these processes for your company or wish to find out more information then why not contact us today.  Call our highly respected staff on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or you can go directly to our website by clicking here to find out more about whichever process you desire.

 

Choose the Right Coating to Maximise Product Optimisation in the Automotive World

The idea of a specialised coating is for the surface of metals to be permanently enhanced by them.  This can be used on other substrates as well and on many components and equipment, too.  These specialised coatings, in effect, act as a deterrent and solve wear, corrosion, lubricant and release problems.   But to choose the best coating for you, the most important things which must be taken in to consideration is the operating environment.

Put a Coat on!

Surface coating usage has grown enormously in the automotive industry over the last fifty years.  Initially, the internal combustion engine was usually manufactured from cast iron, forged steels and die-cast aluminium alloysHeat treatment provided the wear surface for these elements along with white metal or bronze bearings.  They were oiled and lubricated to allowance clearance between moving surfaces.  Half a century later, this method is still used today, though we need and expect more out of our cars.  We expect them to last longer, drive considerably more substantial distances and we need them to abide by our emissions regulations now, too – no mean feat!  In case that wasn’t enough, we expect our cars to do all of this with less fuel and lighter engines which have a lower tolerance to engineering and lower friction between their moving parts.  Due to this, a wider range of materials and coating variety have been required by us all, so that the wear, corrosion and friction problems and expectations could be overcome.

Automotive Parts and Protective Coatings

Piston rings, skirts and pins are coated frequently by hard-wearing, low friction coatings.  This is to hengine-block-nitecelp the initial running-in and advocates long-life performance.  It also helps with lower oil lubrication levels which are commonly associated with cold engine starts and reduces the amount of lubricant allowed to enter the combustion chamber.  Ceramic coatings provide the thermal insulation of piston crowns, usually in diesel engines, where increased and high temperature thermal spray or vacuum use methods are often practiced.

Mating cylinder linings can be coated with electrolytic or electroless plated composite finished which incorporate hard particles of silicon carbide, diamond or boron nitride.  The engines design and performance influence are what enable the design engineer to make the coating choice.

Bio fuels have caused a large amount of corrosive issues with the fuel input systems, fuel storage and fuel delivery systems.  There are a great array of thin coatings which can be applied to these areas in order to prevent corrosion from occurring such as electroless nickel plating which is often enhanced with the use of powder coating or e-coat top coats.

Contact NiTEC UK

NiTEC UK are leading suppliers who are experts in electroless nickel plating.  We are a Derbyshire based company who undertake many processes to the highest spec for you.  These include diffused nickel plating, shot blasting, nickel boron plating, nickel diamond plating and so much more.  So, if you are interested in finding out more about these processes then give our friendly and professional staff a call on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk.  Alternatively, you can click here and go directly to our website to find out more about us and our processes.

 

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.

 

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.

3 Reasons to Choose Electroless Nickel Plating Over Galvanisation

What is 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. Hot-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.

galvanised metalHot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable.

Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to 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, here are 3 reasons why you should choose electroless nickel plating as an alternative to galvanisation.

  1. Durability and Corrosion Resistance

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.

  1. Uniform Coating

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.

  1. Cost Effectivity

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.

Electroless Nickel Plating

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

Nickel Plating: The Perfect Metal Coating to Protect Brake Calipers from Corrosion and Wear

nickel plated brake caliperBrake calipers are one of the most important parts of the breaking system of a car. They are a necessity in the process that allows your car to stop, therefore it is essential for them to be hardwearing and long lasting. As vital parts of a car’s breaking system, calipers squeeze the brake pads against the surface of the brake rotor in order to slow or stop the vehicle.

How do Brake Calipers Work?

In a disc-braking system the car’s wheels are attached to metal discs, or rotors, that spin along with the wheels. The brake caliper’s job is to slow down the wheels of the car by creating friction with the rotors. The brake caliper itself fits over the rotor like a clamp, and inside it is a pair of metal plates which have been bonded with friction material called brake pads.

Corrosion and Wear Protection

Nickel plated coatings are excellent at protecting steel from corrosion and wear. Electroless nickel plating is used in a variety of applications to extend the life of components, therefore, it is the perfect metal plating technique for brake calipers. Brake calipers are also exposed to a variety of difficult environments, for example heat, cold, summer, winter, snow and salt. Therefore, a corrosion resistant coating on brake calipers is very important to ensure the longevity of the cars braking system.

Nickel Plating on Bumpers, Wheels and Grilles

Electroless nickel can also be used on the bumpers, wheels and grilles of a car. The use of nickel plating on parts such as these is partly due to the fact that it looks good with its shine and bright finish. But nickel also provides excellent corrosion resistance, durability and wear resistance, as is often demanded by makers of vehicles.

Nickel plating is the perfect solution to creating hard wearing, corrosion resistant brake calipers as a nickel coating is a very effective way of coating and protecting steel. If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating and other metal plating services, why not ‘Like’ the NiTEC Facebook page or follow @nickelplating on Twitter for regular news, pictures and case studies. Alternatively, please call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about Electroless Nickel Plating

As experts in electroless nickel plating, we have put together a blog post of the top 5 most frequently asked questions about the process at NiTEC.

What are the Advantages of Electroless Nickel Plating?

electroless nickel plated componentsIn our opinion, the biggest advantage of an electroless nickel coating is that it will significantly extend the life of the component that it coats. Electroless nickel coatings deposit an even thickness over all surfaces, provide excellent wear and corrosion resistance, as well as hardness and lubricity. Electroless nickel deposits are very hard, and have hardness values in the range of 450 – 750 VHN, depending on the phosphorus content in the deposit. Generally, the higher the phosphorus content, the lower the as deposited hardness.

In Which Applications can Electroless Nickel be Used?

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a variety of applications. Whether you are looking to increase the strength of a pipe at its weakest level, protect the exterior of a material in a marine environment or you are looking for a new alternative to stainless steel, electroless nickel plating is a service that should be considered.

In Which Industries is Electroless Nickel Plating Commonly Used?

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a variety of industries including marine, oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, engineering, unique art, architecture, chemical equipment, railroad, molds, military, textiles, electronics and material handling.

How Can I Be Sure that Electroless Nickel Plating is a Quality Service?

At NiTEC, quality and service are of vital importance. We are committed to following our Quality Assurance Programme which is outlined in our Quality Manual, in accordance with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2008. All employees at NiTEC are responsible for implementing the recommendations outlined in the Quality Manual. These standards of quality are applicable to all of their activities and they are responsible for achieving the specified quality levels at all stages of work.

NiTEC is comprehensively equipped for all aspects of quality control and product testing. We also have the ability to carry out non-destructive testing for thickness and hardness, in order to ensure the highest levels of quality and accuracy at all times.

Nickel Plating Company in Chesterfield, 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.

The Composition and Structure of Electroless Nickel Plating

Component plated with high phosphorus electroless nickelThe structure of electroless nickel is responsible for the unique properties it possesses, making it such a useful metal coating. Electrodeposited nickel typically has a crystalline structure, whereas an electroless nickel deposit is normally described as having an amorphous structure or one consisting of ultra-fine crystallites. The amorphous nature of electroless nickel deposits become more dominant as the phosphorus content increases, and phosphorus contents above 10.5% are typically considered truly amorphous.

The absence of a well-defined crystal structure eliminates the possibility of inter-granular corrosion that can be a problem with crystalline deposits, such as electrolytic nickel. Electroless nickel, therefore, provides a barrier that is more effective at protecting a substrate from corrosion.

Heat Treatment and Electroless Nickel Plating

Heat treatment can also be used to change the properties and structure of nickel phosphorus deposits. High temperature heat treatment solutions for sustained periods can be used to diffuse the electroless nickel layer into the steel, giving a degree of flexibility to the coating. This process does not affect the increased corrosion protection offered by this type of deposit.

The Composition of Electroless Nickel Coatings

The phosphorus content of an electroless nickel coating has a great effect on the properties of the deposit, and can be varied over a wide range.

High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Coatings

For example, 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.

Medium Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Coatings

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.

Low Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Coatings

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.

Worldwide 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.

Top 5 Properties of Electroless Nickel Coatings

No other metal coating has the combination of properties offered by electroless nickel, which is why it is such a popular coating for a number of industries. As specialists in the process, we’ve put together the top 5 properties of electroless nickel plating.

Uniform Thickness

nickel plating technical figureElectroless nickel coatings can be applied in a variety of coating thicknesses. Electroless nickel can be deposited uniformly, with minimum variation from point to point. Regardless of the size and shape of the part, including recesses, holes, and complex dimensions, the uniformity of the coating can still be maintained. The range of thicknesses for electroless nickel coatings in commercial applications is 0.1 to 5 mils, however deposits as thick as 40 mils can be achieved.

Corrosion Resistance

One of the main reasons why electroless nickel plating is such a popular coating is the fact that it provides incredible corrosion resistance and corrosion protection. This property makes components coated with electroless nickel commonplace in functional applications. It is able to effectively withstand the combination of abrasion and corrosive chemicals, even in the most corrosive environments such as those encountered in drilling and producing oil wells.

Density

The density of electroless nickel coatings decline with increasing phosphorous content. That means that the higher the phosphorous content, the lower the density of the electroless nickel coating.

Adhesion

The surface preparation and activation of the electroless nickel plating is one of the most important factors for producing excellent adhesion. Electroless nickel deposits provide excellent adhesion to other substrates, for example 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.

Hardness

The hardness of electroless nickel coatings depends on the phosphorus content, and can be increased by heat treatment which will in turn increase wear resistance. Generally, low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings have a high hardness of 700-750 VPN and medium phosphorus electroless nickel has a hardness of 500-550 VPN. High phosphorous coatings are not usually heat-treated, but left as-plated for their superior corrosion protection.

Metal Plating Company in 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.

Latest Photos of New Electroless Nickel Plating Factory Building

As you can see from the latest photos, the structure for the new factory extension is well on the way. As readers of our blog will know, it’s all part of a massive expansion phase for NiTEC UK, which will create 4 new plating electroless nickel plating lines and room for plenty more heat treatment processes.

Biggest Plating Line in Europe

The new factory extension will create an extra 3,000 square foot of space and will allow us to handle components of up to 30 tonnes. We think that this will make NiTEC the proud owners of the biggest plating line in Europe, making us industry leaders in the process.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

We have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process and we also offer a variety of surface treatments including diffused nickel plating, copper platingnickel PTFE, nickel diamond, tin plating and nickel boron. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Further Electroless Nickel Plating for Designer Thomas Heatherwick

nickel plated extruded benchesAs readers of our blog will know, NiTEC UK had the pleasure of electroless nickel plating a number of extruded benches on behalf of the English designer Thomas Heatherwick. Heatherwick’s recent projects have included the Olympic Cauldron for the London Olympics and the Garden Bridge across the River Thames. These projects, and several others, have meant that Heatherwick’s popularity and exposure has increased dramatically over the past few months, boosting his profile as an incredibly well respected and admired designer.

Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge across the Thames

The Garden Bridge followed Transport for London’s tender for proposals to improve pedestrian links across the Thames. Thomas Heatherwick and British actor and campaigner Joanna Lumley developed an idea for a pedestrian ‘Garden Bridge’ across the river. The bridge would connect the North and South of the city with a garden, adding to London’s diverse horticultural heritage.

Nickel Plated Extruded Benches

Since the rise in Heatherwick’s profile, many pieces of work created by the designer have become very desirable. This includes his famous benches, which involve manufacturing aluminium components through an industrial process called extrusion.

The process involves squeezing heated metal through a shaped hole which is known as die. The heated metal produces straight aluminium lengths with a precisely shaped cross section. Extrusion often produces contorted shapes when the metal initially squeezes through the die because the metal is inclined to snag warp as it struggles to fit through the gap. The form eventually straightens out and usually during this process; the contorted end is chopped off and melted back down.

We are, of course, delighted to be electroless nickel plating further benches on behalf of Thomas Heatherwick, and also excited about the future of his design career. His recent projects have all been notable, and received positive feedback from many, so it’s great to be involved in another of his projects.

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.

Electroless Nickel Plating for Valve Components in Engineering Applications

We recently published a blog post regarding the use of electroless nickel for valves and flow control devices in the oil and gas industry. Although electroless nickel has been used successfully on ball valves in the oil and gas industry, it has been equally successful on valve components in other engineering applications too.

It is essential that valves can be opened and closed easily and reliably whenever necessary, even though no movement from a set position may have occurred over a long period of time. Protection of the stems from corrosion and abrasion can be achieved by coating with electroless nickel.

Electroless Nickel Coatings for Fire-Flow Valves

Butterfly valveElectroless nickel coatings have also been beneficial in the manufacture and performance of fire-flow valves due to their corrosion resistance, hardness, surface finish and lubricity. Fire-flow valves are required to provide a tight seal during normal operations and to act as shut off valves after inadvertent exposure to 650C.

Electroless nickel is also used on some critical safety valve applications. For example, blowout preventers are safety valves used to shut down oil and gas wells in emergency situations. A unit consists of a hydraulically operated ram, capable of cutting through the tubing carrying the oil and gas to seal the flow.

After testing, a unit is only required to operate once in an emergency but to ensure satisfactory performance, it is mandatory that no corrosion or physical damage occurs on the ram or sealing surfaces. Electroless nickel coatings are frequently used to provide the hardness and corrosion resistance required.

Corrosion Resistant Oil and Gas Coatings

NiTEC UK provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services for both onshore and offshore oil and gas applications. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plating for the Oil and Gas Industry

Electroless nickel plating has been a popular coating choice in the oil and gas industry for a number of years. It is used in a wide variety of applications within the industry mainly due to its uniform, thick deposit and superior corrosion resistance.

Many base materials that are typically used in the oil and gas industry are greatly enhanced by the application of electroless nickel, resulting in lower fabrication costs and extended service life. Shutdowns and delays in the oil and gas industry are very common because of the need to replace components, but as electroless nickel substantial extends the life of parts and components, a huge amount of money can be saved.

Electroless Nickel on Valves, Flow Control Devices and Ball Plugs

electroless nickel plated valve ballsElectroless nickel coatings are often used on valves and flow control devices due to their uniform thickness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. These parts are critical components in the operation of a well where good performance and long life are major economic factors. The coating also provides an excellent surface condition for ball plugs and improves the sealing at the seat areas. It’s now very common for mild steel ball valves to be coated with a layer of electroless nickel.

Applications of Electroless Nickel

There are lots of areas within the oil and gas industry where the application of electroless nickel has been successful. For example, in crude oil production at a plant in the Middle East where the gas contains 55% hydrogen sulphide and is processed at 80C, mild steel ball valves had a maximum life of three months, with failure occurring as a result of corrosion, surface cracking and erosion. However, by electroless nickel plating the valve components, their lives were extended and no surface deterioration was evident after two years of continuous service.

Similar benefits have been noted on ball valves at plants using the sea water injection system, which involves pumping sea water under high pressure in order to force the oil to the surface. At the Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia, 75 microns of electroless nickel on the valves had satisfactorily withstood the operating conditions to such an extent that no degradation of the coating was detectable after four years of operation.

Electroless Nickel Plating for Oil and Gas Applications

NiTEC UK provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services for both onshore and offshore oil and gas applications. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

The Biggest Electroless Nickel Plating Line in Europe Well Under Way

largest electroless nickel plating line in EuropeHere is the latest photograph of the new factory extension which is soon to be completed at NiTEC UK. After lots of hard work and extensive building work, the new factory extension will create an extra 3,000 square foot of space, and create another electroless nickel plating line. In fact, we have a suspicion that it will be the biggest plating line in Europe, making us industry leaders in the process.

Specialist Large Capacity Electroless Nickel Plating Line

The specialist electroless nickel plating line should be fully operational in the next few weeks and will include the installation of a state of the art crane, allowing us to handle components of up to 20 tonnes. Marcus Hill, the Commercial Director at NiTEC UK said: “The market is growing rapidly and our new plating line means that we can accommodate more work in response to this growth. We are really pleased to be able to respond even more quickly to our customers’ plating needs.”

Increasing Demand for Nickel Plating

“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 Europe, with the capacity to plate items 12 metres in length.”

Metal Finishing Services at NiTEC UK

Here at NiTEC UK, 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 platingtin plating and nickel boron plating, in addition to our already well established services of diffused nickel platingcopper 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 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

NiTEC Electroless Nickel Plate Extruded Benches for Thomas Heatherwick

nickel plated extruded benchesNiTEC UK have been lucky enough to be involved in the nickel plating of a number of extruded benches for English designer Thomas Heatherwick.

Known for his innovative designs and creative use of engineering and materials to produce public monuments and sculptures, Heatherwick works across the disciplines of architecture, art and design.

These amazing extruded benches began life in Heatherwick’s design and architecture studio when working on a project that involved manufacturing aluminium components through an industrial process called extrusion.

Extrusion and the Production of Contorted Shapes

The process of extrusion involves squeezing heated metal through a shaped hole which is known as die. The heated metal produces straight aluminium lengths with a precisely shaped cross section. Extrusion often produces contorted shapes when the metal initially squeezes through the die because the metal is inclined to snag warp as it struggles to fit through the gap. The form eventually straightens out and usually during this process; the contorted end is chopped off and melted back down.

But Heatherwick considered the mutated sections to be more interesting than the straight parts, and decided to produce more warped lengths of extruded aluminium on a much larger scale! The designer then wondered if it would be possible to use the extrusion process to create seating, much of which was needed at the time to furnish new airports and stations being built around the world. Heatherwick saw it as a simple but effective alternative to ordinary furniture that needed to be  made up of several components and materials. These extruded seats could be made all in one go, with the legs and back of the seat formed all at once.

Nickel Plating Aluminium Benches

So, the Heatherwick studio hunted for a machine capable of making this dream a reality for more than 16 years, until they finally came across a new extrusion machine that had been built in the Far East. The machine was designed for use in the aerospace industry and had the capability of exerting ten thousand tonnes of pressure. The factory it came from could not actually guarantee the outcome of the experiment because the machine had never been used to its full capacity.

Using this specialised die, Heatherwick and his studio staff made a series of aluminium benches with straight, extruded lengths, and contrasting raw, contorted ends. We were asked to carry out the electroless nickel plating of the benches in order to provide a high quality surface that would be very resistant to wear.

For more information about our recent case studies and details of other great projects that we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, check out the metal plating case studies page on the NiTEC website.

5 Great Properties of Electroless Nickel Plating

electroless nickel plated componentsNo 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, NiTEC 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.

Adhesion

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 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk to us about your electroless nickel plating requirements.

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.

electroless nickel plated componentLow 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 plated componentNickel 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

nickel diamond platingThe 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 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk 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

electroless nickel plated componentsHere at NiTEC UK, 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 Nitec website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email web@nitec-enp.co.uk

New Ultra-Large Electroless Nickel Plating Line at NiTEC UK

roller for packaging industryWe 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 NiTEC UK, 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 NiTEC UK 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 NiTEC UK

Here at NiTEC UK, 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 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

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

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.

5 Reasons to Choose Electroless Nickel Over Stainless Steel

electroless nickel plated componentDespite its name, stainless steel is not really fully stain proof. It doesn’t corrode, rust or stain easily with water as ordinary steel would do. But under conditions where there are low levels of oxygen, high levels of salt or poor circulation, stainless steel will stain and even corrode.

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we have put together a list of 5 reasons why we feel that nickel plating components is a better choice than manufacturing them from stainless steel.

Superior Hardness and Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel can be used in environments where corrosion resistance is important and where the levels of hardness of the metal are also important. However, electroless nickel plating mild steel can achieve the same effect, with properties of hardness and corrosion resistance actually exceeding the benefits offered by stainless steel.

Nickel Plating is Cheaper than Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a lot more expensive than mild steel or cast iron that has been electroless nickel plated. It is far more cost effective to electroless nickel plate parts made of mild steel or cast iron for the ultimate levels of corrosion resistance.

Meet Engineering Specifications

Electroless nickel plating can be carried out to exceptionally high levels of quality so that it meets required engineering specifications. This means that you will have the peace of mind that your plated components will last indefinitely, effectively protected from corrosion and wear for years to come.

For more information about how we can fulfill your nickel plating requirements, or for advice on using electroless nickel plating an as alternative to stainless steel, please visit the Nitec website, or call our friendly team of staff on 0845 224 3571

The Use of Electroless Nickel in Valves and Flow Control Devices

Electroless nickel is an excellent choice of surface technology for the oil and gas industry. As discussed in previous blog posts, the properties of elctroless nickel coatings are highly sought after in the industry, including corrosion resistance, uniformity of deposits and abrasion resistance.

Electroless Nickel and Mild Steel Ball Valves

electroless nickel plated valve ballsThese properties have resulted in the widespread use of electroless nickel coatings in valves and flow control devices, which are critical components in the operation of a well where good performance and long life are major economic factors.

The application of electroless nickel to mild steel ball valves is now typical in the oil and gas industry, replacing hard chromium as a corrosion resistant, smooth and uniform coating.

Successful applications of electroless nickel have been observed in all areas of the oil and gas industry. In crude oil production, mild steel ball valves have a maximum life of no more than three months, and fail due to corrosion, surface cracking and erosion. But valve components plated with electroless nickel last for years with no surface deterioration.

Similar benefits have also been observed on ball valves at plants using the sea water injection system which involves pumping sea water under high pressure to force oil to the surface. With a coating of electroless nickel, the valves withstand the conditions and no degradation is detectable after years of operation.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

For more information about electroless nickel plating and its use in the oil and gas industry, or to make an enquiry about using electroless nickel for this type of application, call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plating and It’s Use in the Oil and Gas Industry

Electroless nickel coatings can be used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas. The properties of most value to the oil and gas industries are generally the uniformity of the thickness of the deposit, the excellent corrosion resistance that it provides, and its properties of abrasion and erosion resistance.

Enhancing Oil and Gas Base Materials with Electroless Nickel

The base materials that are traditionally used in the oil and gas industry have been enhanced by the application of electroless nickel coatings. Not only does electroless nickel lower the fabrication costs of many parts, it also extends the surface life of components. Extending the service of parts used in this industry is incredibly valuable, as the cost of shutdowns can be very expensive and time consuming.

The Three Areas in the Oil and Gas Industry

offshore oilrig

Operations in the oil and gas industry can be divided into 3 main areas; surface operations, subsurface operations or downhole operations, and offshore operations. Equipment is often exposed to severe environmental conditions including chlorides, carbon dioxide, brines, hydrogen sulphide, sea water and reef water, which can contain high levels of sulphur compounds.

In addition to this type of exposure, equipment may be exposed to abrasion problems associated with the ingestion of sand, mud, and very high temperatures.

Typical components whose performance has been enhanced by electroless nickel include the following:

Surface Operations

  • Blowout preventors
  • brake assemblies
  • chokes
  • compressors
  • gas turbines
  • pump housings
  • pumps
  • connection manifolds
  • valves

Subsurface Operations or Downhole Operations

  • Couplings
  • logging tools
  • plungers
  • packers
  • pumps
  • safety valve units
  • tubing

Offshore Operations

  • blowout preventors
  • gas turbines/compressors
  • heat exchangers
  • pumps
  • riser connectors
  • valves

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating Factory

Here at NiTEC UK, we are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating. Our Chesterfield, UK based electroless nickel plating factory has a total of 7 nickel plating lines, making us one of the largest in Europe with the capacity to plate items of all sizes, no matter how small or large.

To find out more about NiTEC UK, electroless nickel plating, and our ability to plate equipments and components for use in the oil and gas industry, contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Funding Deal Boosts Expansion of Electroless Nickel Plating Services

roller for packaging industryWe’re very pleased to have been featured in the Derbyshire Times this week! The paper published an article about our recent factory expansion and our funding deal from Yorkshire bank that made it possible.

Our Commercial Director Marcus Hill told the Derbyshire Times: “We’re pleased to be expanding to meet the growing demand for our expertise and products.

The support from Yorkshire Bank and commitment of the NiTEC team has been instrumental in establishing our reputation and place in the marketplace.”

Leading Electroless Nickel Plating Specialists

The electroless nickel plating facility here at NiTEC is one of the largest in the world, and we are really pleased to be able to expand our production capacity. As readers of our blog and our customers will know, we provide a variety of services including pipe strengthening and exterior protection to a variety of different industries including oil, aerospace, architecture and art.

Funding From Yorkshire Bank

Our funding support was provided by Yorkshire Bank via Steve Wicks at the Bank’s South Yorkshire Business and Private Banking Centre in Sheffield. Kevin Elliot, head of the South Yorkshire Business and Private Banking Centre, said: “We are proud to be supporting a highly regarded business that combines technological expertise with an impressive entrepreneurial flair. Yorkshire Bank remains committed to investing in business growth ambitions.”

Electroless Nickel Plating

We have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process and we also offer a variety of surface treatments including diffused nickel plating, copper plating, nickel PTFE, nickel diamond, tin plating and nickel boron. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Boost for Aerospace Industry with £1m Training Centre

The Aerospace industry is set for a boost with a £1m centre of excellence opening on the Isle of Man this month. The new centre is a joint project between the Manx government and the The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster (IOMAC).

Red arrows pilot

Red Arrows ejector seats are made on the Isle of Man

BBC news reports that according to government figures, the high-tech sector contributes 4% of the island’s economy.

More than 1,000 people are employed to manufacture a range of high-tech aerospace items, such as the ejector seats used by the red arrows.

Worldwide Civil and Defence Aerospace Project

A spokesman said the new training facility would support the “growing need for highly-skilled engineers in the thriving industry”. The IOMAC is established as an integral part of the UK aerospace supply chain and member firms support every current major civil and defence aerospace project worldwide. Made up of 22 firms on the island including RLC Ronaldsway, Swagelok and Triumph Actuation Systems, the IOMAC produces precision-engineered parts for use of the island.

IOMAC’s Chris Allen said: “Everything from landing gear, ejector seats and optic lenses are made here and have travelled as far as Mars. The age of the skilled engineers is high and this centre is very important for the future.”

Manufacturing Centre of Excellence

The cluster of aerospace firms has had enormous involvement in setting up the training centre and helping to create and deliver a three year training course. Courses began in 2013 but the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre will be officially opened on 15th October 2014 by Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children.

Electroless Nickel 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 and aerospace industries. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

5 Things You Need to Know about Electroless Nickel Plating

As specialists in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK have put together 5 things we think you need to know about the process!

Auto-Catalytic Chemical Reaction

Electroless nickel plating is an auto-catalytic chemical reaction used to deposit nickel onto a wide range of substrates. It uses a solution containing nickel phosphorous alloy, which can be specially tailored to suit the application it is being used for.

Can be Applied to Range of Substrates

Electroless nickel can be applied to wide range of substrates, including the following:

  • Aluminium and aluminium alloys
  • Copper and copper alloys
  • Ferrous and stainless metals
  • Beryllium copper
  • Zinc
  • Titanium

Superior Corrosion and Wear Resistance

Electroless nickel plating has many key properties that make it an excellent choice for any metal plating project. For example, electroless nickel coatings are incredibly corrosion and wear resistant, as well as being very hard.

electroless nickel plated componentAccurate, Uniform Deposit

Electroless nickel plating provides a highly accurate and uniform deposit onto the surface of a component, regardless of the complexity of the part. It can easily plate sharp angles and curves, deep holes and recesses, making it a fantastic choice of plating for unusually complex parts.

Applications for Electroless Nickel Plating

Typical applications for electroless nickel plating include valves, pumps, mould tools, gears, sprockets and splined shafts, and electronic components. The process has been widely used throughout most engineering disciplines; especially automotive, offshore, defence, aerospace, petrochemical, electronics, plastics and nuclear. It is highly recommended for offshore applications as it offers the very best levels of protection.

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.

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

Top 5 Properties of Electroless Nickel

As experts in the process of nickel plating, the NiTEC staff are highly experienced and knowledgeable regarding the use of this innovative plating technique. There are many benefits to using nickel plating over other metal finishing techniques, many of which are outlined below.

nickel plating technical figure

1. Uniformity of Coating

The deposit formed by electroless nickel plating is based on a chemical reaction, causing the deposit to collect in equal thickness over all the part, regardless of its shape.

This completely uniform coating is a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

2. Ultimate Corrosion Resistance

Electroless nickel coatings are often used in functional applications because of the excellent corrosion resistance it provides. 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.

3. Wear Resistance

Electroless nickel has excellent levels of wear resistance. As a barrier layer, it is used on oil field valves, drive shafts, electrical tools and industrial machinery. The life of any metal exposed to harsh environments can be extended using this type of plating, therefore reducing the cost of repair and replacement parts. It basically extends the life of everything it coats! And with the appropriate heat treatment, electroless nickel can be hardened up to 950vhn, which makes it ideal for areas exposed to friction and wear.

4. Excellent Adhesion

A high level of adhesion can be achieved on a wide range of substrates, including steel, copper, and aluminium. The typical bond strengths reported for electroless nickel on copper and iron alloys range from 50 to 60,000 psi. The bond strength on light metals such as aluminium tends to be lower, somewhere in the range of 15 to 35,000 psi.

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 occurs 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.

5. Cost Effectiveness

Specialist electroless nickel plating is much cheaper than you would imagine. NiTEC now have 7 dedicated nickel plating lines and can offer reasonable quotations based on drawings or photos sent to us.

As you can see from the points made above, electroless nickel plating has many huge benefits that make it the plating method of choice for many industries. Call NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Nickel Plated Aluminium for Great Looking Garden Furniture

Garden furniture is a lovely addition to any garden. It’s a pleasure to have somewhere to sit and enjoy the sunshine, and it is fabulous for outdoor BBQ’s and summer gatherings. Keeping your garden furniture in top condition, however, can be a bit of a struggle. If you’re like the many people that leave their garden furniture out overnight and throughout the warmer months, it may be subject to the elements. This can result in fading from the sun, damp and mold from rain, and tarnishing.

Metal garden furniture can easily tarnish through exposure to the weather, and it’s hard to keep it looking good after a few seasons use. But there is a way to keep your garden furniture looking fantastic all year round, whatever weather condition it is exposed to!

Electroless Nickel Plated Aluminium Garden Chairs

These pictures illustrate a recent nickel plating job undertaken here at NiTEC, which involved electroless nickel plating unusually shaped chairs for use outdoors as garden furniture. The manufacturers wanted the chairs to be fully protected from the elements to minimise the problem of tarnishing and staining, and electroless nickel is the perfect metal coating to achieve this.

As you can see from the pictures, the chairs are a very unusual shape with a deep recess at the front which formed a cylindrical shape at the base of the chair in order to hold it up. Electroless nickel plating is a great choice for complex shapes such as this as it can be deposited evenly onto the surface of the aluminium and on all parts of the object or component it is covering.

Corrosion Resistant Metal Coating

Electroless nickel was also a great choice as it is extremely corrosion resistant and can withstand the elements for years without discolouring or tarnishing. Due to its unique ability to prevent the formation of rust, it can substantially extend the life of garden furniture. Another advantage is that electroless nickel coatings won’t chip, flake, peel or rub off like some paint or lacquer type top coats.

If you are looking for a way of keeping your garden furniture looking great all year round, electroless nickel plating has outstanding levels of wear and corrosion resistance. Call NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Behind the Scenes at NiTEC: Nickel Plating David Mach’s Gorilla Sculpture

In addition to nickel plating ‘The Spaceman’ sculpture by David Mach, we have also been involved in the plating of a similarly constructed sculpture by the same artist, this time of a gorilla. Whilst looking through our extensive archive of photos, the staff at NiTEC came across these great before and after images of the gorilla sculpture that we just have to share with our blog readers!

gorilla sculpture before nickel plating process

Gorilla sculpture before the electroless nickel plating process

David Mach is a British sculptor and installation artist who specialises in creating unique sculpture from mass-produced objects such as coat hangers. Following several shows, public installations and much success, Mach was nominated for the Turner Prize back in 1988 and joined the Royal Academy of Arts as a Professor of Sculpture in 200.

Coat Hanger Sculptures

Mach once said “I like to work in as many different materials as possible. It’s no understatement to say I am a materials junkie – jumping from highly-painted realistic cast fibreglass pieces to sculpture with coat hangers, to a thatched barn roof laced with fibre-optics to designs for camera obscures (or at least the buildings to house them) and layouts for parks.”

 

Electroless Nickel Plating the Sculpture

gorilla sculpture after nickel plating

Gorilla sculpture after the electroless nickel plating process

The gorilla sculpture featured here consists of hundreds of wire coat hangers which have been bent and twisted and then welded together to keep the shape.

Mach decided that the best way of plating the sculpture was to have it have it professionally electroless nickel plated in order to create an aesthetically pleasing finish and provide a high level of corrosion and wear protection.

 

Electroless nickel was the perfect choice of plating for this piece as it ensures that all the recesses of the metal are fully plated.

Here at NiTEC, we have plenty of experience handling large parts such as sculptures, and the equipment and man power needed to do so. If you would like to find out more about the process of electroless nickel plating 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.

Electroless Nickel – Every Engineer’s Dream!

Here at NiTEC, we are extremely proud of our high quality electroless nickel plating services. We routinely nickel plate items for a wide and wonderful variety of applications and industries. This method of plating has so many advantages – which is why we like to call it every engineers dream!

What’s so Great About Electroless Nickel?

Electroless nickel coatings are comprised of a mixture of nickel alloy and phosphorus. This superb combination offers high levels of corrosion protection that are particularly useful in extreme conditions.

Electroless nickel is the perfect metal coating for working to close tolerances, meaning that post-plate grinding is rarely needed. It can be applied to a variety of base materials including stainless steel, iron, steel, brass and copper.

electroless nickel plating large parts

The Advantages of Using Electroless Nickel on Large Parts

Electroless nickel plating large components is a highly efficient method of plating, and can be extremely cost effective too.

NiTEC are one of the only electroless nickel plating companies that have the capacity to process large parts. In fact, we have never been approached with a project that we couldn’t fulfil because of its size!

Our staff have even been known to construct bespoke specialist plating tanks to accommodate larger items of unusual dimensions, such as sculptures. Of course, plating large components isn’t all about the size of the plating tank; there are lots of other practical issues to consider as well.

The mass of the part is a factor that needs to be considered. The larger and heavier the part is, the more consideration needs to be taken when moving the part in and out of the plating solutions and around the shop floor. Therefore, care must be taken when thinking about the selection of cranes and fixtures needed to lift the component.

Luckily, here at NiTEC, we have plenty of experience handling large parts, and the equipment and man power we need to do so. If you would like to find out more about the process of electroless nickel plating 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.

Boom for UK Aerospace Orders after 2013 Record Year

According to The Manufacturer, the industry’s leading publication of manufacturing news, articles and insights, last year was a record year for the aerospace industry in the UK.

The trade organisation ADS, who work to advance the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries,  have reported that UK orders of commercial aircraft have increased by 28% in the last year. This makes 2013 a record year for the aerospace industry, with orders rising more than a quarter compared to 2012.

According to the ADS, there is also now a backlog of orders for commercial aircraft, including 20,000 engines and 11,000 aircraft. This backlog of orders is set to keep the UK aerospace industry, and its employees, busy for approximately 9 years!

“Growth in the aerospace industry”

UK aerospace boom for manufacturing industry“These figures highlight the opportunity for growth in the aerospace industry and the potential rewards that British businesses could reap,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable.

He also suggested that by working together, the UK government and industry can make sure that the opportunities are optimised.

Mr Cable said: “Together we have committed £2 billion over the next 7 years to create an Aerospace Technology Institute to help us win work on developing and building the planes and helicopters of the future, here in the UK. The Aerospace Industrial Strategy, which the Government has developed jointly with industry, is giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK, creating more high-skilled, long-term jobs.”

Paul Everett, CEO of ADS said, “Global demand for new aircraft and engines is generating new demand and opportunity for the UK aerospace industry. The Aerospace Growth Partnership and the government’s long-term commitment to the sector’s growth is making a difference and we must continue to maximise the value of this unique collaboration between industry and government.”

UK specialise in aircraft manufacture

ADS has predicted that by 2032, there will be demand for the following:

  • 29,000 large civil airliners
  • 24,000 business jets
  • 5,800 regional aircraft
  • 40,000 helicopters

It’s great news, as the UK specialise in the development and manufacture of some of the most complicated and high tech parts of modern aircraft.  ADS predict that this means a potential market share of around $600bn for the UK.

Here at NiTEC electroless nickel plating specialists, we are thrilled that UK manufacturing is thriving. The aerospace industry is a growing sector and there is so much talent in the industry in this country. Our electroless nickel plating services can be used for a wide variety of industries including oil and gas, aviation and aerospace, so it’s fantastic news for us too.

If you would like more information about our electroless nickel plating services 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.

Long Lasting Components with Increased Performance

The process of electroplating is very cheap and very popular. But many customers come to realise that nickel electroplating, chrome electroplating and stainless steel do not last as long as they had hoped. Their original goal with electroplating or using stainless steel may have been to reduce costs and ensure that the part stayed in good condition for the entirety of its life, but sadly this is not always the case.

Electroless nickel plated componentThe importance of plating components

Plating components is really important to ensure their longevity because it provides a barrier between the component and the atmospheric working conditions. If plating isn’t applied to end products, corrosion and wear will cause the functionality of the part to deteriorate very early on its life.

This often has a knock on effect to the unit it was assembled into as well, causing it to be much less effective and eventually unusable. But keeping your parts from failing doesn’t have to mean that you have to settle for expensive metal alloys, stainless steel, or an electroplated finish. You can use electroless nickel plating instead.

Why should I choose electroless nickel plating instead of electroplating or stainless steel?

The electroless nickel plating service from NiTEC UK is of an exceptionally high quality and meets the required engineering specifications. This means that you will have the peace of mind that your plated components will last indefinitely, effectively protected from corrosion and wear for years to come.

For more information about the process of electroless nickel plating and the benefits that it will have on the longevity of your components, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Common Applications of Electroless Nickel Plating

nickel-coating-for-aerospace-industry

Electroless nickel coatings can be used in a wide variety of common applications. The superior corrosion resistance, hardness levels and wear resistance make it a very versatile coating.

Aerospace

Electroless nickel coatings have the perfect properties for use in the aerospace industry, for example, they can be used in the protection of hydraulic control systems.

Nickel coatings can also be used for the refurbishment and the recovery of worn machined parts. They can also be used to correct incorrectly machined parts enabling the component to be used.

Electrical and Electronics

Nickel coatings are used for electrical and electronic applications due to their ability to protect the components successfully. For example, electroless nickel coatings may be used for electrical connectors and hard drive computer components in order to impart corrosion protection and wear resistance. They are also useful for providing solderability and a non-porous barrier layer, and to otherwise enhance the performance or useful life of a particular component.

Automotive

The automotive industry has specified electroless nickel plating on brake, transmission and steering assembly components, in addition to other parts. Electroless components enhance performance, and with longer lasting parts, they can help automakers to extend their product warranties.

The energy industry

Electroless nickel coatings can be used for chemical and wear resistance to equipment in the oil and gas industry. It is also useful for coalfield cutting tools, as it provides a wear resistant coating that doesn’t carry the risk of sparking.

General engineering

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a wide variety of applications within general engineering. For example, it can be used for wear resistance in plastics and textile handling equipment, corrosion resistance in chemical handling plants, appearance, and wear resistance in automotive applications.

If you are looking for a metal coating that is suitable for a variety of applications and industries, electroless nickel is the perfect solution. 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.

 

Happy New Year From NiTEC UK!

As 2013 draws to a close, we are looking back on what has been a very busy year for NiTEC in the metal plating industry. From our nomination for the Excellence in Manufacturing Award at The Sheffield Business Awards, to our new testing laboratory, 2013 has been a great year for all of us here at NiTEC UK.

New facilities to monitor phosphorus levels

Our new laboratory means that our lead times have been cut dramatically; we are now able to turn around standard plating jobs within 24 hours. Our new state of the art, in house facilities mean that we no longer have to outsource testing. We can now monitor phosphorus levels, perform micro-sections and hardness tests on site.

Excellence in Manufacturing Award

In November we were thrilled to discover that NiTEC had been shortlisted for The Wake Smith Excellence in Manufacturing Award at The Sheffield Business Awards. The ceremony took place in December and although we didn’t win, we were very pleased to have been nominated for such a prestigious award.

We have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process, and a comprehensive range of metal finishing processes and techniques. We also offer a variety of surface treatments including electroless nickel platingdiffused nickel platingcopper platingshot blasting and heat treatment. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plating a Vacuum Chamber

Here at NiTEC, we are often approached by companies with specific plating needs for bespoke applications. We were approached by Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, who had manufactured a large vacuum chamber that they wanted plating with a thin layer of electroless nickel.

Without plating, the iron from the walls of the chamber would compromise and possible affect the results of the tests carried out inside it. Lasers used during testing would also cause damage to the chamber walls without a layer of electroless nickel.

The facilities at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories are used by scientists and engineers in order to advance their research into materials and structures, light sources, astronomy and particle physics. Every year about 10,000 scientists and engineers use the Laboratory’s facilities to advance their research. Many are academics and post-graduate students working on projects funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Electroless nickel plated layer for protection

Rutherford Appleton Laboratories had manufactured the large vacuum chamber for tests that involved lasers travelling down the centre of the chamber. This area needed to be plated with a layer of electroless nickel so that the layers did not burn through the paint during testing.

The vacuum chamber came in a number of large sections, some which weighed more than 20 tonnes. The team at NiTEC manufactured tanks to fit each part of the chamber that needed to be plated. The main body of the chamber weighed 150 tonnes and was built like a small room, containing many windows, portals and doors.

Blanking plates were manufactured for each of the chamber components, and the chamber was then sheeted over and manually and internally shot blasted. Originally, the chamber was going to be used as the plating tank and filled with electroless nickel plating solution. But the portals and windows contained recesses which were identified as gas traps and to overcome this and ensure complete coverage of the electroless nickel plating, all of the blanking plates were fitted with small air pipes. These fed up the outside of the chamber and back into the top, removing gas and solution and ensuring complete coverage.

If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating services 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.

The Advantages of Electroless Deposition of Nickel

electroless nickel deposit on componentsElectroless solutions have the advantage of producing coatings which have a very high degree of uniformity. This means that electroless nickel is ideal for plating complex shapes and can be used effectively to salvage parts that have been mis-machined. It also allows worn components to be recycled.

Electroless nickel deposits vs electrolytically-applied coatings

Electroless nickel deposits are chemically applied using an autocatalytic immersion process which does not use an electrical current.

This is much different from electroplating, which depends on an external source of direct electrical current to produce a deposit on the substrate material. Because the electrical current cannot be evenly distributed throughout the component itself, it is hard to obtain a uniform deposit with electrolytically-applied coatings.

Electroless nickel is often chosen above electrolytically applied coatings because of its ability to coat irregularly shaped, highly detailed parts with complex geometries. The completely uniform deposit thickness is perfect for achieving close dimensional tolerance capabilities.

If you would like to find out more about using electroless plating as an alternative to electroplating, 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.

15 Reasons To Choose Electroless Nickel for your Metal Plating Needs

electroless nickel plated componentWhen considering a plating method, there are lots of options you can consider. Here at NiTEC, we are experts in electroless nickel plating and consider the process superior to many other coatings on the market.

There are many advantages to electroless nickel plating that in our opinion make it a cut above the rest.

For example, electroless nickel:

  • Allows the deposit to coat a variety of surfaces, many of which would be difficult if not impossible to plate using the process of electroplating.
  • Is a very cost effective solution to coating metals such as mild or stainless steel.
  • Can substantially extend the life of a component.
  • Produces a metal layer with a very even thickness over all surfaces of the component, regardless of its shape or dimensions. This means that there is little or no excess deposit at high points on the component.
  • Deposits of electroless nickel have excellent physical and chemical properties, including hardness, wear resistance and lubricity.
  • Creates a uniform coating that makes it ideal for critical high-end engineering items, especially those used in the defense, automotive, healthcare and aerospace industries.
  • Has a high level of corrosion resistance making it perfect for extending the life of anything that it coats. This makes it the perfect solution for parts that are exposed to harsh environments such as the marine, oil, gas and defense industries.
  • Because of its ability to extend the life of components due to its high levels of corrosion resistance, electroless nickel coatings can reduce the cost of repair and replacement parts.
  • Prevents the formation of rust on a component, therefore preventing the parts around it from rusting too.
  • Tight manufacturing tolerances can be achieved with an electroless nickel coating because of its ability to deposit nickel evenly on the surface of a component
  • Can be used to improve the surface of a component so that it is back within the specified tolerances.
  • Provides the surface of the component with a surface layer that allows post finishes to be carried out effectively.
  • Has self lubricating properties which reduce the wear of a component through friction, creating minimal coating weight loss.
  • The use of electroless nickel on a component creates a coating that will not flake or chip off like some paints and lacquers will.
  • Can be hardened up to 950vhn with the appropriate heat treatment.

Choose electroless nickel for your metal plating needs by calling the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Electroless Nickel – Corrosion and Wear Protection

The corrosion protection provided by electroless nickel plating can extend the life of a component. This is due to its ability to block the formation of rust on a component, which in turn stops it from becoming a catalyst for part on part rusting. This has massive advantages in all industries because it is not necessary to worry about one bad part contaminating the rest, or it jeopardizing the final assembly of the product.

Electroless nickel also improves the quality of components because it allows for tight manufacturing tolerances. This is because electroless nickel creates a uniform build-up of nickel on all surfaces, regardless of their shape and dimensions. It can also be used to build parts that may have been out of specification back into tolerance. By using an electroless nickel coating on worn parts, they will be reusable in the capacity of post machining and other post finishes.

electroless nickel plated componentsThe advanced properties of corrosion protection that electroless nickel can offer means that components can be manufactured from a less expensive metal and coated using nickel. By not having to make the part out of a more expensive metal, profit margins can therefore be increased.

The wear protection provided by electroless nickel can also extend the life of a component. An electroless nickel coating will reduce wear of a part due its self lubricating properties and high levels of hardness.

This means that there is minimal weight loss on the coating from part on part friction. Electroless nickel also provides outstanding release properties and anti stick surfaces.

Electroless nickel coatings won’t chip off, flake, peel or rub off like some paint or lacquer type top coats which have been applied without pre-surface treatments. So there’s also no need to worry about the strength of the coating.

If you are looking for a metal coating that has outstanding levels of wear and corrosion resistance, electroless nickel is the perfect solution. 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.

 

Spoon Covered Gorilla for Uri Geller’s Garden

Electroless nickel plating company NiTEC were once approached by the British artist and sculptor David Mach to nickel plate a gorilla made from twisted wire coat hangers.

It seems that Uri Geller has a similar affection for gorilla shaped sculptures, as BBC news recently reported that the famous psychic and illusionist has ordered a gorilla made of spoons for his garden!

Geller has commissioned the sculpture from the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, and plans to put the 12ft gorilla in his Berkshire garden.

Uri Geller orders a spoon covered gorilla for his garden

The British Ironwork Centre is hoping that the public will help with donations of spoons, as a massive 5,000 are needed to complete the piece.

The entertainer, who already has a Cadillac covered in spoons in his garden, told BBC News “I plan to fly it to my house in a large cage hanging from a helicopter.”

Geller opens his garden to charity 5 times a year, and says that he chose the gorilla sculpture because he already owns paintings by a chimpanzee!

Electroless nickel plated gorilla by David MachDavid Mach choose to have his gorilla sculpture electroless nickel plated to guarantee that all the recesses formed by the coat hangers were thoroughly accessed and covered with electroless nickel.

For more information about the advantages of using electroless nickel plating to prevent corrosion and wear on sculptures, contact NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Coatings

High phosphorus electroless nickel provides the highest levels of corrosion resistance. It is often used in industries that require high levels of resistance to strongly acidic corrosive environments, for example, coal mining and oil drilling.

Component plated with high phosphorus electroless nickelElectroless nickel containing high levels of phosphorus has a low degree of solderability, and will only be solderable for a limited time after plating. This makes it perfect for electronic parts such as connector housings and semiconductor packaging.

The microhardness levels of high phosphorus electroless nickel coatings range up about 600 VPN. This type of nickel coating makes for low levels of surface porosity, and is not prone to staining.

Also, when the phosphorus content is greater than 11.2%, deposits are non-magnetic.

Features of high phosphorus electroless nickel:

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Fast deposition rate throughout life
  • Consistent deposition rate throughout life
  • Very stable and robust

If you are looking for a metal coating that provides high levels of corrosion resistance, 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.

How Are Nickel Coatings Used in Aircraft?

Nickel coatings are often used on various parts of aircraft due to its fantastic properties of corrosion resistance and hardness. Needless to say, the Aircraft industry has an ongoing need for nickel plating.

Electroless nickel plating is used in the Aircraft industry to provide:

  • Corrosion resistance at high temperatures to protect airfoil components from erosion and abrasion.
  • Provides a coating that will allow high nickel/chromium alloy parts to be joined by brazing or welding.
  • To repair worn or damaged components so that they can continue to be used rather than scrapped.

Electroless nickel coatings have been used on the following aircraft parts:

  • Bearing journals
  • Servo valves
  • Compressor blades
  • Turbine blades
  • Pistons
  • Engine shafts
  • Engine mounts
  • Landing gear
  • Hydraulic and manifold systems
  • Gyroscope components and optics

For more information about the use of electroless nickel plating in the Aircraft industry, please contact the staff at NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

How to Stop Rust and Corrosion on Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes

So you’ve just invested in a great new bike and you’re looking forward to getting out there and seeing what it’s made of. Top notch road and mountain bikes don’t come cheap, so no doubt you’re keen to keep your bike in fantastic condition.

Protect your bike from the elements!

But getting out there on your bike means getting it dirty! You cycle through muddy puddles, squeeze past a prickly hedge or two on your off road adventure, and splash the frame with dirt and pebbles as you go.

What if there was a way to guarantee that your bike stayed scratch and rust free?

Here at NiTEC, we have found the answer! Having your bike frame electroless nickel plated is the perfect way to keep it rust, scratch and corrosion free, for a really affordable price. For just £185, you can have your steel or aluminium bike frame electroless nickel plated.

Not only does this look great, electroless nickel coatings are incredibly corrosion resistant and resistant to scratches, making them ideal for keeping your bike in fantastic condition for years to come.

Electroless nickel plated bike frames

To protect your road or mountain bike from rust, corrosion and scratches, all you have to do is send it to us. Simply dissemble it, leaving just the handlebars and frame, send it to us, and we will have it nickel plated for you in just 5 days.

To find out more about keeping your bike rust and scratch free for years to come, contact NiTEC today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel and Computer Hard Disks

It’s truly amazing how far the IT industry has advanced over the past few decades. Laptops, computers and tablets continue to reduce in size, but despite shrinking, they can actually hold more data than ever before.

IBM invented the very first computer disc storage way back in 1956. The disks were about 150cm in diameter, which is roughly twice the size of an old vinyl record, and they could store 100 kilobytes of data. The computer hard disks we use today can be as small as 1cm wide and hold more than 400 gigabytes!

Hard disk drives work by using a magnetic head to move to a location where information is stored. As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC have a wealth of knowledge about the use of nickel and the benefits of using nickel in everyday items such as hard drives.

Nickel really is a critical part of the technology involved in hard drives and is used in the film heads. It is applied to the magnetic heads using a plating process that uses heat, not electricity, to deposit the nickel layer.

This film head technology means that the storage density of hard drives has increased by 10 every 8 years since 1979! It also means that hard disk drives can now be used in mobile phones, video games consoles and iPods.

If you would like to find out more about NiTEC’s plating services and metal finishing services, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel Plating – The Cheaper Alternative to Stainless Steel

Electroless nickel plating can be a great alternative to stainless steel. It’s much more cost effective and it still offers amazing corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is very expensive and it’s often hard to find a source to cast very large components made of stainless steel.

Making large parts out of cast iron and then electroless nickel plating them is a cheaper and quicker solution.

Hardness and Wear Resistance

It’s also perfect for plating large machined parts that need to be resistant to corrosion. Electroless nickel plating is also a great alternative to stainless steel because of its hardness and wear resistance.

Here at NiTEC, we’re experts in the process of electroless nickel plating and our equipment means that we can plate even the most difficult large parts accurately and consistently.

If you would like to find out more about reducing costs by using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to stainless steel, contact NiTEC on  0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Reduced Lead Time for Nickel Plating

The last few months have been a really exciting time here at NiTEC. The new laboratory is finally finished and it has made a dramatic difference to the way we run the business. Before the lab, nickel plating jobs often took up to 2 weeks to complete, because we had to send samples off for testing before returning them to the customer.

But now we have a brand new lab and we can do this testing in-house, which has reduced our lead time to 24 hours! It really is a massive improvement on the turnaround time of our work, and in turn benefits customers a great deal too.

Quality Director Paul Allen said, “The lab is a fantastic step for NiTEC. Not only can we reduce offsite costs for testing, we can offer our customers a much faster service. Completed metal 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 new lab has the facilities to perform all the tests that verify hardness, phosphorus levels and diffusion layers. We have also invested in a Mitutoyo Micro Hardness Tester and we use colour metrics to measure the phosphorus levels of diffused nickel.

If you have a project that requires a fast turnaround for your plating needs – we can meet them! For more information about our new laboratory and the positive impact it will have on your metal plating order, please call 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk.

NiTEC Nickel Plate Bespoke Furniture for Meta

As electroless nickel plating specialists, NiTEC have been approached for various plating techniques for a variety of projects.

One of our more unusual projects involved nickel plating a very out of the ordinary table for Meta, the contemporary objects and furniture company created by Mallet Antiques.

Designed by Asymptote Architecture, this amazing coffee table has been hand cut from a 5.2 tonne billet of gunmetal-quality steel, and nickel plated by us! Named ‘Ivo 03’, this unique piece of furniture has been exhibited in Milan, New York City, London and Miami.

This type of steel is perfect for this piece, as it can be carved with the finest detail and then polished.

The table consists of 2,000 mathematically delineated diamond shaped pieces, each of a slightly different shape. The slumped glass top has been suspended across the surface of the steel, which is highly polished to give the look of shiny waves of steel.

The base of this beautiful table is made from bespoke Tula steel. Tula steel is an historic metal that Meta has carefully recreated by analysing an original and rare piece of Imperial Tula steel dating back to 1780.

The edges of the table’s metal base have been hand etched with an intricate and sympathetic pattern of incised relief, by the same craftsmen who restored parts of the Kremlin Palace.

In addition to nickel plating, the table was also hand finished using traditional polishing methods to bring out the smooth, reflective qualities if the metal.

If you would like to find out more about the special projects we have undertaken at NiTEC, visit the electroless nickel plating case studiespage of our website. For help with your unusual plating project, contact us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

 

Electroplating and Electroless Nickel Plating – Advantages and Disadvantages

There are two methods of depositing a thin layer of nickel onto the surface of a metallic object. One is electroplating, the other electroless plating. So what is the difference and why would you use one over the other?

In this post we’ll look at the differences between these two types of nickel plating, from the chemistry behind the processes, to the ideal uses for each.

Electroplating

The process of electroplating occurs when a rod of the plating method is used as an anode. The anode is immersed in a bath of electrolyte which contains the salt of the metal to be plated. For nickel plating, the salt used is Nickel Chloride.

With electroplating, two or three plating processes may be used, sometimes with a layer of a different metal underneath to improve adhesion.

Disadvantages of electroplating

Electroplating may result in hydrogen embrittlement, where the hydrogen gas leaks out at the surface of the cathode and diffuses into the surface of the component to be plated, making it brittle.

This embrittlement can be reduced by post plate heat treatment at a low temperature, which reverses the process of hydrogen diffusion into the surface layers of the component.

 

 

 

Electroless nickel plating

The other method of plating with nickel is electroless nickel plating. This type of plating doesn’t need an electric current because it happens using a chemical reaction.

The electroless nickel solution consists of nickel ions, reducing agents and other chemicals. The most commonly used reducing agent is sodium hypophosphite.

Advantages of electroless nickel plating

Electroless nickel plating has many fantastic properties which makes the process superior to other types of metal plating.

  • The process extends the life of any component that it coats.
  • The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has an even thickness over all surfaces of the component.
  • This effect cannot be achieved with electrodeposited coatings.
  • Electroless nickel plating also provides excellent wear and corrosion resistance, as well as hardness and lubricity.

Another advantage of the process of electroless nickel plating is that the parts to be plated do not need to conduct electricity. This means that electroless nickel plating can be applied to ceramics, composites and polymers.

This method of plating is great for producing prototypes of metallic parts by plating a polymer casting or part to give some idea of the finished piece.

Disadvantages?

It is still possible for electroless nickel plated parts to suffer from hydrogen embrittlement, so for parts that are prone to corrosion through use, post heat treatment may be needed to improve the adhesion of the nickel and reduce the internal stresses within the nickel that has been deposited. When heat treating electroless nickel, it is also important to ensure that the heat treatment doesn’t temper-soften the existing material.

If you are looking for a quality company specialising in the process of electroless nickel plating, look no further than NiTEC. Talk to a member of our friendly team on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk for more information.

Engineering Applications of Electroless Nickel Plating

Over the years the staff at NiTEC have developed a wide range of metal finishing and metal plating techniques. We are able to process many materials such as ferrous substrates, plate stainless steel, plate copper and its alloys, and even plate aluminium alloys.

There are endless applications for electroless nickel, and they can be found in a huge number of industries.

Electroless nickel plating is a very common choice for many engineering applications because it has lots of great qualities, for example:

  • Wear resistance
  • Hardness
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Uniform coating
  • The ability to plate non-conductive surfaces

 

 

 

Electroless nickel plating can be used for a number of industrial applications, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Sea water pumps
  • Aircraft control systems
  • Photographic equipment
  • Oil field drilling equipment
  • Aircraft engine mounts
  • Undercarriage fixtures
  • Hydraulic pistons
  • Valves and pump shafts
  • Printing rollers
  • Machine slideways
  • Excavating equipment
  • Hydraulic cylinders
  • Fine instrument pivots
  • Memory discs
  • Spray nozzles
  • Worm wheels
  • Valve blocks

If you would like to find out more about electroless nickel can be used as a corrosion resistant, hard wearing coating for your engineering application, contact the specialist team at NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Phosphorous Variations in Electroless Nickel Coatings

As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC provide the full spectrum of nickel and phosphorous alloys.

Electroless nickel can be alloyed with between 4 and 14% phosphorous. There are three main types of electroless nickel, which are outlined below.

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

Low phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with approximately 4% phosphorous. Electroless nickel coatings of this type are typically very hard, have good corrosion protection in alkaline environments and lowest impact on fatigue. Low phosphorous electroless nickel is best for higher temperatures.

Medium phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

Medium phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with between 5 to 9% phosphorous. This is the most common type of electroless nickel plating and is typically very bright. Medium phosphorous electroless nickel plating offers moderate corrosion and wear protection.

High phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

High phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with 10 to 14% phosphorous. This type of electroless nickel coating has a glass-like structure with the highest level of corrosion protection. It is also non-magnetic.

If you would like advice from the experts on which type of electroless nickel coating will best suit your product and it’s use, contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit our website to contact a specific member of staff.

FAQs for Electroless Nickel Plating, Shot Blasting & Heat Treatment

 

What is electroless nickel plating?

Electroless nickel plating is the process by which nickel or a nickel alloy is deposited onto a component. It is carried out without the use of an externally applied current, unlike electroplating. The nickel is deposited onto the component from the aqueous solution created by the chemical reaction.

What are the advantages of electroless nickel plating?

Corrosion resistance and corrosion protection

One of the most common reasons for the use of electroless nickel coatings in functional applications is its excellent corrosion resistance. In the very corrosive conditions encountered in drilling and producing oil wells, for example, electroless nickel has the ability to withstand the combination of corrosive chemicals and abrasion.

Wear resistance

With the appropriate heat treatment, electroless nickel plating can be hardened up to 950vhn. This makes it ideal for areas exposed to friction and wear.

Hardness

A great feature of electroless nickel plating is its hardness. Hardness values for electroless nickel deposits are in the range of 450-750 VHN, depending on the phosphorous content of the deposit.

Lubricity

Electroless nickel plating has natural self lubricating properties, which eliminates the need for liquid lubricants on components.

Solderability and bondability

Electroless nickel-phosphorus alloys are easily soldered with a highly active acid flux.

Uniformity of deposit regardless of geometries

Electroless nickel plating has a completely uniform coating. It’s a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace. Electroless nickel can be deposited to produce a wide range of coating thicknesses, with uniformity and minimum variation from point to point.

This uniformity can be maintained in plating both large and small parts and on components that are fairly complex, with recessed areas. Electroplating of such parts, on the other hand, would produce thickness variation and possible voids in the plating when coating holes and inside diameters.

Nonmagnetic properties of high-phosphorus nickel alloy

Electroless nickel deposits containing greater than 8 percent phosphorus are considered to be essentially nonmagnetic as plated.

How long will it take for my order to be completed?

As a specialist plating company our capacity and turnaround is fast and efficient. Depending on the size and scale of the order, our standard lead time is 5 days.

Where do NiTEC deliver to?

We frequently deliver throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

Can you provide a quote based on an email?

We are able to provide customers with comprehensive quotes based on drawings and photographs that have been emailed to us. We aim to respond to enquiries within 48 hours.

How hard is electroless nickel plating?

Electroless nickel deposits have hardness values in the range of 450 – 750 VHN, depending on the phosphorus content in the deposit. Generally, the higher the phosphorus content, the lower the as deposited hardness.

Heat treatment can be used to increase the hardness of electroless nickel coatings, achieving in excess of 1000 VHN. This makes the deposit hardness comparable to that of hard chrome, with the advantage of an even coating which will not require post plating machinery.

For more information about electroless nickel plating and more great reasons to choose nickel as your plating material, visit the NiTEC websitebecome a fan of our Facebook page, or why not follow us on Twitter?

Quality electroless nickel plating

Here at NiTEC, our staff are thoroughly committed to providing a quality electroless nickel plating service.

All employees at NiTEC are responsible for making sure that Quality Assurance techniques are applied to their work. They are also responsible for achieving the specified quality levels at all stages of work.

In accordance with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2008we are committed to following our Quality Assurance Program, which is outlined in our Quality Manual.

NiTEC is also well equipped for all aspects of quality control and product testing. We have invested in facilities and equipment meaning that the staff at NiTEC have the ability to carry out non destructive testing for thickness and hardness on components.

Work is regularly processed to the following specifications:

  • Defence Standard 03-5
  • Aerospace Material Specification AMS 2404B
  • US Military Specification MIL-C-26074B
  • International Standard ISO 4527

We are able to tailor numerous in-house specifications in order to meet the customers’ exact requirements. Our policy statements are available to read online by clicking the links below:

View NiTEC’s Quality Policy here.

View NiTEC’s Health and Safety Policy here.

View NiTEC’s Environmental Policy here.

For more information about the services that we offer including electroless nickel plating, copper plating, and diffused nickel plating, please visit the NiTEC website, call our friendly team of staff on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk