Tag Archive for metal finishing services

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.

Everything You Need to Know About Vapour Blasting

aqua blastingAqua blasting, or vapour blasting as it is sometimes called, is commonly used for fine surface preparation, de-burring, finishing and polishing.

The aqua blasting service here at NiTEC UK will degrease, blast and finish components all at the same time, providing a complete vapour blasting service for a variety of components. Other uses for the process include the removal of carbon deposits, the removal of paint, rust, and similar deposits in the engineering industry, and surface preparation prior to bonding, re-painting or re-coating.

How Does Vapour Blasting Work?

The process of vapour blasting is completely dust free, and uses a mixture of a media and water to form a slurry. This slurry is then pumped through a vapour blasting nozzle under considerable pressure whilst at the time being mixed with a high pressure air supply. The pressurised slurry then flows over and around the part, component or surface that is being blasted, producing a clean, smooth finish.

What are the Advantages of Aqua Blasting?

Vapour blasting has a lot of advantages over conventional sandblasting or bead blasting. Unlike shot blasting (and other blasting methods which actually move the surface material from the components), the process is non-intrusive; and it is perfect for delicate parts and soft metal. Aqua blasting is commonly used when a fine finish is required for aluminium, alloys, steel and many other metals; including bronze, magnesium, titanium, brass and copper.

With the water acting as a protective buffer; and the emulsion gently eradicating any grime – the underlying surface is crucially left intact. Vitally, there will be no alteration of critical dimensions. The creation of any dust is also avoided; as there no break-up of any media during the aqua blasting process.

Key Advantages of Aqua Blasting:

  • Can be applied to almost all metals
  • Surfaces are degreased and cleaned in tandem
  • Cleaning process relies on water flow and not impact
  • Makes surfaces more stain resistant
  • Singular part or batch process
  • No dust from the process

Aqua Blasting, Wet Blasting and Vapour Blasting Service Chesterfield, Derbyshire

To find out more about our aqua blasting service, as well as a range of our other metal plating and metal finishing services, call NiTEC UK on 08452243571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk.

4 Reasons to Choose Heat Treatment Solutions at NiTEC UK

heat treatment solutions for metalAs experts in metal plating and metal finishing, we also offer high temperature heat treatment solutions. Our heat treatment services expose metal coatings to high temperatures for sustained periods, diffusing the electroless nickel layer onto the steel. These treatments optimise the mechanical and physical properties of a coating for a given application.

Add Flexibility to your Coating

Exposing metal coatings to heat treatment solutions gives them a degree of flexibility. It’s a common misconception that heat treatment is a process for hardening metal, as many heat treatments are applied to soften metal in order to allow metal working operations such as deep drawing, cold forging and machining. The heat treatments at NiTEC can be used for stress relieving and de-embrittlement as both pre-plate and post-plate treatments.

Maintain Corrosion Protection

Luckily, the heat treatment process does not affect the increased corrosion protection offered by an electroless nickel deposit.

Small Components can be Treated Economically

Even the smallest of components can be heat treated. We load them onto shelves to maximise the heat treatment capacity and minimise the cost of the treatment for our customers.

Carefully Monitored Heat Treatment

The staff at NiTEC use chart recording equipment to monitor the temperature changes of both the furnace and the work. This enables us to create heat treatment profiles which determine shot blasting solutions for many different requirements. Our monitoring also ensures the material achieves the required temperature for the required time, in turn eliminating heat sinks on larger components or mixed loads.

UK Heat Treatment Services

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services, including the heat treatment of metals. Our high quality electroless nickel plating service is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Budget Reveals Increased Support for the Oil and Gas Sector

offshore oilrigMarch 18th saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer give his Budget to Parliament. As the final budget before the general election, it showed a significant improvement in many important areas, including those that will affect the oil and gas sector. As experts in metal finishing for the oil and gas sector, including corrosion resistant coatings, NiTEC know that the sector provides a large number of highly skilled jobs, energy security and makes a massive contribution to the economy of the UK.

Bold and Immediate Reforms to Oil and Gas

The Chancellor has announced ‘bold and immediate’ reforms to oil and gas tax, with the intention of easing the tax burden on oil and gas companies operating on the UK Continental Shelf. The measures will save the industry approximately £1.3 billion over the next 5 years, while boosting production by 15%.

Encouraging Investment in the North Sea

In order to encourage investment in the North Sea, the UK government will be introducing a new Investment Allowance and reducing the supplementary tax charge on oil and gas companies from 30% to 20%, backdated from January 2015. These changes are expected to increase oil production by around 15% by 2019, and drive £4 billion of new investment over the next five years. The rate of Petroleum Revenue Tax paid on older oil and gas fields will also be reduced from 50% to 35% from next year.

In the Budget document, the government said that its changes would “send a strong signal that the UK is open for business and ensure the [UKCS] remains competitive as the basin matures” and “extend the life of key infrastructure”. Mr Osborne announced that the Government would also fund  to assess the potential in “under-explored areas” of the UK North Sea.

Metal Finishing Services 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. Our revolutionary metal coating SeaTEC100 is a solution to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

NiTEC Sponsor Second African Water Well

NiTEC sponsor water wellAs experts in metal finishing services including electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating, we carry out metal plating for a variety of industries all over the world. Last year, we shared the news that the water well we sponsored for AquAid had been built and was in full working order out in Africa.

Making a Difference in the Lives of Those Less Fortunate

Our relationship with AquAid remains the same; they do an excellent job of supplying the NiTEC offices with water coolers, so we decided to go ahead and sponsor another well. We were really pleased to learn that our last well made a huge difference to people’s lives in that village, so we decided to continue with the good work. Obviously, we are very proud to be associated with such an amazing project, and delighted to be able to make such a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

You may have noticed that we have a badge of support on our website, to let people know about this great cause, and show our commitment to helping Aquaid’s recent project installing the elephant pumps in parts of Africa.

Who are AquaAid and What Do They Do?

Aquaid raises funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, such as schools and villages. And for every water bottle that we get from Aquaid for the NiTEC offices, a donation is made to the The Africa Trust.

UK Metal Plating Services

For more information about NiTEC and the metal plating services that we offer, including electroless nickel platingdiffused nickel plating, and copper plating, please 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. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the NiTEC website.

New Ultra-Large Electroless Nickel Plating Line at NiTEC UK

roller for packaging industryWe are pleased to announce the installation of a new, ultra-large plating line at our metal finishing and plating factory in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. This will be our 6th nickel line and has been designed to accommodate very large pieces of up to 12 metres long and 3 metres high.

World’s Largest Electroless Nickel Plating Tank

Commercial Director of NiTEC UK, Marcus Hill said: “Due to the increasing demand for a nickel plating line that can take very large components, we have met the needs of our customers with exactly that. The new nickel plating line will adhere to our usual high standards of quality and safety, and will mean that size will never be a limit for plated parts. We believe that we now have the largest electroless nickel plating tank in the world, with the capacity to plate items 12 metres in length.”

Expansion of Production Capacity

2014 was a busy year for NiTEC UK when we closed the deal on a funding boost that allowed us to expand our nickel plating services. As leaders in the market place for providers of electroless nickel plating services, we were really pleased to be able to expand our capabilities and production capacity. And this new, large nickel plating line will expand our services even further!

Metal Finishing Services at NiTEC UK

Here at NiTEC UK, we have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process and we also offer a variety of other surface treatments. Just last year, we expanded our services to include nickel PTFE plating, nickel diamond plating, tin plating and nickel boron plating, in addition to our already well established services of diffused nickel plating, copper plating and electroless nickel plating.

All our line staff are time served in their own disciplines, meaning that every job is managed by personnel with a knowledge and understanding of the specialist process of electroless nickel plating. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plated Steel for The Darwin Centre at The Natural History Museum

Although this isn’t a recent project for our electroless nickel plating specialists at NiTEC UK, it’s definitely worth talking about on our blog! We were involved in a very exciting project in conjunction with The Natural History Museum and the development of their new extension, The Darwin Centre.

the natural history museumThis building consists of a glass structure attached to the famous London museum, and stores vast collections and housing new laboratories for scientists with ‘behind the scenes’ access for visitors. Our expertise was required to electroless nickel plate a series of steel ‘spiders’ which would hold the panels of glass together that the extension is constructed from.

Environmental Architecture

Phase I of the project was designed by the architectural firm HOK and completed in September 2002. It includes storage for the Museum’s collection of 22 million zoological specimens stored in spirit, and is a great example of a new wave of environmental architecture.

The 120,000 square feet/ 11,150 square metre building is faced by a large glass solar wall, held together with the electroless nickel plated ‘steel spiders’, and is designed to reduce heat in summer and heat loss in winter. It has a ‘caterpillar’ roof made of recyclable materials, which lets in lots of natural light, and reduces the need for electricity.

HOK used zoomorphic brackets in the solar wall of The Darwin Centre. These are sun-tracking metal louvers which move and change the appearance of the building. The centre also has a triple-skin, caterpillar like inflated roof. HOK used these techniques to reflect the centre’s work and ideals.

The environmental features of The Darwin Centre follow the designer’s wish to re-create ‘architecture parlante’. This is when the external appearance of a building reflects what happens inside, an idea which Alfred Waterhouse practised on the exterior of the main building with his use of animal sculptures. The designers also wanted to provide a visual connection to the main museum building by Waterhouse. It therefore incorporates terracotta, and the steel frame echoes the blue terracotta of the Victorian building.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

As experts in electroless nickel plating and various other metal plating techniques, we have carried out a number of special projects in the fields of architecture, sculpture and engineering. For more information about our services, please visit our metal finishing website, call us on 0845 224 3571 or Email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

6 Reasons to Use Electroless Nickel Plating for Engineering Applications

Electroless nickel plating is an incredibly functional finish that can offer massive advantages in the field of engineering. As experts in the process, we’ve put together our top 4 advantages of electroless nickel plating, which we feel prove that this method is superior over conventional plating processes.

nickel plating technical figure1. Uniform Deposition of Electroless Nickel

Electroless nickel coatings provide a uniform deposition on the surface of the component.

2. Strong, Chip Free Coating

With electroless nickel plating, there is no need to worry about the strength of the coating.

Electroless nickel coatings do not chip, peel, flake or rub off like some coatings do, such as paints and lacquers. It can also be applied on its own without any other pre-surface treatments.

3. The Ability to Plate Irregular Shapes

In addition to the uniform deposit of electroless nickel, it is also able to plate irregular shapes uniformly. This means that should a part have recesses and crevices, the coating will be deposited on these parts evenly, regardless of the shape.

4. Heat Treatment to Increase Hardness

Another advantage of electroless nickel coatings is that they can be treated with heat in order to further increase the level of hardness of the deposit.

5. Corrosion and Erosion Barrier

Electroless nickel provides a barrier against corrosion and erosion in especially demanding applications in the marine and offshore industry, and the petroleum industry.

6. Release Properties

Electroless nickel coatings also provide exceptional release properties due to its anti-stick surface. This self lubrication also reduces the wear of a component, which means that there is very little coating weight loss from friction between parts.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

Here at NiTEC, we provide a range of metal finishing and metal plating services. Our high quality electroless nickel plating service is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

New Aerospace Project Could Revolutionise the Design and Manufacture of Aircraft Wings

A group of 13 partners have been chosen to take part in a new £30 million research programme which could revolutionise the design and manufacture of aircraft wings.

Aerospace Technology Institute Backing

aeroplane-wingBacked by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the VIEWS (Validation and Integration of Manufacturing Enablers for Future Wing Structures) programme will develop wing design, manufacture and assembly technologies so that they are near to being ready for use in the aerospace market.

In addition, they will select some other novel technologies that may be suitable for further development in the future.

Partners of the VIEWS Programme

Partners of the VIEWS programme include the Universities of Nottingham, Bath, Bristol and Sheffield Hallam; as well as five of the UK’s high value manufacturing catapult centres: the National Composites Centre, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (the University of Sheffield),the Warwick Manufacturing Group (the University of Warwick) and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (the University of Strathclyde). The four industrial partners involved are as follows: GKN Aerospace, Bombardier Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, and GE Aviation.

Aircraft Wing Architecture

The programme will be based on technologies emerged from the structures technology maturity (STeM) research programme and will indentify tools and other manufacturing requirements to produce wing architectures and improve the process design and flow of production. It will also study inspection and repair tools and progress various composite and metallic manufacturing and assembly processes.

GKN Aerospace technical director Rich Oldfield said: “STeM saw us make valuable progress and VIEWS will work from that base, taking us nearer to market readiness with a new generation of automated processes and technologies that will extend what we in the UK are able to manufacture, at the same time as increasing the quality, consistency and speed of production.”

Metal Finishing Services for the Aerospace Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, our metal plating services are widely used in the aerospace industry for everything from aircraft engine mounts to aircraft control systems. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

What are the Benefits of Tin Plating?

Here at NiTEC, we offer a wide variety of plating techniques that have many different advantages and that can be used in a variety of industries.  As experts in the metal plating industry, our latest service of tin plating meets most specifications required by the military, automotive, aerospace and electrical industries. So what are the benefits of using tin plating?

Benefits of Tin Plating

  • Tin is malleable and very soft. That means that it can be transformed without it cracking.
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Highly tarnish resistant
  • Good electrical conductor
  • Non toxic
  • Good solderability

What is Tin Plating Used For?

Tin plating is equally useful within a number of other industries too; including power distribution and transmission, telecommunications, medical, marine and aerospace.

tin plated canTin in the Food Processing Industry

Tin is a useful metal for the food processing industry because it is non-toxic, corrosion resistant and ductile.

It be used to plate parts made from steel or iron in order to prevent rust and make them safe for food handling and storage, for example, tin cans.

Tin is very soft and ductile, so parts that are plated with tin can be stamped, bent, and formed into various shapes without damaging the layer of tin. Also, the tin often acts as a lubricant during these operations.

Tin the Electronics Industry

Tin is often used in the electronics industry because of its ability to protect the base metal from oxidation. This, therefore, preserves its solderability.

UK Based Tin Plating Services

If you are interested in the process of tin plating, we can help. To make an enquiry or simply to have a chat with one of our friendly team about your requirements, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Pickling Stainless Steel for World Renowned Aerospace group Meggitt

As experts in the various processes of metal finishing, and often the company of choice for several aerospace companies, NiTEC recently took on a project pickling steel for world renowned Aerospace group Meggitt.

Meggitt PLC – Engineering for Extreme Environments

Meggitt PLC is a global engineering group specialising in extreme environment components and sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets.They are a FTSE 100 supplier of aircraft parts, and they supply flight displays and wheels to both Boeing and Airbus.

Why Pickle Stainless Steel?

The process of pickling stainless steel is a metal surface treatment that is used to remove any impurities from the surface of the metal. This could be stains, inorganic contaminants, and rust or scale. Acid is commonly used to remove these surface impurities.

The Safe Handling of Hydrofluoric Acid

pickling stainless steelStaff at NiTEC used hydrofluoric and nitric acid to remove the discoloured scale from the stainless steel, and as you can see from the pictures, the process makes a huge difference to the surface of the steel.

Hydrofluoric acid is a really effective acid for pickling; although it is typically more expensive than other acids, the process of pickling is much quicker and it effectively minimises the base metal loss.

We had the exciting task of pickling stainless steel for a project located in offshore Brazil and were lucky enough to be chosen as partners in the project because of our expertise in the safe handling of hydofluoric acid, which is an integral part in the process we carried out for Meggitt.

Metal Finishing Services in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

If you would like more information about Nitec’s capabilities with regard to metal pickling, pickling stainless steel, and our experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk.

Pickling Stainless Steel Components for Aerospace Group Meggitt

As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK have taken on some great projects over the years, as well as working with some really fantastic companies. In the past we have been lucky enough to do some work for Meggitt, a global engineering group specialising in components for extreme environments and smart sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets.

Removing Scale from Stainless Steel

Meggitt are a FTSE 100 supplier of aircraft parts, and they supply flight displays and wheels to both Boeing and Airbus. Our job was to pickle a stainless steel component for a project located in offshore Brazil.

We were lucky enough to be involved in the project due to our experience working with hydofluoric acid, which requires safety procedures that we are familiar with. Using this type of acid was integral to the process we carried out for Meggitt, therefore we were an obvious choice to help with it.

pickled stainless steel for meggitHydofluoric and nitric acid was used to remove the discoloured scale from the stainless steel component, and as you can see from the pictures, the process makes a huge difference to the surface of the steel.The component on the right in this image shows what the steel looked like before the process of pickling, and the component on the left shows the finished result.

If you would like more information about NiTEC’s experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid and stainless steel, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk. Alternatively, you can click here to visit the Nitec website.

NiTEC sponsor Tupton RUFC

We’ve got a great team here at NiTEC. As well as working hard electroless nickel plating and all the other types of metal finishing services we carry out, we’ve also got 6 members staff on a local rugby team, Tupton RUFC.

NiTEC electroless nickel plating sponsor Tupton RUFC

 

NiTEC sponsor the team with hats and training tops, and obviously, we also provide them with loads of support whether they win or lose!

If you are looking for a quality, reliable metal plating company, who are also dab hands on the rugby pitch, contact NiTEC on 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