Tag Archive for metal coating

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.

 

3 Reasons to Choose Electroless Nickel Plating Over Galvanisation

What is Galvanisation?

When a metal is galvanised, a protective zinc coating is applied to it. This zinc coating is applied to steel or iron in order to prevent the surface of the metal from rusting. Hot-dip galvanisation is the most common method of galvanisation. During this process, the steel parts are submerged in a bath of molten zinc. This process is also achievable through electrochemical and electro deposition processes but there are some differences between them.

galvanised metalHot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable.

Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to Galvanisation

Electroless nickel plating and galvanisation are both effective metal finishing techniques for the prevention of corrosion and rust on the surface of metal. If you’re trying to decide which would be a better coating for your application, here are 3 reasons why you should choose electroless nickel plating as an alternative to galvanisation.

  1. Durability and Corrosion Resistance

The electroless nickel plating process is a high quality, cost effective solution to coating metals such as mild or stainless steel and can substantially extend the life of a component. It is an excellent alternative to galvanisation as it is both durable and aesthetically pleasing.

  1. Uniform Coating

Not only does electroless nickel plating provide enough corrosion resistance to be used in harsh environments, the uniform coating it creates can be a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

  1. Cost Effectivity

Electroless nickel plating is also much cheaper than you would imagine, considering the extent of its durability, and the wear resistance of the surface can be increased by using heat treatments. This makes it an ideal specialist plating where friction and wear may be problematic with regard to the use of the component.

Electroless Nickel Plating

To find out more about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used as an alternative to galvanisation, contact the experts at NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel Plating: The Perfect Metal Coating to Protect Brake Calipers from Corrosion and Wear

nickel plated brake caliperBrake calipers are one of the most important parts of the breaking system of a car. They are a necessity in the process that allows your car to stop, therefore it is essential for them to be hardwearing and long lasting. As vital parts of a car’s breaking system, calipers squeeze the brake pads against the surface of the brake rotor in order to slow or stop the vehicle.

How do Brake Calipers Work?

In a disc-braking system the car’s wheels are attached to metal discs, or rotors, that spin along with the wheels. The brake caliper’s job is to slow down the wheels of the car by creating friction with the rotors. The brake caliper itself fits over the rotor like a clamp, and inside it is a pair of metal plates which have been bonded with friction material called brake pads.

Corrosion and Wear Protection

Nickel plated coatings are excellent at protecting steel from corrosion and wear. Electroless nickel plating is used in a variety of applications to extend the life of components, therefore, it is the perfect metal plating technique for brake calipers. Brake calipers are also exposed to a variety of difficult environments, for example heat, cold, summer, winter, snow and salt. Therefore, a corrosion resistant coating on brake calipers is very important to ensure the longevity of the cars braking system.

Nickel Plating on Bumpers, Wheels and Grilles

Electroless nickel can also be used on the bumpers, wheels and grilles of a car. The use of nickel plating on parts such as these is partly due to the fact that it looks good with its shine and bright finish. But nickel also provides excellent corrosion resistance, durability and wear resistance, as is often demanded by makers of vehicles.

Nickel plating is the perfect solution to creating hard wearing, corrosion resistant brake calipers as a nickel coating is a very effective way of coating and protecting steel. If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating and other metal plating services, why not ‘Like’ the NiTEC Facebook page or follow @nickelplating on Twitter for regular news, pictures and case studies. Alternatively, please call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Extending the Service Life of Mild Steel with Nickel Plated Metal Coatings

Nickel coatings can be used to extend the service life of mild steel components in a variety of hostile and highly corrosive environments. From deep in the ocean to the wildest of deserts, our cutting edge metal finishing solution can provide a protective, corrosion resistant coating that can significantly increase the life of components. These metal coatings can be applied to a variety of surfaces in order to protect them from these types of conditions, meaning that there is less downtime for the repair and replacement of components, and, in turn, increased efficiency.

Metal Coatings for Marine Environments

offshore oilrigAs specialists in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC have developed a number of cutting edge treatments and techniques in the field of metal plating. Because SeaTEC 100 is a metal finishing process that can sustain harsh marine environments for thousands of hours, it is the perfect solution to the problem of marine corrosion. Marine conditions can significantly increase the rate of corrosion on parts, and SeaTEC 100 can eliminate this corrosion at a level of performance that cannot be beaten in the industry.

Our SeaTEC 100 coating can extend the life of mild steel operating in marine environments and has the advantage of being extremely cost effective. This product has been tested extensively and expertly developed by the team at NiTEC.

Metal Plating for use on Oil Rigs and Offshore Oil and Gas

SeaTEC 100 is able to protect mild steel from corrosion for many hours, so is ideal for use in sub-sea conditions. It can effectively increase the strength of items when they are at their weakest level, and is, therefore, perfect for components such as pipeline connectors. Our metal finishing experts have tested this process to ensure that the coating can withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours, making it an industry leader.

By plating metal components, valves and connectors using this process, the life of the material can be extended substantially even when used in a marine environment. Using SeaTEC is far more cost effective than other methods as the parts do not need to be replaced or repaired as often, and the finish is also available in a variety of colours.

Metal Plating Services Chesterfield

If you would like further information about this process, or more information about the other services that NiTEC offer such as electroless nickel platingcopper platingshot blasting or heat treatment, please visit our website.

Top 3 Benefits of High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel

The phosphorus content in an electroless nickel coating is a key component in the determination of the properties of that coating. There are varying levels of phosphorus content, and each provides unique properties. High phosphorus electroless nickel typically contains a phosphorus content of between 10-12%, making it ideal for applications where a uniform, hard and highly corrosion resistant coating is required. Here are the top 3 benefits of a high phosphorus electroless nickel coating.

Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings with a high phosphorus content offers high levels of hardness and a lack of porosity, which makes it an ideal barrier coating for components, especially those that are used in hostile environments or are subject to aggressive use. The as-plated hardness of electroless nickel is approximately 48-52 Rc, but it can be heat treated to 68-70 Rc for a more wear resistant finish.

Corrosion Resistance

High phosphorus electroless nickel coatings are recommended where the maximum level of corrosion protection is needed. This makes it ideal for industry standards requiring protection from highly corrosive acidic environments such as oil drilling and coal mining.

Uniformity

nickel plating technical figureThe process of high phosphorus electroless nickel plating involves a chemical reaction, rather than electricity which is used in electroplating. Electroplating often produces a number of unwanted effects such as edge build up, uneven thickness, no plating in corners and recesses etc.

But electroless nickel plating, on the other hand, guarantees full coverage that is so uniform that the surface finish is normally duplicated. This also eliminates the need for post plate grinding or polishing. Even complex shapes such as threads keep their original geometry after plating.

Other advantages of high phosphorus electroless nickel are as follows:

  • Low porosity
  • Non-magnetic
  • Less prone to staining
  • Pit-free deposits
  • Fast deposition rate throughout life
  • Consistent deposition rate throughout life
  • Very stable and robust

Corrosion Resistant Metal Coating

If you are looking for a highly effective corrosion resistant metal coating, 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.

The Advantages of Electroless Deposition of Nickel

electroless nickel deposit on componentsElectroless solutions have the advantage of producing coatings which have a very high degree of uniformity. This means that electroless nickel is ideal for plating complex shapes and can be used effectively to salvage parts that have been mis-machined. It also allows worn components to be recycled.

Electroless nickel deposits vs electrolytically-applied coatings

Electroless nickel deposits are chemically applied using an autocatalytic immersion process which does not use an electrical current.

This is much different from electroplating, which depends on an external source of direct electrical current to produce a deposit on the substrate material. Because the electrical current cannot be evenly distributed throughout the component itself, it is hard to obtain a uniform deposit with electrolytically-applied coatings.

Electroless nickel is often chosen above electrolytically applied coatings because of its ability to coat irregularly shaped, highly detailed parts with complex geometries. The completely uniform deposit thickness is perfect for achieving close dimensional tolerance capabilities.

If you would like to find out more about using electroless plating as an alternative to electroplating, 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.

Features of Electroless Nickel PTFE Coatings

Nickel-PTFE combines the engineering properties of nickel with the lubricity of polytetrafluoroethylene.

Just like standard electroless nickel, the Nickel PTFE deposit occurs as a result of an autocatalytic chemical reaction which allows a reliable, repeatable coating of uniform thickness. This coating makes it possible to coat parts with sharp edges, seams, threads, deep recesses and complex shapes.

During the plating process, the PTFE particles become embedded throughout the deposit of nickel. The unique composite of Nickel PTFE allows for renewed polytetrafluoroethylene at the surface of the component, even as the coating wears. The chemical process involved in the production of Ni-PTFE coatings means that the PTFE is uniformly dispersed throughout the nickel deposit in order to ensure optimum performance in high friction and non-lubricated applications.

Features of Nickel PTFE Coatings

  • Long life lubrication
  • Dry lubrication, reducing sticking and galling
  • Good mold release, eliminating spray releases
  • Hydrophobic
  • Uniform coverage, particularly good for complex shapes
  • Can be heat treated for increased hardness
  • Good for hign friction applications
  • Natural lubricity eliminating the need for standard lubrication
  • Moving parts such as slides and bearings work with improved efficiency and quieter operation

If you are looking for a nickel coating that combines the lubricity of polytetrafluoroethylene with the hardness and corrosion resistance of electroless nickel, NiTEC can help. 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.

Nickel Use in Rocket Engines and Aerospace

Nickel coatings are often used in the aerospace and aircraft industry because they are an effective corrosion resistant coating at high temperatures.

This means that they are capable of protecting airfoil components from abrasion and erosion by providing a surface coating that will allow high nickel/chromium alloy parts to be joined by brazing or welding, to produce nickel or nickel alloy components for space applications and to repair worn or damaged components.

By repairing parts rather than replacing them, they can continue to be used rather that scrapped.

Nickel and alloys of nickel are often used for space applications.

Electroless nickel coatings are used in the Aerospace industry for space applications:

  • Docking
  • Cargo bays
  • Rudder mechanisms of the NASA Space Shuttle

Nickel electroforming has also been used in the space program. It has been used to produce lightweight precision parts for rocket engines, such as:

  • Waveguides
  • Antennae
  • Bellows
  • Heat shields
  • Thrust chambers

High precision electroformed nickel bellows are widely used in the aerospace industry, as electroforming is often the only practical and most economical method. These parts are used for:

  • Flexible electromagnetic interference shielding
  • Metallic hermetic seals
  • Volume compensators
  • Temperature and pressure sensors
  • Flexible couplings

Whether it is electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, or copper plating, the staff at NiTEC will ensure that you receive the right service for your industry. To make an inquiry or request more information, please visit our contact page at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk/enquire-electroless-nickel-plating-corrosion-resistance-copper-plating.php

How Are Nickel Coatings Used in Aircraft?

Nickel coatings are often used on various parts of aircraft due to its fantastic properties of corrosion resistance and hardness. Needless to say, the Aircraft industry has an ongoing need for nickel plating.

Electroless nickel plating is used in the Aircraft industry to provide:

  • Corrosion resistance at high temperatures to protect airfoil components from erosion and abrasion.
  • Provides a coating that will allow high nickel/chromium alloy parts to be joined by brazing or welding.
  • To repair worn or damaged components so that they can continue to be used rather than scrapped.

Electroless nickel coatings have been used on the following aircraft parts:

  • Bearing journals
  • Servo valves
  • Compressor blades
  • Turbine blades
  • Pistons
  • Engine shafts
  • Engine mounts
  • Landing gear
  • Hydraulic and manifold systems
  • Gyroscope components and optics

For more information about the use of electroless nickel plating in the Aircraft industry, please contact the staff at NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel Plating Services in the Automotive Industry

Electroformed, electroplated and electroless nickel is commonly used in the automotive industry.

One of the biggest and most obvious uses of nickel is the use on bumpers, wheels and grilles. The use of nickel plating on parts such as these is partly due to the fact that it looks good with its shine and bright finish. But nickel also provides excellent corrosion resistance, durability and wear resistance, as is often demanded by makers of vehicles.

Nickel and Industry Warranties

Nickel plating is a great way of metal hardening and can protect components for decades, which is obviously great news for the automotive industry because it means that manufacturers can offer industry warranties.  High quality plated components can be produced in bulk, with consistency and reliability.

The automotive industry is the biggest user of nickel for plating applications. Steel bumpers are very popular as they look great, and they are also very durable. Substrate materials include steel, aluminium and plastic. The benefit of using nickel plating on substrates such as these is that they are relatively cheap, and with a layer of nickel plating they can be made extremely durable.

Environmental Benefits of Nickel

Nickel plating lightweight materials such as aluminium and plastic is also beneficial because lightweight parts on a vehicle improve fuel efficiency. It’s also better for the environment for parts to have a longer life as it reduces scrap. Also, plated components can be recycled, which is good for the European auto industry as their objective is to produce vehicles that are completely recyclable.

If you would like to find out more about metal hardening and metal corrosion protection, or the use of nickel plating in the automotive industry , why not ‘Like’ the NiTEC Facebook page or follow @nickelplating on Twitter for regular news, pictures and case studies.

 

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