Tag Archive for corrosion resistant

Electroplating and Electroless Plating – Less is More!

less-is-more-electroless-nickel-plating

The success of many products, which a lot of us are probably unaware of, are dependent on the application of surface engineering.  Such a huge amount of products, both commercial and industrial, are needy of it.  These include aeroplanes, computers, cars, trains, buildings, medical implants, mobile phones, and electronic devices – what would you do for a week without having just the products that have been listed?

The Electroplating Process

Electroplating is a process of surface engineering.   This is where metal coating is applied to a metallic or other conducting surface by and electrochemical process.  This process uses electric current in order to form a coherent coating on an electrode.  Electroplatings number one use is to change the surface properties of an object, such as the wear resistance, lubricity, corrosion protection and abrasion, for example.  It also builds up the thickness on objects, too.

The Electroless Plating Process

Electroless plating is a high quality, cost effective and eco-friendly solution to coating metals like stainless steel, as it can dramatically enhance the life expectancy.   The main difference between electroplating and electroless plating (yes, is in the name!) is that no electricity is used in the process of electroLESS plating.  Electroplating baths are used and are closely monitored as the parts must have a constant power supply directly provided to them in order for the ion attraction to be initiated in the bath contained solution on to the metallic surface of the submerged object.  This is when the chemical reaction occurs as the ions are being reduced and oxidised.

What does Plating help with?

  • Creates adhesion
  • Creates even coverage
  • Can add thickness to plated object
  • Weep holes can be added for drainage
  • Plating can carried out on many types of metal including electroless nickel plating
  • Conductor
  • Has low friction
  • Adds strength
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Makes objects hard wearing

Electroless Nickel Plating

NiTEC are experts in Electroless Nickel Plating, also known as ENP.  We are leading suppliers in Derbyshire who perform the electroless nickel plating process as well as many other processes to the highest of specifications to suit your needs.  We undertake diffused nickel plating, copper plating, nickel diamond plating, tin plating and many other processes.  If you are interested in these processes and want to ask us to perform these processes for your company or wish to find out more information then why not contact us today.  Call our highly respected staff on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or you can go directly to our website by clicking here to find out more about whichever process you desire.

 

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