Archive for Frequently asked questions

The Copper Plating Story

story-copper-plating-nitec-derbyshireWe all know plenty about Copper Plating, but what we often don’t know a great deal about is where the process originated from.  I bet you would be interested to learn that it was not at all intentional, but was, in fact, a complete mistake!

Where did Copper Plating come from?

This happy accident occurred centuries ago in 1724, when Thomas Bolsover, a Sheffield cutler, was mending the handle of a silver knife.  He was doing so with the assistance of a copper coin under the pressure vice but got a little distracted and the two metals both became heated.  Due to their heating, they fused together, the silver completely hiding the copper.  This mistake led Bolsover to experiment with other methods of retaining silver and copper together in unity whilst also being one, workable material, and this worked.  This was Bolsovers happy accident, as this was the beginning of the Sheffield Plate.  Dying in 1788, Thomas Bolsover was regarded in his obituary as the first inventor of plated metal, though sadly not the most well known.

All About Copper Plating

Copper Plating is not only undertaken for functional purposes but for decorative purposes, too.  Often used for road mending techniques, medics and in telecommunications, it really is a multifunctional plating technique.  This is due to it being an excellent conductor, has a good ability to shield against electro magnetic interference and radio frequency interference, along with it having excellent levelling properties.  Copper plating is highly thought of in the medical world due to the fact that it naturally kills bacteria, thus making it a great protection against infections and diseases, so often also used in laboratory settings, too.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it copper plating, electroless nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then why not get in touch with us, here at NiTEC UK?  We are a Derbyshire based company and are leading specialists in the plating industry, offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are high-end and also 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

 

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.

 

 

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.

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?