Tag Archive for electroless nickel coating

Top 5 Properties of Electroless Nickel Coatings

No other metal coating has the combination of properties offered by electroless nickel, which is why it is such a popular coating for a number of industries. As specialists in the process, we’ve put together the top 5 properties of electroless nickel plating.

Uniform Thickness

Electroless nickel coatings can be applied in a variety of coating thicknesses. Electroless nickel can be deposited uniformly, with minimum variation from point to point. Regardless of the size and shape of the part, including recesses, holes, and complex dimensions, the uniformity of the coating can still be maintained. The range of thicknesses for electroless nickel coatings in commercial applications is 0.1 to 5 mils, however deposits as thick as 40 mils can be achieved.

Corrosion Resistance

One of the main reasons why electroless nickel plating is such a popular coating is the fact that it provides incredible corrosion resistance and corrosion protection. This property makes components coated with electroless nickel commonplace in functional applications. It is able to effectively withstand the combination of abrasion and corrosive chemicals, even in the most corrosive environments such as those encountered in drilling and producing oil wells.

Density

The density of electroless nickel coatings decline with increasing phosphorous content. That means that the higher the phosphorous content, the lower the density of the electroless nickel coating.

Adhesion

The surface preparation and activation of the electroless nickel plating is one of the most important factors for producing excellent adhesion. Electroless nickel deposits provide excellent adhesion to other substrates, for example steel, aluminium, copper and copper alloys. Heat treatment at a low temperature is commonly used to improve the adhesion of electroless nickel on all metals, especially on light metals such as aluminium or titanium. During this heat treatment, diffusion can occur between the atoms of the coating and the substrate.

Hardness

The hardness of electroless nickel coatings depends on the phosphorus content, and can be increased by heat treatment which will in turn increase wear resistance. Generally, low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings have a high hardness of 700-750 VPN and medium phosphorus electroless nickel has a hardness of 500-550 VPN. High phosphorous coatings are not usually heat-treated, but left as-plated for their superior corrosion protection.

Metal Plating Company in 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 to Choose the Perfect Electroless Nickel Coating for your Needs

There are a variety of considerations to be addresses before you can decide which type of electroless nickel plating will best suit the specifications of your metal plating requirements.

 

What Will the Part Be Used For?

One of the first considerations when choosing a plating method is the industrial application of the part. By determining what it will be used for, a list of requirements or traits that are needed from the metal coating can be established. For example, does the part require conductivity, or good adhesion properties?

What Sort of Environment Will it Function In?

The characteristics of the environment that the component will be used in should be considered before a decision is made on the type of metal coating that would be most appropriate. Corrosion resistance will be an important factor here, and determining the quantity of atmospheric testing that is needed for the required function is imperative.

How Hard Does it Need to Be?

The required hardness of the coating needs to be quantified in order to establish which type of electroless nickel coating would be most appropriate. Our hardness testing facilities use the Vickers hardness test to ensure that parts meet the required specifications.

Types of Electroless Nickel Coatings

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of electroless nickel coating types to suit a variety of applications including the following:

  • High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Medium Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Low Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Electroless Nickel PTFE Plating
  • Nickel Boron Plating
  • Nickel Diamond Plating

Electroless Nickel Plating Company

As experts in the process of elecrtroless nickel plating, the experienced professionals at NiTEC will be able to talk you through a series of questions in order to determine which one would best suit your needs. Call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

The Use of Electroless Nickel in Valves and Flow Control Devices

Electroless nickel is an excellent choice of surface technology for the oil and gas industry. As discussed in previous blog posts, the properties of elctroless nickel coatings are highly sought after in the industry, including corrosion resistance, uniformity of deposits and abrasion resistance.

Electroless Nickel and Mild Steel Ball Valves

These properties have resulted in the widespread use of electroless nickel coatings in valves and flow control devices, which are critical components in the operation of a well where good performance and long life are major economic factors.

The application of electroless nickel to mild steel ball valves is now typical in the oil and gas industry, replacing hard chromium as a corrosion resistant, smooth and uniform coating.

Successful applications of electroless nickel have been observed in all areas of the oil and gas industry. In crude oil production, mild steel ball valves have a maximum life of no more than three months, and fail due to corrosion, surface cracking and erosion. But valve components plated with electroless nickel last for years with no surface deterioration.

Similar benefits have also been observed on ball valves at plants using the sea water injection system which involves pumping sea water under high pressure to force oil to the surface. With a coating of electroless nickel, the valves withstand the conditions and no degradation is detectable after years of operation.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

For more information about electroless nickel plating and its use in the oil and gas industry, or to make an enquiry about using electroless nickel for this type of application, call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

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.

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.