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?
The process of Electroless Nickel plating is autocatalytic – A controlled reaction between a nickel-phosphorous alloy and a metal or plastic substrate, without 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
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