Archive for Heat Treatment

Heat Treatment and Homogenising

aluminium-heat-treatment-alloy-nitecWhen you think of heat treatment, I wonder what type of metal you associate it with?  Aluminium is probably not the first metal that springs to mind.  Why?  Because it is thought of as being a soft metal.  But there are certain, specific alloys which respond incredibly well to heat treatment, in fact, they actually respond in almost the same way as steel and iron.  So, what are the specific types of aluminium alloys?  They are aluminium alloys containing copper, zinc, or a blend of magnesium and silicon which enable them to respond well to the heat treatment process.  Be aware that pure aluminium and aluminium alloyed with manganese or magnesium does not work under heat treatment.  Therefore, when referring to the heat treatment process during this article, it is aluminium alloys containing copper, zinc or a blend of magnesium and silicon that is being referred to.

Harmonious Homogenising

Aluminium alloys come in to contact with the mold via their outside edge first, which forms a layer or skin of aluminium crystals, which are called grains.   This occurs when aluminium alloys are being cast.  They cool from the outside in, with the elements of the alloy precipitating which locks crystals in regionally.  This is how some areas become hard and some remain soft.  To even this imbalance out, we need homogenizing, so that redistribution of the precipitation can occur.  This means that the temperature needs to be taken to just below melting point which is between 900 and 1000 degrees farenheit.  Having reached the homogenizing temperature, the component is left to cool slowly, so that the internal structures uniformity is reached.

Annealing Aluminium Alloys

If you then require you aluminium alloys to be shaped, you will then require another process which is known as annealing.  The alloys must be heated once again to 570°F to 770°F for anywhere between thirty minutes to three hours, depending on the alloys composition and the component part.  Unlike the heat treatment or homogenising processes, the cooling process post annealing is not a critical factor in this process.

NiTEC UK and You

If you or your business are interested in the heat treatment process, or plating whether it is tin plating electroless nickel plating or copper plating, 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 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

Aluminium and Copper – Which and Why?

copper-wiring-plating-nitecThey are both metals – yes – but other than that they have many differences, the main ones of which are their weight, cost, appearance and their capacitance which, to the average Joe, is a metals ability to store electrical chargeAluminium was, in days gone by, the metal of choice but it seems today that Copper is making a comeback and the designers are switching over!

Copper used in wiring and electrical equipment is nominally pure which is why it is being chosen over Aluminium because Aluminium in its purest form does not seem to be strong enough to cope with many electrical applications.  Different Aluminium alloy properties change depending on the process they are subjected to.  If they are subjected to heat treatment for example, Al6101 becomes harder and stronger.

It has been a rather common misconception that Aluminium has been too soft for some uses and therefore compression connectors must be used to overcome this.  But, with design and plating changes, these compression connectors are no longer necessary.  Alloys and processing can instead be used in order to make Aluminium become just as useful, as good and as strong as Copper…ALMOST!

Copper Coating and Copper Plating

Sounds familiar but this is the opposite way round.  In order to reduce the corrosion of Aluminium and Copper, they are coated in Tin or Silver to reduce their corrosion, because without this Aluminium and Copper are both prone to oxidation and are therefore likely to rust and parts not work appropriately or safely.

All About Copper Plating

Copper Plating is decorative but normally used as it is an extremely functional metal.  It is often used for electricals, road mending techniques, medics and in telecommunications, it really is a multifunctional plating technique.  This is thanks to it being such an excellent conductor, its ability to shield against electro magnetic interference and radio frequency interference, and its excellent levelling properties.  Copper plating is highly thought of in the medical world especially due to the fact that it naturally kills bacteria, thus making it a great protector 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 platingelectroless 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

Spring in to Action in Birmingham with Heat Treatment Services

heat-treatment-nitec-ukApril sees the MACH exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC, where manufacturing in motion will be made visible to anyone wanting to view different techniques and products related to many services, including that of heat treatments, hard coatings and developmental services.

Groups, such as Wallwork Group, are returning again to exhibit here, to celebrate their new expansion project which allows them to offer customers a wider array of heat treatment services, hard coatings and development services.

Heat Treatment and NiTEC

For businesses such as Wallwork Group and NiTEC UK, exhibitions such as MACH, are important ways of bringing business and contacts together from across the industries.  These can include aerospace, automotive, medical, military and engineering contacts which are the most commonly used industries.  Specialists, skilled labourers, technical engineers and highly knowledgeable scientists combine their expertise to guarantee that you gain the product and information that you require so that you gain the perfect component parts for your business.  They are all at hand to help guide you towards the components which is best for you whilst also, often, making you a great, one-off show day deal, to aid with the financial side of things, too.

NEC, Industry, You and Me

So if you are in the aerospace, automotive, medical, military, engineering, oil and gas or energy/power industries then MACH could very well be the placed for you.  With new creations, the latest of developments and all the manufacturing technologies you could possibly need, there will be over 600 companies exhibiting this year for you to see.  At the last MACH there was 6,500 tonnes of live working machinery on show and two years later, it is set to be even bigger.  If you are interested in attending or finding out more about heat treatments or hard coatings then why not get yourself to Birmingham NEC from the 11th to 15th April – We guarantee it will be worth it if you are in the specified industries.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you would like more information regarding heat treatment then why not get in contact with NiTEC UK.  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the heat treatment and 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

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

 

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

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.

 

The Treat of Heat

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

Vacuum Packed Britain

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

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

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

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

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

Heat Treatment Solutions From NiTEC

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

NiTEC Heat Treatments, Sheffield

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

 

4 Reasons to Choose Heat Treatment Solutions at NiTEC UK

heat treatment solutions for metalAs experts in metal plating and metal finishing, we also offer high temperature heat treatment solutions. Our heat treatment services expose metal coatings to high temperatures for sustained periods, diffusing the electroless nickel layer onto the steel. These treatments optimise the mechanical and physical properties of a coating for a given application.

Add Flexibility to your Coating

Exposing metal coatings to heat treatment solutions gives them a degree of flexibility. It’s a common misconception that heat treatment is a process for hardening metal, as many heat treatments are applied to soften metal in order to allow metal working operations such as deep drawing, cold forging and machining. The heat treatments at NiTEC can be used for stress relieving and de-embrittlement as both pre-plate and post-plate treatments.

Maintain Corrosion Protection

Luckily, the heat treatment process does not affect the increased corrosion protection offered by an electroless nickel deposit.

Small Components can be Treated Economically

Even the smallest of components can be heat treated. We load them onto shelves to maximise the heat treatment capacity and minimise the cost of the treatment for our customers.

Carefully Monitored Heat Treatment

The staff at NiTEC use chart recording equipment to monitor the temperature changes of both the furnace and the work. This enables us to create heat treatment profiles which determine shot blasting solutions for many different requirements. Our monitoring also ensures the material achieves the required temperature for the required time, in turn eliminating heat sinks on larger components or mixed loads.

UK Heat Treatment Services

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services, including the heat treatment of metals. 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