Archive for Special projects

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.

NiTEC Complete Undercoat for 24-Carat Gold Plated Men’s Racing Bike

Here at NiTEC UK, we’ve had our fair share of exciting plating projects. But this recent job was particularly unusual, not to mention absolutely beautiful. We recently worked in conjunction with a London based gold-plating and customization brand called Goldgenie, undercoating a men’s racing bike with a layer of nickel before the final 24 carat gold coat was applied. Electroless nickel plating provided the perfect anti-rusting and anti-corrosion properties to support the gold exterior, of which almost every inch of the bicycle is now plated, including its chain, handlebars and spokes!

As you can see from the photos, the result is just amazing. As a metal plating company we have had the pleasure of nickel plating a great many components and objects, including bikes, sculptures and garden ornaments. But this was something else; the finished effect was just stunning and we were delighted to have been involved in such a unique project.

£250,000 Price Tag

The men’s racing bicycle has been coated in a layer of 24 carat gold, and will set you back a huge £250,000. “Striking to look at, the bike is even more beautiful when in fluid motion, as the spinning spokes catch the sunlight and ripples along the golden frame,” Goldgenie say on their website.

An Amazing Piece of Moveable Sculpture

Frank Fernando, director of Goldgenie, told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s the most amazing piece of movable sculpture in the world. This particular bike comes in at just under £250,000 but we as a company embellish and diamond encrust, which is what my intentions are with this bike to the requirements of any potential customer.”

About Goldgenie

Since being founded in 1995, Goldgenie have established themselves as the go-to customization service for a number of organisations which include Lexus, Honda, Toyota and Nokia. They now have a reputation as being a global leader in the support of ethical mining. Goldgenie’s range of luxury gifts also include gold-plated iPhones, Beats by Dre headphones studded with Swarovski crystals and a 24-carat gold replica of James Bond’s signature Walther PPK handgun!

Corrosion Resistant Undercoat

For more information about using nickel plating as a corrosion resistant undercoat, call our friendly team on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk for more information.

Pickling Stainless Steel for World Renowned Aerospace group Meggitt

As experts in the various processes of metal finishing, and often the company of choice for several aerospace companies, NiTEC recently took on a project pickling steel for world renowned Aerospace group Meggitt.

Meggitt PLC – Engineering for Extreme Environments

Meggitt PLC is a global engineering group specialising in extreme environment components and sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets.They are a FTSE 100 supplier of aircraft parts, and they supply flight displays and wheels to both Boeing and Airbus.

Why Pickle Stainless Steel?

The process of pickling stainless steel is a metal surface treatment that is used to remove any impurities from the surface of the metal. This could be stains, inorganic contaminants, and rust or scale. Acid is commonly used to remove these surface impurities.

The Safe Handling of Hydrofluoric Acid

pickling stainless steelStaff at NiTEC used hydrofluoric and nitric acid to remove the discoloured scale from the stainless steel, and as you can see from the pictures, the process makes a huge difference to the surface of the steel.

Hydrofluoric acid is a really effective acid for pickling; although it is typically more expensive than other acids, the process of pickling is much quicker and it effectively minimises the base metal loss.

We had the exciting task of pickling stainless steel for a project located in offshore Brazil and were lucky enough to be chosen as partners in the project because of our expertise in the safe handling of hydofluoric acid, which is an integral part in the process we carried out for Meggitt.

Metal Finishing Services in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

If you would like more information about Nitec’s capabilities with regard to metal pickling, pickling stainless steel, and our experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk.

Copper Plating for the Bicentenary Bar, Lord’s Cricket Ground

For those of you that follow the NiTEC blog, you’ll be aware that we were recently lucky enough to be involved with Lord’s Cricket Ground carrying out an exciting copper plating project for their bar.

Copper Plated Ducting

We can finally reveal the finished copper plated ducting at the Bicentenary Bar, which is located under the East Stand at Lord’s, just inside the East entrance gate off St John’s Wood Road. Here are some pictures of the copper ducting in place.

It really is a stunning effect overall, and we are told that it looks just amazing in real life!

The large duct carries beer python bundles, and the vertical ones take beer lines down to each pouring station. They are used to conceal the plastic pipes that the beer travels through as it is pumped up and down the bar. Because of all the pouring stations, there are obviously lots and lots of pipes that pump the beer down to them, and they needed to be contained in a way that was not only practical but looked good too. As you can see, the ducts are long and circular, perfectly designed to hide the pipes.

Decorative Uses of Copper Plating

Copper plating has become more popular for decorative applications in recent years, and you can see why! It creates a really bright and very shiny effect, giving a luxurious finish that is perfect for interior design uses. It also naturally kills bacteria, which makes it a great choice for the food and drink industry!

If you ever go to a major cricket match at Lords, have a look at the Bicentenary bar and you’ll be able to see this great copper plating project in action.

If you are interested in the process of copper plating for either a functional or decorative application, NiTEC can help. To make an enquiry or simply to have a chat with one of our friendly team about your requirements, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

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.

Plating Motorcycle Parts With Electroless Nickel

As much as you’d like them to, motorcycles don’t stay looking shiny and new forever. There may come a point where the elements have taken their toll, and your motorcycle starts to look a little worse for wear.

electroless nickel plated motorcycle frame

Here at NiTEC, electroless nickel plating specialists in Derbyshire, we can offer a plating service that will make your motorcycle look like new again.

We have plating tanks large enough to accommodate the entire bare frame, and we can also plate specific parts on request.

Restore old motorcycle parts

Electroless nickel plating is a great alternative to chrome plating for motorcycle frames and parts. Nickel plating is typically used on pistons, oil industry parts and in the aerospace industry due its good corrosion resistance and wear properties.

Large electroless nickel plating tanks

At NiTEC, we have large capacity electroless nickel plating tanks which are up to 10 metres in length, and we can lift items of up to 20 metric tonnes. Our tanks are, in fact the largest in the country, as our competitors only offer solutions of up to 3 metres in length. This means that we can plate components of all sizes, including small pins, motorcycle parts and even oil pipelines.

If you would like to find out more about our motorcycle parts electroless nickel plating service 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

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

NiTEC Sponsor Well in Africa for AquAid

Here at electroless nickel plating specialists NiTEC, we are pleased to be able to make a difference to people’s lives in Africa by getting our water coolers from AquAid.

We have recently been asked to sponsor a water well on behalf of this great charity, and of course we jumped at the chance to do our bit!

Aquaid saves the lives of children in Africa by raising funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, like in schools and villages.

For every water cooler and bottle of water that we get from Aquaid, a donation is made on NiTEC’s behalf to The Africa Trust.

As a way of spreading the word about the great work that AquAid do, we have put a badge of support on to the NiTEC website to show our commitment to helping AquAid’s recent project installing Elephant Pumps in Africa.

One of the many installed water pumps will be inscribed with NiTEC UK, and in time we look forward to receiving a certificate and letter of thanks from the villagers/pupils.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we can help to support such a worthwhile and needy cause,” said NiTEC Commercial Director Marcus Hill. “It’s fantastic to be involved in supporting AquAid and The Africa Trust, everyone at NiTEC is thrilled to be involved and doing their bit to help.”

The Africa Trust  was founded by AquAid in order to bring sustainable solutions to poverty in Africa. This amazing charity works tirelessly to establish sustainable supplies of clean productive water and decent sanitation. Income generating projects are also used to pay school fees, improve clinics and generate the funds needed to run orphanages.

For more information about NiTEC and our services, including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, and copper plating, please visit our website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the NiTEC website.

 

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