Archive for Uses of nickel

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.

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

The Smart Metal that Remembers its Shape!

As a leading plating and metal finishing company, NiTEC have always been fascinated by the many uses of nickel. Nickel really is a very useful metal and it is used in all sorts of everyday items that you wouldn’t expect.

Nickel-titanium shape memory alloy is what is known as a ‘smart metal’. If it is deformed in any way or heated up, it naturally returns to its original shape, or ‘remembers’ it!

Nickel-titanium alloy

This alloy is commonly used for the frames for glasses, the kind that spring back into shape even if you sit on them. Nitinol is the generic name for the family of nickel-titanium alloys.

Nitinol stands for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and in 1961 a researcher at an American Laboratory discovered that this particular alloy has ‘shape memory’.

Although it was a fantastic discovery which has gone on to change the way glasses are made, it was actually come across by accident. During a laboratory management meeting, a badly bent strip of Nitinol was presented to the attendees. An attendee of the meeting picked up the piece of Nitinol and heated it up with his pipe lighter. To the amazement of the people in the room, the strip stretched back to its original shape.

So, whichever way you bend, stretch and pull your frames, they will always return to their original shape!

For more information about NiTEC as a plating company, or the uses of nickel in the aerospace and automotive industries, please visit the NiTEC website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk