Tag Archive for metal hardening

5 Great Properties of Electroless Nickel Plating

No other metal coating has the combination of properties offered by electroless nickel, which is why so many industries use the coating and reap the benefits of it. As specialists in electroless nickel plating, us know that the properties of nickel plating are incredibly useful to our clients, enabling parts coated to have the highest levels of corrosion protection and hardness. Here are the top 5 great properties of electroless nickel, and why they are so important.

Uniform Thickness

The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has an even thickness over all surfaces of the component, virtually regardless of its shape. This uniform coating is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Electroless nickel can be deposited to produce a wide range of coating thicknesses. Even when plating large and small parts and on components that are fairly complex with recessed areas, the uniformity can be can still be maintained. The range of thicknesses for electroless nickel in commercial applications is 0.1 to 5 mils, although it is possible to create deposits as thick as 40 mils.

Corrosion Resistance

Electroless nickel coatings are often used in functional applications because of its excellent corrosion resistance. Electroless nickel coatings are able to withstand the combination of abrasion and corrosive chemicals, even in the very corrosive conditions encountered in drilling and producing oil wells.

Adhesion

Excellent adhesion of electroless nickel deposits can be achieved on a wide range of substrates, including 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. The surface preparation and activation of the electroless nickel plating is one of the most important factors for producing excellent adhesion.

Tight Manufacturing Tolerances

Tight manufacturing tolerances can be achieved as the electroless nickel is deposited evenly on the surface of the part. It can be also used to improve the surface of a component so that it is back within the specified tolerances, and provides a surface that allows post finishes to be carried out effectively.

Chip Free Coating

When using electroless nickel to plate a component, the coating provided is guaranteed not to chip or flake like other top coats such as paints or lacquers.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on our phone number or email us at info@metal-finishing-company.co.uk to talk to us about your electroless nickel plating requirements.

Explaining the Process of Electroless Nickel Plating

Here at us, our metal finishing experts regularly carry out the process of electroless nickel plating. As professional electroless nickel platers, we have put together a step by step guide that will explain the process of electroless nickel plating and how it works.

Unlike electroplating, there is no need to pass an electric current through the bath of chemical solution to initiate the plating process. The metal surface instead goes through a series of cleaning and auto-catalytic reactions, described below.

Pre-treatment Process

Before the process of electroless nickel plating can begin, the surface of the substrate goes through a pre-treatment process. During this process it is cleaned with a series of chemicals which remove oils and other corrosive elements from the surface of the metal.

Activation of the Substrate

Once the substrate has been cleaned sufficiently, it can be activated with an acid etch or proprietary solution which prepares the surface for a deposit of the plating material.

Corrosion Resistant Coating

Once the plating process has been carried out, the electroless nickel coating has the result of making the component highly corrosion resistant. A coating of this type will provide superior corrosion protection in a number of environments where corrosion resistance is necessary for the longevity of the part and protection of the component. Electroless nickel acts as a barrier coating that protects the substrate underneath by providing a pore free barrier coating against the corrosive environment.

Choosing an EN Coating Based on the Nature of the Corrosive Environment

When selecting a type of electroless nickel coating for optimum performance, it’s important to consider the nature of the corrosive environment and the deposit’s resistance to corrosion through environmental factors.

Optimising the Performance of Electroless Nickel Coatings

In order for the performance of electroless nickel coatings to be optimised for maximum corrosion protection, the coating must provide a number of properties. For example, the electroless nickel coating must be continuous and free of any microporosity, roughness, nodules and irregularities within the microstructure.

UK Based Metal Finishing and Metal Hardening Company

For more information about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used to provide superior corrosion resistance, please visit the us website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email info@metal-finishing-company.co.uk

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 us on our phone number or email: info@metal-finishing-company.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.

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