Tag Archive for electroless nickel coatings

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.

Electroless Nickel Plating for Valve Components in Engineering Applications

We recently published a blog post regarding the use of electroless nickel for valves and flow control devices in the oil and gas industry. Although electroless nickel has been used successfully on ball valves in the oil and gas industry, it has been equally successful on valve components in other engineering applications too.

It is essential that valves can be opened and closed easily and reliably whenever necessary, even though no movement from a set position may have occurred over a long period of time. Protection of the stems from corrosion and abrasion can be achieved by coating with electroless nickel.

Electroless Nickel Coatings for Fire-Flow Valves

Electroless nickel coatings have also been beneficial in the manufacture and performance of fire-flow valves due to their corrosion resistance, hardness, surface finish and lubricity. Fire-flow valves are required to provide a tight seal during normal operations and to act as shut off valves after inadvertent exposure to 650C.

Electroless nickel is also used on some critical safety valve applications. For example, blowout preventers are safety valves used to shut down oil and gas wells in emergency situations. A unit consists of a hydraulically operated ram, capable of cutting through the tubing carrying the oil and gas to seal the flow.

After testing, a unit is only required to operate once in an emergency but to ensure satisfactory performance, it is mandatory that no corrosion or physical damage occurs on the ram or sealing surfaces. Electroless nickel coatings are frequently used to provide the hardness and corrosion resistance required.

Corrosion Resistant Oil and Gas Coatings

NiTEC UK 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

7 Advantages of Electroless Nickel Coatings

For engineers looking to protect parts from wear, friction and corrosion, electroless nickel plating offers a range of advantages.

1. Effective Barrier Coating

Electroless nickel coatings are often less porous than electroplated nickel and hard chrome, providing an effective barrier of corrosion protection to steel. It can also be applied with none or little compressive stress, therefore making it gentle in application.

2. Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings can reach up to 1000 VHN with the appropriate heat treatment and provide an excellent hard coating for light metals.

3. Wear Resistance

This type of coating has excellent wear resistance properties, and can, therefore, extend the life of a part or component. As parts can be used for longer, plating components with electroless nickel means that money can be saved on repairs and replacements, and the impact on the environment can be reduced.

4. Uniform Deposit

The process of electroless nickel plating provides flexibility of thickness and volume of the plating on metal surfaces. It can also be used to easily fill recesses or pits in the metal surface, resulting in a uniform deposit and surface finish. This means that a wide variety of industrial parts can be plated, including oil field valves, pumps, drive shafts, electrical and mechanical tools, and engineering equipment etc. The uniformity of electroless nickel coatings also means that close tolerances can be adhered to.

5. Natural Lubricity

Electroless nickel plating has natural lubricity, and has excellent release and anti-galling properties.

6. No Electricity Needed

Electroless nickel plating does not need any electricity; therefore the process can be completed in a more controlled environment with less equipment than traditional electroplating.

7. Cost Effective

Electroless nickel plating is a much more cost effective way of plating metal, requiring fewer coats to produce a strong, high quality coating. Also, the reduction in equipment and time needed for the process in comparison to electroplating makes it an efficient, cost effective process. Electroless nickel plated mild steel is also an excellent replacement for more expensive materials.

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating Company

For more information about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used to benefit your business, visit the Nitec website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email web@nitec-enp.co.uk

Engineering Coatings for the Oil and Gas Industries

As experienced suppliers of effective engineering coatings for the oil and gas industry, NiTEC have a wealth of knowledge regarding wear resistant, anti-corrosion coatings suitable for harsh and demanding environments. We specialise in a range of engineering coatings including the following:

Electroless Nickel Coatings

Electroless nickel is ideal for precision parts that are in need of anti-fretting and corrosion protection, for example, on parts such as splines, couplings, gasket faces and fibre optic connectors. It is very resistant to corrosion and will, therefore, extend the life of everything it coats.  This makes it ideal for coating parts exposed to harsh environments such as those operating in the marine, oil and gas and defence industries.

Ni-PTFE Self Lubricating Corrosion Resistant Coating

Ni-PTFE plating is a unique self lubricating plating solution that combines the hardness of electroless nickel with the lubricity of Polytetrafluoreothylene (PTFE).  Its properties of low friction wear and self lubrication make it an excellent choice for sliding wear applications, and instances where conventional lubricants would be harmful to components.

It can effectively increase the life span of components due to its properties of corrosion prevention and wear resistance, and provides long life lubrication for inaccessible parts as it dramatically reduces the levels of friction between components.

SeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion Protection

SeaTEC 100 is the perfect coating to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions. This revolutionary product protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and provides marine corrosion resistance for an extensive period of time, making it perfect for use in sub-sea conditions.

For more information about our range of high quality engineering coatings specially designed for the oil and gas industry, 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.

Electroless Nickel – Every Engineer’s Dream!

Here at NiTEC, we are extremely proud of our high quality electroless nickel plating services. We routinely nickel plate items for a wide and wonderful variety of applications and industries. This method of plating has so many advantages – which is why we like to call it every engineers dream!

What’s so Great About Electroless Nickel?

Electroless nickel coatings are comprised of a mixture of nickel alloy and phosphorus. This superb combination offers high levels of corrosion protection that are particularly useful in extreme conditions.

Electroless nickel is the perfect metal coating for working to close tolerances, meaning that post-plate grinding is rarely needed. It can be applied to a variety of base materials including stainless steel, iron, steel, brass and copper.

The Advantages of Using Electroless Nickel on Large Parts

Electroless nickel plating large components is a highly efficient method of plating, and can be extremely cost effective too.

NiTEC are one of the only electroless nickel plating companies that have the capacity to process large parts. In fact, we have never been approached with a project that we couldn’t fulfil because of its size!

Our staff have even been known to construct bespoke specialist plating tanks to accommodate larger items of unusual dimensions, such as sculptures. Of course, plating large components isn’t all about the size of the plating tank; there are lots of other practical issues to consider as well.

The mass of the part is a factor that needs to be considered. The larger and heavier the part is, the more consideration needs to be taken when moving the part in and out of the plating solutions and around the shop floor. Therefore, care must be taken when thinking about the selection of cranes and fixtures needed to lift the component.

Luckily, here at NiTEC, we have plenty of experience handling large parts, and the equipment and man power we need to do so. If you would like to find out more about the process of electroless nickel plating 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.

Electroless Nickel Coatings Can Increase the Lifespan of Steam Turbines

 

Here at NiTEC UK, we have a wealth of experience electroless nickel plating components for large multinational companies and a wide variety of industries and applications.

As a leading provider of worldwide metal plating services, we have recently worked with Elliott Turbo-Steam Turbines. Elliot steam turbines are specially built to be able to perform for years, and they have an excellent reputation as being the best in the industry.

Elliot steam turbines are very reliable and hard wearing, and by adding an electroless nickel coating, their life span can be further increased. As the addition of an electroless nickel coating is very hard, it can reduce the wear of the part when friction is an issue.

Elliot steam turbines are used in power generation and food processing,  chemical and petrochemical, pulp and paper, and the oil and gas industry.

For more information on how electroless nickel coatings can be used to increase the lifespan of components and reduce wear through friction, contact NiTEC UK by visiting our website, speak to a member of our specialist team on 0845 224 357, or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Common Applications of Electroless Nickel Coatings

Electroless nickel plating can be applied to a variety of components. Its fantastic properties make it the perfect plating solution for a variety of applications, including the following:

Electrical equipment

Electroless nickel coatings are perfect for electrical equipment due to their solderability and conductivity properties.

Applications include heat sinks, computer drive mechanisms, memory disks and drums, terminals and lead wires, chassis, connectors, diode and transistor cans, interlocks, junction fittings and printed circuit boards.

Packaging and handling machinery

Packaging and handling machinery can benefit from an electroless nickel coating due to its properties of wear resistance, cleanliness and the attractive finish it provides.

Chemical equipment

Nickel coatings have excellent chemical resistance, making them perfect for applications in the chemical and petroleum industries. This includes ball, gate and plug valves, chokes and control valves, oil field tools, oil well tubing and pumps, drilling mud pumps and blowout preventors.

Molds and dies

Electroless nickel coatings are used for molds and dies due to the lubricity of nickel that minimises erosion and abrasion. This coating is commonly used on zinc die cast dies, glass molds, plastic injection molds, and plastic extrusion dies.

Food service equipment

Electroless nickel is commonly used to plate food service equipment due to its superior corrosion and wear resistance, its an attractive finish and high degree of cleanliness.

Salvage

Electroless nickel coatings can be used for restoring parts to their original dimensions, for example, molds, shafts, landing gear and gears. They can also be used to repair mis-matched parts as they are a cost effective alternative to hard chrome and often eliminate subsequent machining or grinding operations.

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