Tag Archive for corrosion resistance

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

 

What to Consider before you Electroplate

tin-plating-company

Are you thinking about having parts electroplated?  Here are the most important things you need to take in to consideration before and during the process…

What should you consider Pre Electroplating?

 

  • Nesting

Electroplating involves electrical and chemical reactions on the surface of the part you are wanted to be plated, so exposure is crucial to the result of the final product.  Parts which are nesting will lack adhesion and therefore coverage on the final product.

  • Tolerance

The tolerance on vital dimensions on the part in question should be designated with the plating thickness in mind.  This is should be accounted for when the pieces are ready for assembly after the products have been through the chemical process.

  • Environment and exposure

What is your product going to be exposed to?  A high amount of friction, heat or sea spray?  This is essential for negotiating the thickness of the necessary plating required to maintain the resistance, corrosion and rust protection of the part in question.

  • Geometry

Electroplating involves using a current in order for the reaction to be initiated on the surface of a part, which means that the geometry of the parts surface will influence the distribution of electroplating across the surface.  This is called current density.  It is normal that plating builds up in parts which have sharp corners, bends and threads but it can be prevented if specialists use advanced plating processes.

  • Drainage

The preparation of the surface of a part needing plating must be correct so that the inside surfaces of a part will be sufficiently covered when the process is completed.  This is so that the plating will have the correct bond strength for plating to have been carried out correctly and for the part to have ultimate protection and increase its longevity.  This, for some parts, may mean they need to have a weep hole create during their design phase, so that this can be achieved.

  • Usage

It must be clear what your intended use is for the part you are needing plating.  Make it clear to your specialists what the use and required characteristics are of the part.  Important features include conductivity, low friction, high strength, corrosion resistance, wear, exposure to sea spray or water etc.  This will determine which metal your part is made from (eg. Copper, Nickel, Tin, etc), how your part should be finished and plated.

 

NiTEC UK and You

 

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company and we are leading specialists in the plating industry.  We offer an array of well-developed, high-end techniques which are cost effective and reliable.  We have extensive experience working for industries, such as aerospace, medical, army and automotive and offer our services to the UK, France, Germany, Holland and Brazil.  If you need plating services such as electroless nickel plating, copper plating or heat treatments, then contact us today by calling our friendly and professional team on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to be taken directly to our website and view the services we offer for yourself.

 

Electroplating from the Start

electroless-nickel-plated-componentElectroplating is a form of metal plating which is used by many industries in a range of capacities which include the aerospace, automotive, army, space, medical, electronic and engineering sectors, to name but a few.  It is useful due to the fact that it is so versatile and lends itself so because of its electrochemical process where metal ions in solution are bonded to metal substrates by means of electrodeposition.

Before Electroplating

Pre Electroplating, all parts must be thoroughly cleaned and then a process of chemical baths must be followed so that the parts can be prepared and activated so that the adhesion for the strong bond can take hold and become effective.  This is key in the electrodeposition process.  Many variables must be monitored closely during the electroplating bath process, such as the power supply which provides a direct flow of current to the parts in submerged.  This enables ions to be attracted to the surface of the metallic part evenly.  Every mole of electrons that are transferred to the part, allows one mole of metallic ions in the solution to adhere to the part during the bath process.  A chemical reaction can subsequently occur where the reduction and oxidation of ions takes place.

Types of Electroplating

Specialist plating facilities are able to plate a large array of different base materials to protect various surfaces.

Base materials for electroplating include:

  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Nickel Silver

Surface finishes for electroplating include:

About Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating is a high quality but cost effective coating solution which can drastically extend the life expectancy of a stainless steel component.  This is due to the metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel coating creating an even thickness across the components surface, despite its shape.  This makes electroless nickel plating very popular in sectors such as the defence, health, automotive and aerospace industries.

NiTEC UK and You

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company in the UK and are leading specialists in the plating industry.  We offer a large array of well-developed high-end techniques which are cost effective and readily available for you.  We have extensive experience of working for industries, including that of the aerospace, medical, army and automotive sectors and offer our services to the UK holistically, France, Germany, Holland and Brazil.  So, if you are interested or are in need of plating, such as electroless nickel plating, copper plating or heat treatments, then contact us today by calling our friendly and professional team on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to be taken directly to our website and view the services we offer for yourself.

ABCD – Aluminium, Boron, Coating, Diamonds

Over the last decade, the demand for aluminium moulds has increased dramatically but consistently and apparently this shows no sign of slowing down, changing or ceasing all together.  Metal coatings are provided for a range of fabricated metal components, but the largest business currently is mould coating and plating.  Specifically the demand for aluminium itself is increasing.  This is because companies have begun to discover that that aluminium moulds can last longer, much longer, than what they were predicted.  The extra longevity of the aluminium moulds can be enhanced further if buyers opt for the mould to be plated with electroless nickel.  This is a cost effective way to extend the life of aluminium tooling and has become extremely popular with automotive suppliers.  Alternatives to aluminium coating or plating can be nickel boron plating and nickel diamond plating which are also popular but aluminium remains the optimum and is only set to continue growing in demand.

Nickel Boron Plating

Nickel boron is a surface deposit coating that can be applied to many different metals including stainless steel, aluminium and titanium.  It acts as a great alternative to chrome plating and has many benefits, which include extending wear and corrosion resistance.  The nodular structure of nickel boron reduces drag in aerodynamic and fluids in circumstances such as ship propellers, down-hole oil crude oil pumping equipment, automotive and truck transmissions and greaseless guns.

Nickel Diamond Plating

Nickel Diamond Plating is where electroless nickel deposits are combined with particles of diamonds.  Many substrates can be coated using this method such as carbon, aluminium, stainless steel and alloys.  Substrates, once coated in this, become extremely highly corrosion and wear resistant and therefore have a much increased lifespan.  Part maintenance and replacement costs are reduced dramatically, as are the costs for such.  This is a popular technique in industries such as textile industry, wood working tools, computer parts, paper handling equipment, automotive water pumps, chemical process pumps and gage blocks.nickel-diamond-plating-nitec

NiTEC UK, the Specialist Plating Company

NiTEC UK are leading specialist in the plating industry, specialising in electroless nickel plating and are based in Derbyshire, England.  We have a wide range of developed techniques available to provide high-end and cost effective services for you.  We have a great deal of experience working with companies in the automotive, aerospace and military industries and offer our services to the whole of the UK, France Holland, Brazil and Germany.

Call NiTEC UK today

If you are interested in finding out more about electroless nickel plating, nickel boron plating or nickel diamond plating, then why not get in touch without friendly and professional staff team today?  Call us today on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or you can go directly on to our website by clicking here.

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.

 

The 3 P’s – Plating, Process and Products

After only a couple of decades, the metal finishing world has been transformedElectroplating is the most modern form of metal finishing which is used in a wide array of industries such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare and military defence, to name but a few.  During this electrochemical process the metal ions in solution are bonded to a metal substrate via the process of electrodeposition.

Pre-Electroplatingletter-p

Before electroplating was a front runner in the metal finishing world, parts had to be properly cleaned before entering a series of chemical baths to prepare and activate in order to prepare and activate the metal to create strong adhesion created during the process of electrodeposition.

The Plating Process

Electroplating baths involve multiple variables and components which must be closely monitored constantly.  The parts have a constant power supply provided directly to them which initiates the ion attraction in the solution towards to metallic surface.  Every time a mole of electrons is transferred to the part in question, one mole of metallic ions in solution adhere directly to the part as well.  Whilst this happens a chemical reaction also occurs on the surface of the part which includes ions being reduced and oxidised.

What do you need to consider before electing to use Electroplating?

  • Because electrical and chemical reactions are both involved in the electroplating process, exposure is critical to the finished product. The nesting of parts will create a lack of adhesion and lack of coverage which should be avoided.
  • Plating thickness should be kept in mind when dimension tolerance is designated and the extra room for electroplating should be left so that parts fit together after the process has occurred.
  • What environment are the parts going to be exposed to? This will help you to decide what level of thickness you will require in order for your part to be made corrosion proof.
  • The geometry of the part in relation to the current distribution aka current density, across the surface of a part. Plating builds up on sharp corners, bends and threads for example.
  • Do you need to think about the drainage of plating solutions the addition of a weep hole may need to be added during its design phase in order for it to be successful.
  • Think about the type of metal you should be using in relating to the job you want it to do for you! What characteristics do you need the surface to have for the job in question?  Does it need to be a conductor, have low friction, be strong, corrosion resistant, hard wearing etc?  This should make you therefore lead you in to thinking about the types of plating which would be effective – Gold plating, Silver plating, Nickel plating or Copper plating

Electroplating Suppliers at Your Convenience

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company, who are experts in the Electroless Nickel Plating process or ENP.  If you are interested in finding out about Electroless Nickel Plating or other process we supply, such as Diffused Nickel plating, Shot blasting or Heat Treatment, then why not give us a call on 0845 224 3571.  Alternatively, you could get in touch with our friendly and professional staff via email at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or click here to go directly to our website to extensively discover our services.

 

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.

 

UK Industrial Output Increased by Rise in Oil and Gas Extraction

 

The UK’s industrial sector has received a significant boost thanks to an increased output of oil, gas and manufacturing. The Yorkshire Post has reported that industrial output grew at its fastest rate in six months in March, after an unexpected bounce in oil and gas extraction.

offshore oilrigOfficial data from the Office for National Statistics has showed that industrial output rose 0.5% in March, after creeping up by only 0.1% in February. This is the strongest growth since September, and has exceeded leading economists’ forecast of that it would remain the same.

Oil and Gas Extraction

Oil and gas extraction rose to 4.9%, which was its fastest rate since February 2014. Falling oil prices and rising production costs as North Sea oil gets scarcer had previously contributed to a general downward trend.

Britain’s economy grew by 2.8% in 2014, the fastest growth rate of any big advanced economy. It did lose pace in the first quarter of 2015 when total output rose by just 0.3%. However, recent data shows that manufacturing output rose by 0.4% after upwardly revised growth of 0.5% in February, which was slightly faster than expected.

Marine Corrosion Protection for the Oil and Gas Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, we carry out a significant amount of metal plating work for parts and components to be used in the oil and gas industries. A common requirement for plated components used in these industries is their ability to resist corrosion for a substantial amount of time, especially in subsea conditions.

Our commitment to research and development allowed us to create SeaTEC100, a metal coating that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. SeaTEC 100 has been independently tested to withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours, a period of time that is unprecedented within the engineering industry.

Metal Plating for Oil and Gas Applications

We provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services for both onshore and offshore oil and gas applications. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

5 Reasons to Choose Electroless Nickel Over Stainless Steel

electroless nickel plated componentDespite its name, stainless steel is not really fully stain proof. It doesn’t corrode, rust or stain easily with water as ordinary steel would do. But under conditions where there are low levels of oxygen, high levels of salt or poor circulation, stainless steel will stain and even corrode.

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we have put together a list of 5 reasons why we feel that nickel plating components is a better choice than manufacturing them from stainless steel.

Superior Hardness and Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel can be used in environments where corrosion resistance is important and where the levels of hardness of the metal are also important. However, electroless nickel plating mild steel can achieve the same effect, with properties of hardness and corrosion resistance actually exceeding the benefits offered by stainless steel.

Nickel Plating is Cheaper than Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a lot more expensive than mild steel or cast iron that has been electroless nickel plated. It is far more cost effective to electroless nickel plate parts made of mild steel or cast iron for the ultimate levels of corrosion resistance.

Meet Engineering Specifications

Electroless nickel plating can be carried out to exceptionally high levels of quality so that it meets required engineering specifications. This means that you will have the peace of mind that your plated components will last indefinitely, effectively protected from corrosion and wear for years to come.

For more information about how we can fulfill your nickel plating requirements, or for advice on using electroless nickel plating an as alternative to stainless steel, please visit the Nitec website, or call our friendly team of staff on 0845 224 3571

The Importance of Salt Spray Testing to Ensure Corrosion Resistance

Coatings such as diffused nickel plating provide superior corrosion resistance to components. Choosing the right material and protective coating is essential when a component will be used in an extreme environment. But it’s absolutely crucial to assess the reliability of a product in order to make sure that it will survive in its working environment – that’s where salt spray testing is useful.

Rusty mining equipment

Mining equipment suffering from rust and corrosion

Ensure Component Reliability with Salt Spray Testing

The assurance of product reliability is of the utmost importance if you want to keep your customers happy. Without proper testing, you run the risk of components failing, which is not only annoying, it is expensive and potentially dangerous too. Product failure could also potentially damage the company’s reputation and may compromise its position in the market place.

Accelerated Corrosion Testing

Here at NiTEC, we use salt spray testing as a standard test method to check the corrosion resistance of coated samples which may be prone to suffering from degradation as a result of salt corrosion.

The salt spray test is an accelerated corrosion test that produces a corrosive environment for the coated samples in order to predict its suitability in use as a protective finish. It creates a saturated water vapour atmosphere containing sulphur dioxide, enabling us to determine the resistance of the sample, ensuring its longevity and reliability.

Checking the Corrosion Resistance of Diffused Nickel Plated Samples

As the test provides conditions that accelerate the process of corrosion, it means that instead of testing a product in real time, which will take an enormous amount of time, the same effect can be recreated in a relatively short space of time.

Salt Spray and Kesternich Testing Services at NiTEC UK

To find out more about our salt spray testing and Kesternich testing services, please contact us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk. Please note that the Kesternich testing service from NiTEC is available to customers worldwide, as samples can be delivered to our metal plating factory in Chesterfield from abroad by DHL.

Diffused Nickel Plating for Pipeline End Fittings

diffused nickel pipeline end fittingThe use of diffused nickel plating on pipeline end fittings is a fantastic option for protecting them against corrosion.

This simple plating technique is proven to be more corrosion resistant than the highest grade stainless steel, and far cheaper, which is why it is often used on subsea projects and on and offshore applications.

Superior Corrosion Resistance

As experts in metal plating and finishing, NiTEC UK have tested the corrosion resistance of diffused nickel plated components through independent salt spray testing. During the experiment, no corrosion at all was detected, meaning that it was abandoned. In fact, diffused nickel plating is so resistant to corrosion, especially in marine environments, that our customers have given mild steel plated with diffused nickel plating 30 year sub-sea guarantees.

What are the Benefits of Diffused Electroless Nickel Plating?

  • Huge cost saving implications compared to other plating techniques or stainless steel
  • Greatly enhanced performance when compared to even the highest grade stainless steel
  • Superior corrosion resistance for subsea and offshore applications

UK Based Diffused Electroless Nickel Plating Service

For more information about the process of diffused nickel plating as a cheaper alternative to stainless steel,  contact NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Bikes, Nickel Plating and the Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France 2014

As you are no doubt aware, the Tour de France will be sweeping into Yorkshire this July as it stages the Grand Depart. Here at NiTEC, we’re really excited about the region hosting such an iconic event and the interest and visitors it will bring to the area.

tour de france yorkshireThe Yorkshire roads will host the first stage of the tour, which starts in Leeds and finishes in Harrogate on 5 July. The second stage will leave from York and finish in Sheffield. After that, the riders race from Cambridge to London before the Tour moves on to the French stages.

Stage One of the Tour de France

The race will start on the Headrow in Leeds and then head out of the city north towards Harewood. It will also to visit Ilkley, Otley, Ripon, Skipton and Hawes before finishing Harrogate. This stage is a total 118 miles (190km).

Stage Two of the Tour de France

Stage two will start in York and go through Knaresborough, Keighley, and over Holme Moss into the Peak District National Park. It finishes after 124 miles (200km) at Sheffield Arena.

Electroless Nickel Plated Bike Frames

We’ve always been interested in the use of electroless nickel for plating bike frames a way of keeping it rust and scratch free. Road bikes and mountain bikes alike are exposed to a variety of conditions through general use including being exposed to mud, water and salt.

nickel plated bike frameHere at NiTEC, we often receive requests to nickel plate bike frames on behalf of our customers as the process ensures that the frame will be immune to rust, scratches and corrosion forever. We charge £185 to nickel plate a bike frame, and we can have it nickel plated and scratch and corrosion resistant in just 5 days of receiving it.

All you have to do is disassemble your bike, send us the handlebars and frame, and we’ll electroless nickel plate the parts and return them to you for reassembly. To find out more about having your bike frame electroless nickel plated, contact the team at Nitec today on (0)845 224 3571 or visit our website at for more information.

Decorative Aluminium Bathroom Sink Nickel Plated for Protection

Most people think of the plating activities we carry out at NiTEC as being purely for engineering applications, but as you may have seen from our last few blog posts, we do plate a lot of items for sculptors and artists too. We occasionally receive enquiries to plate more unusual domestic pieces, such as balustrades, staircases, furniture, and this metal basin.

nickel plated basin sink

Aluminium basin nickel plated for corrosion protection

The sink itself was originally cast out of aluminium and featured a large round inset for the basin itself. The bottom of the sink was a rugged texture that looked a lot like the texture of the surface of a jagged rock. As you can see from the picture, it’s a really impressive piece, and will undoubtedly look fantastic in the bathroom of its new home!

Protection for Prolonged Exposure to Water

Due to the amount of running water and handling that the sink would receive when it was used, the aluminium it was cast from was not really appropriate for a sink. Aluminium is very prone to corrosion and can tarnish and discolour easily. Although it doesn’t rust, the surface of the aluminium could become encrusted with calcium and hard water stains, which would leave it looking dull and possibly even stained.

We plated the aluminium sink with an electroless nickel coating to ensure that the surface of the basin remained bright and shiny, and to ensure that the prolonged exposure to water wouldn’t cause any staining or discolouration of the basin. Electroless nickel plating also ensures that the metal coating it deposits grows at a uniform speed all over the part and covers any crevices and rugged areas evenly and thoroughly.

Total Uniform Coverage with Electroless Nickel Plating

The uniform coverage of an electroless nickel coating doesn’t just benefit decorative items such as this sink, it’s also perfect for ensuring uniform coverage for engineering components too. Electroless nickel deposits do not build up on the edges or ends of components, and leave a uniform deposit both inside and out. This means that components can be plated to tight tolerances, meaning that there is no need to machine the part afterwards. This accurate coverage saves both time and money. It’s also a great alternative to stainless steel, too.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of using electroless nickel plating for corrosion protection and the uniform, even coverage of parts, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

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.

Jobs Growth for UK Oil and Gas Sector

oil rig at nightBBC News has recently reported that companies in the oil and gas sector in the UK expect to create nearly 40,000 jobs in the next two years. According to a survey commissioned by the Bank of Scotland of 100 UK companies, the expectations of employment growth has increased this year, with 69% of company executives being optimistic about their prospects for growth in 2014 and 2015.

International Expansion and Investment

The companies involved in the study also expressed that international expansion was a priority, with 64% of them already planning further growth in foreign markets in the next 2 years.

The research, carried out by BDRC Continental, analysed companies over a range of size, location and service type. There was also a study carried on the same topic last year, which found that companies in the oil and gas sector were expected to hire an extra 34,000 people over a period of two years.

The commercial area director of the Bank of Scotland, Stuart White, said: “The findings of this report are excellent news for the economy, demonstrating the employment-generating nature of the oil and gas industry now and in the future. With most of the UK’s oil and gas firms clustered in Aberdeen and the north-east, Scotland should reap the largest share of these new jobs, however other parts of the UK will benefit from expansion plans.

“The results also demonstrate the global nature of the industry as more firms look to expand internationally and tap into the markets with the largest levels of recoverable reserves,” he explained. “With 44% of income already generated internationally, this is not a new trend, and reflects the reach UK firms have as the industry benefits from the expertise gained in the challenging North Sea environment.”

Marine Corrosion Protect for the Oil and Gas Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, our metal plating and metal finishing service are often employed on components used in the oil and gas sector. We regularly deal with parts such as end fittings and flexible pipelines, among others. In addition to electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating which provide excellent corrosion resistance, we have also developed our very own SeaTEC100, the ultimate in marine corrosion resistance. This specialist surface increases the life of components used in subsea conditions and effectively protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time.

If you are looking for a metal coating that provides high levels of corrosion resistance for use in the oil and gas industries, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Coatings

Here at NiTEC, we spend our days electroless nickel plating components for a variety of applications including aerospace, electrical/electronics, the energy industry, and general engineering.

Properties of electroless nickel coatings

Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings produce very tough, abrasion and corrosion resistant surfaces, which can be further hardened with heat treatment. The hardness of the plated surface can also be increased by decreasing the phosphorus content of the coating, usually to around 2%.

Corrosion resistance

They also have a good natural corrosion and chemical resistance. These properties can also be maximised by increasing the phosphorus content of the coating, usually to 10% or above.

Electroless nickel and phosphorous levels

The chemistry of electroless nickel plating solutions can be altered to give the plated coating different properties, for example, a medium phosphorus coating, a low phosphorous coating and a high phosphorus coating.

Medium Phosphorous electroless nickel coating

Electroless nickel coatings with medium phosphorous content are the most commonly used and applied electroless nickel coatings. They generally have a phosphorous content of 6-9% and a VPN of roughly 500. However, this can be increased further with heat treatment. The coating tends to be bright, with a normal plating thickness range of 3-50 microns. Medium phosphorous electroless nickel coatings are very stable and reliable with fast plating rates.

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coating

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings contain less than 3% phosphorous and are very hard. With the appropriate heat treatment, a low phosphorus coating can be in the region of 1000 Vpn. The normal plating thickness of this type of coating is in the region of 10-25 microns and is grey/silver in colour.

High phosphorous electroless nickel coating

Electroless nickel coatings with high phosphorous contents typically have very high levels of corrosion and chemical resistance. High phosphorous coatings are non-magnetic, silver/grey in colour and have a normal thickness range of 25-75 microns. Plating rates are typically slow and the plating solution tends to have a short life.

If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating services 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.

High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Coatings

High phosphorus electroless nickel provides the highest levels of corrosion resistance. It is often used in industries that require high levels of resistance to strongly acidic corrosive environments, for example, coal mining and oil drilling.

Component plated with high phosphorus electroless nickelElectroless nickel containing high levels of phosphorus has a low degree of solderability, and will only be solderable for a limited time after plating. This makes it perfect for electronic parts such as connector housings and semiconductor packaging.

The microhardness levels of high phosphorus electroless nickel coatings range up about 600 VPN. This type of nickel coating makes for low levels of surface porosity, and is not prone to staining.

Also, when the phosphorus content is greater than 11.2%, deposits are non-magnetic.

Features of high phosphorus electroless nickel:

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Fast deposition rate throughout life
  • Consistent deposition rate throughout life
  • Very stable and robust

If you are looking for a metal coating that provides high levels of corrosion resistance, high phosphorus electroless nickel is a great solution. Call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

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

The Ultimate Corrosion Protection

Here at NiTEC, we are experts in the fields of corrosion protection and corrosion resistance. We have spent years developing extremely sophisticated metal finishing techniques in order to establish ourselves as market leaders.

Our metal plating tanks are up to 10 meters in length, making them the largest in the UK. We have even been known to construct bespoke plating tanks in house to cater for customer’s specific needs. We can plate parts of all sizes, from small components the size of pins, to large applications such as oil pipelines and castings weighing up to 25 tonnes.

NiTEC’s onsite laboratory

The corrosion protection and corrosion resistance offered by the metal finishing services at NiTEC is closely monitored to ensure that we offer our customers the very highest standards.

We have a laboratory onsite which carries out all of the necessary tests to ensure that the thickness and hardness of the coatings we provide is measured accurately. We are also committed to investing in the very latest instrumentation to continually maintain the highest levels of quality for our plating services.

If you would like to find out more about our range of metal plating and metal finishing services that are the ultimate in corrosion prevention, contact NiTEC 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel and Computer Hard Disks

It’s truly amazing how far the IT industry has advanced over the past few decades. Laptops, computers and tablets continue to reduce in size, but despite shrinking, they can actually hold more data than ever before.

IBM invented the very first computer disc storage way back in 1956. The disks were about 150cm in diameter, which is roughly twice the size of an old vinyl record, and they could store 100 kilobytes of data. The computer hard disks we use today can be as small as 1cm wide and hold more than 400 gigabytes!

Hard disk drives work by using a magnetic head to move to a location where information is stored. As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC have a wealth of knowledge about the use of nickel and the benefits of using nickel in everyday items such as hard drives.

Nickel really is a critical part of the technology involved in hard drives and is used in the film heads. It is applied to the magnetic heads using a plating process that uses heat, not electricity, to deposit the nickel layer.

This film head technology means that the storage density of hard drives has increased by 10 every 8 years since 1979! It also means that hard disk drives can now be used in mobile phones, video games consoles and iPods.

If you would like to find out more about NiTEC’s plating services and metal finishing services, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Why Use Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to Galvanisation?

The process of galvanisation

The process of galvanisation applies a protective coating of zinc onto the metal. This type of coating is commonly used on steel or iron in order to prevent rusting. Galvanisation prevents a ferrous item from rusting, as the corrosion resistance of zinc is much higher than that of steel or iron. Advantages of galvanisation are that it is relatively cheap and easily applied. It also has a very long life and needs little maintenance.

Galvanised componentHot dip galvanisation

Hot dip galvanisation is the most common method of galvanisation. The steel part is submerged in a bath of molten zinc, coating the component with a layer of zinc. Hot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable.

Electroplated galvanisation

Galvanisation can also be achieved using electrochemical and electrodeposition processes. Electroplated coatings are generally less durable and not really appropriate for outdoor applications because the deposit is very thin. This can be helped by painting the surface of the component, which slows down zinc consumption, delays the corrosion and extending its durability.

The advantage of electroplating is that it is much cheaper than hot dip galvanising. It is used for many different outdoor applications but despite looking good when it is new, it isn’t very durable and won’t withstand the elements very well.

An alternative to galvanising

Although galvanisation is cheaper, the final finish isn’t as attractive or durable as some other types of metal finishing. Electroless nickel plating can be used as an alternative to galvanisation as it is durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Electroless nickel plating can also be used in harsh environments because of its high corrosion resistance. The uniform coating created by this process can be a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defense, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Considering the extent of its durability and the attractive finish it creates, electroless nickel plating is cheaper than you might think. It is also the ideal plating for a surface exposed to friction and wear, which can also be increased by using heat treatments.

If you would like to find out more about using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to galvanisation, contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Phosphorous Variations in Electroless Nickel Coatings

As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC provide the full spectrum of nickel and phosphorous alloys.

Electroless nickel can be alloyed with between 4 and 14% phosphorous. There are three main types of electroless nickel, which are outlined below.

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

Low phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with approximately 4% phosphorous. Electroless nickel coatings of this type are typically very hard, have good corrosion protection in alkaline environments and lowest impact on fatigue. Low phosphorous electroless nickel is best for higher temperatures.

Medium phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

Medium phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with between 5 to 9% phosphorous. This is the most common type of electroless nickel plating and is typically very bright. Medium phosphorous electroless nickel plating offers moderate corrosion and wear protection.

High phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

High phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with 10 to 14% phosphorous. This type of electroless nickel coating has a glass-like structure with the highest level of corrosion protection. It is also non-magnetic.

If you would like advice from the experts on which type of electroless nickel coating will best suit your product and it’s use, contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit our website to contact a specific member of staff.