Tag Archive for metal plating

Copper Plating and the Use of Copper Balls

copper-plating-process-nitec-ukCopper balls have been specially designed to aid the quality of electroplating.  The balls are 25mm, 31mm, 40mm or 50mm in diameter and are made up of 99.9% copper and between 0.04 and 0.06% phosphorus.  They enable the quality of copper plating to be heightened.  This is due to them being able to give free flowing material which dramatically reduces the development of sludge during the process of plating.  This is their sole purpose.  It is also useful that they are able to reduce sludge development because this extends the anode baskets life because the sludge does not erode them.

Successful Copper Plating

The anodes are created using the purest of copper which is oxygen free.  The anodes must be made out of oxygen free copper so that the correct phosphorus content occurs for the electroplating process to be successful.  This process is watched and monitored strictly for quality control and this highly automated process creates a product of great uniformity and high quality of plating.

Why Choose Copper Plating?

Copper plating is functional and decorative.  It is well known for being an excellent conductor.  The deposited layer which is left when copper plating occurs is very bright and levels well.  Copper plating is often used in Medical settings or laboratories due to it being able to kill off bacteria naturally without need for any chemical assistance.  In reference to its decorative flare – this is due to its highly polished copper-pink appearance.  Lacquers can be applied so as to prevent tarnish from building up on the copper plating if it is solely intended for decorative use.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in copper plating, or other plating methods, such as electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel platingheat treatment or have a special project which requires specialist assistance, then why not contact NiTEC UK?  We are Derbyshire based, leading specialists in the plating industry who offer a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are not only high-end but also cost effective.  We have experience of working for the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few and offer our services to the whole of the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

 

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.

 

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.

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s NiTEC

LED_lights

2008 saw the beginning of the EU process which took four years to put in to place, preventing incandescent light bulbs from being sold.  This was because they performed inadequately and were not eco-friendly due to the high amount of electricity they consumed.  The LED has therefore taken its place on our supermarket shelves, as they are proven to be much more efficient.

Plating Industries

The electronic and automotive industries, as well as most British households and road engineers for road lighting applications, are using LED lights.  The LED substrate can be silver plated either conventionally by rack or less conventionally by reel-to-reel plating procedures.  Plating differs depending on the thickness, and ranges from 20 to 150 A/dm², normally.

Bright Lights

How are LED lights so bright?  This is due to a low free-cyanide silver process which contains brightener additives.  This creates high luminosity.  These LEDs are much more eco-friendly, cost effective and use a fraction of the amount of electricity of an incandescent light bulb.

Heat Treatment gets the Deep Treatment

The silver deposits used to plate the LEDs were initially heated for 60 minutes at 200° and then for 120 minutes at the lower temperature of 170°C but it was quickly identified that significant reflectivity was lost during this.  So it was decided that a post-dip was going to be used in order to prevent the reflectivity loss, in the form of an aqueous treatment post heat treatment.  This seems to have worked, having been tested on multiple different types of nickel, at higher temperatures and with the nickel being treated for shorter lengths of time (up to 1 minute), as the GAM measurements do not diminish dramatically at all.  Thus, proving the effectiveness of the combination of plating, heat treatment and the post-dip aqueous treatment as a trio.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in plating, such as electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating, heat treatment or have a special project which you require specialist assistance with, then why not get in touch with NiTEC UK?  We are Derbyshire based, leading specialists in the plating industry who can offer you a wide range of well-developed techniques which are not only high-end but also cost effective.  We have experience of working for the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few and offer our services to the whole of the UK, Germany, France, Brazil and Holland.  Why not get in touch with us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Plating to Perfection

metal plating company OscarThey were first designed in 1928.  They are made in Chicago.  They are plated in copper, nickel and silver before being coated in 24-carat gold.  What are we talking about?  An Oscar!

These 14 inch, 8.5 pound statuettes are the literally the definition of perfection in more ways than one.  If they are not perfect, then the makers are lead to starting the statuettes from scratch, time and time again.  But once they are deemed perfect, they are guaranteed for life!  The iconic Art Deco Academy Award takes a long 10 days to repeat from start to finish, partly because there is only one Oscar mould and also because so many processes take place in their production, such as electroplating.

About the Oscar

It was designed by Cedric Gibbons, the MGM art director, who sketched the subjected standing on a film reel with five spokes.  These five spokes represent the original five branches of the Academy and was originally called the Academy Award of Merit.  Each Oscar is engraved with a serial number and now over 3,000 Oscars have been awarded.  These Oscars may begin their lives in Chicago but one classified as ‘perfect’ are packaged and flown, with guards, to Los Angeles for the award ceremony.  An interesting fact about Oscars is that although they are guaranteed for life, if they are damaged, an actor can send them back and have them either replaced or restored to their former glory.  They are meant to be priceless objects and there is an act to say that they are not resalable.  However, this electroplated objects of splendour have continued to be traded in the shadows with some of the highest sales exceeding $250,000 and Michael Jackson paid $1.5million for a Best Picture award for Gone With The Wind 1939 in 1999.

Find Out More About NiTEC UK Today

If you are interested in finding out more about any of the plating processes which you have read about in this article, such as copper plating, electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating, then why not get in touch with NiTEC UK today?  We are leading specialists in the plating industry based in Derbyshire, England, and offer an array of developed techniques which are both high-end and cost effective.  We work in the aerospace, automotive and medical industries to name but a few and we offer our services to the UK, France, Holland, Brazil and Germany.  So if you need plating done to perfection, call us today on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

The Gold Plated Apple

Apple watch for gold plating

Apple watches which have been gold plated tend to cost a minimum of $10,000 if you buy directly from Apple, for the 18 carat gold edition.  So instead there is now the option to purchase a DIY kit for $100 which also entails a step by step guide to this cheap solution to gold plating yourself with 24 carat gold.  This is a much more cost effective option than sending your Apple watch back to Apple to do it for you which costs at least $400.  There are also other benefits from the DIY set – for example, you can touch up gold plated areas once they begin to fade or show signs or wear and this can be done at your convenience, too.

Plating

If you are wanting a product plated then there are lots of different options for you to mull over.  These include electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating, tin plating, nickel boron plating and nickel diamond plating to name but a few.

The Pros of Plating

  • Improves the quality of your components
  • Improve the surface
  • Protects the component from wear
  • Increases the levels of hardness
  • Induces self-lubrication
  • Reduces the wear of a friction in a component
  • No chipping or flaking like with other top coats like paints of lacquers
  • Lower porosity
  • Non-magnetic
  • Less prone to staining
  • Pit-free deposits
  • Hard deposits
  • Very uniform thickness
  • Excellent corrosion protection
  • Doesn’t have to be extortionately expensive
  • Marine corrosion resistant (DNP)
  • Sub-sea protection (DNP)
  • Salt spray resistant (DNP)
  • Protects ferrous and non-ferrous surfaces (TP)
  • Increases performance (TP)
  • Increases durability (TP)
  • Non-toxic (TP)
  • Resistant to fretting (NBP)
  • Resistant to galling (NBP)
  • Resistant to abrasion (NBP)
  • Ductile (NBP)
  • Solderability (NBP)
  • Performs well at high temperatures (NBP)
  • Increased thermal transfer (NDP)
  • Conformity to complex geometry (NDP)
  • Can be applied to all common metals and alloys (NDP)
  • Can cover entire surfaces of specific targeted areas (NDP)
  • Are used by a number of industries, such as power, telecommunications, medical, marine, army, aerospace, motor, etc.

Plating Specialists

NiTEC UK are leading specialists in the plating industry.  Based in Derbyshire, England, we specialise in electroless nickel plating but offer a wide range of other techniques too.  Our aim is to provide a high-end but cost effective service for you.  We have extensive experience working in a great number of sectors including the automotive, aerospace and military industries and are proud that we can offer our services to the entirety of the UK, France, Holland, Brazil and Germany.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you are interest in finding out more about electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating, tin plating, nickel boron plating or nickel diamond plating, then why not call us today  on 0845 224 3571 or alternatively you can email our staff at NiTEC UK at info@nitec-enp.co.uk  We look forward to hearing from you!

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.

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.

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

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about Electroless Nickel Plating

As experts in electroless nickel plating, we have put together a blog post of the top 5 most frequently asked questions about the process at NiTEC.

What are the Advantages of Electroless Nickel Plating?

electroless nickel plated componentsIn our opinion, the biggest advantage of an electroless nickel coating is that it will significantly extend the life of the component that it coats. Electroless nickel coatings deposit an even thickness over all surfaces, provide excellent wear and corrosion resistance, as well as hardness and lubricity. Electroless nickel deposits are very hard, and have hardness values in the range of 450 – 750 VHN, depending on the phosphorus content in the deposit. Generally, the higher the phosphorus content, the lower the as deposited hardness.

In Which Applications can Electroless Nickel be Used?

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a variety of applications. Whether you are looking to increase the strength of a pipe at its weakest level, protect the exterior of a material in a marine environment or you are looking for a new alternative to stainless steel, electroless nickel plating is a service that should be considered.

In Which Industries is Electroless Nickel Plating Commonly Used?

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a variety of industries including marine, oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, engineering, unique art, architecture, chemical equipment, railroad, molds, military, textiles, electronics and material handling.

How Can I Be Sure that Electroless Nickel Plating is a Quality Service?

At NiTEC, quality and service are of vital importance. We are committed to following our Quality Assurance Programme which is outlined in our Quality Manual, in accordance with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2008. All employees at NiTEC are responsible for implementing the recommendations outlined in the Quality Manual. These standards of quality are applicable to all of their activities and they are responsible for achieving the specified quality levels at all stages of work.

NiTEC is comprehensively equipped for all aspects of quality control and product testing. We also have the ability to carry out non-destructive testing for thickness and hardness, in order to ensure the highest levels of quality and accuracy at all times.

Nickel Plating Company in Chesterfield, 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.

UK Defence Spending Set to Rise

The Chancellor George Osbourne plans to reverse the future defence cuts he proposed, planning to spend more on UK defence. Osborne suggested that the armed forces use the promised increase in defence spending so that the country can “deal with whatever the world throws at us.”

The 2015 Budget

tornado jetIn the recent budget, the Chancellor announced that defence spending would increase and be protected, despite his refusal to make such a pledge before the election. Part of the reason for the decision appears to be down to those in high levels of British government wishing to become militarily involved in Syria and Libya.

Britain Defending Itself

George Osborne said:“I am a great believer in Britain defending itself, defending its values, projecting itself and its values overseas. I’m a great believer that it is not credible to talk about those things unless you pay for it. We have got to make sure this money is well spent, that we work with our armed forces to give Britain the very best capability to deal with whatever the world throw at us.”

But Osborne stated: “We don’t seek conflict but we are certainly ready for every eventuality,” when asked whether the additional money would be used for front line combat.

Metal Plating Services

For more information about metal plating and how the electroless nickel plating process can be used in a variety of industries including defence, automotive, oil and gas etc, please contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

UK Industrial Output Increased by Rise in Oil and Gas Extraction

 

The UK’s industrial sector has received a significant boost thanks to an increased output of oil, gas and manufacturing. The Yorkshire Post has reported that industrial output grew at its fastest rate in six months in March, after an unexpected bounce in oil and gas extraction.

offshore oilrigOfficial data from the Office for National Statistics has showed that industrial output rose 0.5% in March, after creeping up by only 0.1% in February. This is the strongest growth since September, and has exceeded leading economists’ forecast of that it would remain the same.

Oil and Gas Extraction

Oil and gas extraction rose to 4.9%, which was its fastest rate since February 2014. Falling oil prices and rising production costs as North Sea oil gets scarcer had previously contributed to a general downward trend.

Britain’s economy grew by 2.8% in 2014, the fastest growth rate of any big advanced economy. It did lose pace in the first quarter of 2015 when total output rose by just 0.3%. However, recent data shows that manufacturing output rose by 0.4% after upwardly revised growth of 0.5% in February, which was slightly faster than expected.

Marine Corrosion Protection for the Oil and Gas Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, we carry out a significant amount of metal plating work for parts and components to be used in the oil and gas industries. A common requirement for plated components used in these industries is their ability to resist corrosion for a substantial amount of time, especially in subsea conditions.

Our commitment to research and development allowed us to create SeaTEC100, a metal coating that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. SeaTEC 100 has been independently tested to withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours, a period of time that is unprecedented within the engineering industry.

Metal Plating 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. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

NiTEC Announce New Nickel Diamond Plating Service

NiTEC are pleased to announce the latest of our new metal plating services available; nickel diamond plating!

We’ve got a wealth of experience in the processes of electroless nickel platingcopper plating and metal finishing, so nickel diamond plating is a natural extension of our quality range of services.

What is Nickel Diamond Plating?

nickel diamond plating

Nickel diamond plating combines an electroless nickel deposit with fine particles of diamonds.

A variety of substrates can be coated using nickel diamond, including metals such as carbon and tool steels,  aluminium, alloys, copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, and titanium.

The use of diamond particles contained within an electroless nickel coating offers a practical and affordable way to utilise the properties of diamond on the surface of components.

Common Applications of Nickel Diamond

Nickel diamond can be used for a huge range of applications across a variety of industries. Common applications include the following:

  • Machinery parts for the textile industry
  • Wood working tools
  • Computer parts
  • Paper handling equipment
  • Mechanical shaft shields for automotive water pumps and chemical process pumps
  • Gage blocks

What are the Features of a Nickel Diamond Coating?

Nickel diamond coatings provides a highly corrosion and wear resistant coating. By providing maximum protection to the surface of the substrate, coated machinery parts will have an increased lifespan. This helps to keep maintenance and related downtime due to the replacement of high wear parts to a minimum, reducing costs.

Due to the electroless chemical method of deposition, nickel diamond plating is able to cover surfaces with perfect uniformity. Therefore, regardless of the geometry of the component, the nickel diamond coating creates a uniform deposition on all areas of the part, even on recesses and holes.

Key Benefits of Electroless Nickel Diamond Plating

Nickel diamond plating has many benefits which make it a superior choice of coating, including the following:

  • Excellent wear resistance
  • Excellent hardness
  • Enhanced corrosion resistance
  • Increased thermal transfer
  • Conformity to complex geometries
  • Can be applied to all common metals and alloys
  • Can be used to cover entire surfaces or selected areas

Contact NiTEC UK for Nickel Diamond Plating Services

If you are interested in the process of nickel diamond plating, NiTEC 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

What are the Advantages of Aqua Blasting / Vapour Blasting?

Here at NiTEC, we have recently added an aqua blasting service to our comprehensive range of metal plating and metal finishing services. This non aggressive technique effectively removes the dirt and corrosion from the surface of the material, but it does not damage the surface in any way, as can be the case with some other ‘blasting’ techniques.

aqua blastingThe Benefits of Aqua Blasting

The primary benefit of aqua blasting is that all the critical dimensions of the component stay the same, making the process safe to use on precision engineering items, molds and automotive engine components.

It cleans by utilising the flow of water to remove dirt, not by impact; therefore it doesn’t change the dimensions of the part. In addition to cleaning the surface, it also de-greases it simultaneously.

Aqua blasting is far gentler than grit blasting and bead blasting, but just as effective. During grit and bead blasting, the media is ricocheted off the surface of the component in an aggressive manner.

But the water involved in aqua blasting reduces the ricochet of media due its cushioning effect; therefore the angle of the media is changed to produce a lapping effect which travels across the surface to give an even satin/polished finish.

Typical Applications of Aqua Blasting

• Degreasing and surface finishing of components in the automotive, reconditioning & maintenance industries
• Removal of paint, rust, scale, carbon & similar deposits in engineering industries
• Surface preparation prior to bonding, re-painting or re-coating
• Satin finishing of stainless steels & other special materials
• Cleaning of PCB’s & electrical connectors
• Removal of small burrs from manufactured components
• Cleaning of dies & molds

Aqua 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 on 08452243571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk.

Top 5 Properties of Copper Plating

Here at NiTEC, we offer a copper plating service that is suitable for both functional and decorative applications. As experts in the process, we’ve put together the top 5 properties of copper plating that make it one of our most popular metal plating services.

natural copperThermal and Conductive Properties

Copper is often used in electrical wiring because it is an excellent conductor of electricity. This makes copper electroplating a great choice on metal surfaces where a high level of conductivity is required. As a result it widely used in the electrical and electronics industries.

Adhesiveness

Copper is perfect for providing an underplate for tin and nickel plating because of its high levels of adhesion. Some industries use copper to provide metallization of non-metallic materials such as plastics.  Also, because of its adhesiveness, it won’t separate from the material even when the object is bent.

Flexibility

Copper is a highly flexible, soft, malleable metal, which makes it perfect for plating surfaces and objects in which some flexibility is required. And because of coppers excellent adhesiveness, it won’t come away from the object even in conditions where it is bent.

Highly Decorative

As well as its functional purposes, bright copper plating can be used decoratively, giving a highly polished copper-pink appearance. A thick layer of copper plating will also cover surface irregularities and generally improve aesthetics.

Naturally Kills Bacteria

Copper plate naturally kills bacteria, therefore, is frequently used to plate laboratory and medical equipment. It has actually been proven to inhibit the growth of many different micro organisms, and is used as an effective antimicrobial agent in a variety of settings such as food production, processing plants, agriculture and hospitals. It can, in fact, slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast.

Copper Plating Service

If you are interested in the process of copper plating for either a functional or decorative application, NiTEC 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

Aerospace and Defence Set to Rebalance the Economy

Farnborough International Airshow 2014 takes place this week, an event known throughout the world for promoting UK engineering excellence and industrial expertise. Aerospace and defence industry leaders will gather at the air show to discuss new technologies and trends, sharing the very latest thinking and exploring new opportunities within the sectors.

Airbus site Filton Bristol

The Hampshire Airport will play host to politicians, military officials and airline executives from all over the world as the global aerospace and defence industry meet to display and discuss the latest commercial airliners, fighter jets and drones.

Domestic manufacturing giants Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will be in attendance. On the commercial side, airline executives will no doubt be tempted by Boeing and Airbus, looking for multibillion dollar deals, while Rolls-Royce anticipate sales for the engines that power the aircraft.

The Thriving UK Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is experiencing a definite upturn in fortune, with global air passenger traffic on the rise and the continued demand for new aircraft. Major aerospace companies have thousands of aircraft on order and have been regularly increasing the rate of aircraft deliveries. This is having an impressively positive effect on UK businesses too; the latest global commercial aircraft data shows that orders are worth an estimated £150bn to the UK alone.

This event provides the UK with an opportunity to make real waves in the aerospace and defence sectors, underlining its prominent role despite cuts being made globally. Paul Everett, chief executive of ADS, the aerospace and defence trade body, told the Guardian newspaper, “Aerospace sustains high-value long-term jobs in the UK. We help create a rich science base with the kind of high-skilled jobs that politicians dream about. Aerospace is unquestionably the Premier League of our manufacturing industries.”

Engineering Excellence

The success and appeal of the Farnborough Airshow owes much to the UK pioneers and innovators who have contributed to revolutionising the aerospace industry. The UK remains a significant industrial power in the sector, and a huge amount of the aircraft that will be flying, and on display, at the airshow rely on the advanced skills, manufacturing and engineering excellence of the UK.

Metal Plating for Aerospace and Defence

If you would like to find out more about our metal plating and coatings for use in the aerospace and defence industries, 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 Plating a Mild Steel Phoenix Sculpture

Here at NiTEC, we are regularly approached by artists and metal sculptors who want a cost effective, corrosion resistant method of plating their work. As you can imagine, sculptures made of any material are susceptible to wear, corrosion, and weather damage as a result of the elements. That’s why using a coating such as electroless nickel plating is perfect for metal sculptures that are to be displayed outside; the nickel coating is incredibly corrosion resistant and can protect the piece for tens of years to come.

Electroless Nickel Plating for Sculptures

This particular sculpture was commissioned for use at the entrance to an industrial park in Castleford in West Yorkshire. Fabricated using mild steel, the sculpture took the shape of a phoenix with its wings spread, rising from what appeared to be an abstract representation of flames. It really was a truly stunning piece of sculpture; there was something very majestic and impressive about its large open wings and long bowed head.

The staff at NiTEC built a special plating tank in order to accommodate the phoenix sculpture, one that would be big enough to comfortably house the piece and ensure that the nickel plating process would achieve the best and most accurate results. The sculpture itself was a very delicate and complicated shape; the wings alone were made up of a number of intricate metal feathers which had many recesses and sharp angles that needed to be covered fully with the electroless nickel coating.

Corrosion Resistance and Protection from the Elements

Electroless nickel plating is the perfect metal plating solution for projects with unusual and complex shapes such as this sculpture because the electroless nickel can be deposited evenly on its surface. It will also ensure that the sculpture is protected against the formation of rust, and will not flake or chip like a painted surface can do.

If you are an artist or metal sculptor and you would like more information about the advantages of using electroless nickel plating to prevent corrosion and wear on sculptures, contact NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Jobs Growth for UK Oil and Gas Sector

oil rig at nightBBC News has recently reported that companies in the oil and gas sector in the UK expect to create nearly 40,000 jobs in the next two years. According to a survey commissioned by the Bank of Scotland of 100 UK companies, the expectations of employment growth has increased this year, with 69% of company executives being optimistic about their prospects for growth in 2014 and 2015.

International Expansion and Investment

The companies involved in the study also expressed that international expansion was a priority, with 64% of them already planning further growth in foreign markets in the next 2 years.

The research, carried out by BDRC Continental, analysed companies over a range of size, location and service type. There was also a study carried on the same topic last year, which found that companies in the oil and gas sector were expected to hire an extra 34,000 people over a period of two years.

The commercial area director of the Bank of Scotland, Stuart White, said: “The findings of this report are excellent news for the economy, demonstrating the employment-generating nature of the oil and gas industry now and in the future. With most of the UK’s oil and gas firms clustered in Aberdeen and the north-east, Scotland should reap the largest share of these new jobs, however other parts of the UK will benefit from expansion plans.

“The results also demonstrate the global nature of the industry as more firms look to expand internationally and tap into the markets with the largest levels of recoverable reserves,” he explained. “With 44% of income already generated internationally, this is not a new trend, and reflects the reach UK firms have as the industry benefits from the expertise gained in the challenging North Sea environment.”

Marine Corrosion Protect for the Oil and Gas Industry

Here at NiTEC UK, our metal plating and metal finishing service are often employed on components used in the oil and gas sector. We regularly deal with parts such as end fittings and flexible pipelines, among others. In addition to electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating which provide excellent corrosion resistance, we have also developed our very own SeaTEC100, the ultimate in marine corrosion resistance. This specialist surface increases the life of components used in subsea conditions and effectively protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time.

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

Effectively Degrease Components with our Solvent Decreasing Plant

Here at NiTEC UK, we are always looking for new ways to improve our services. As experts in metal finishing, metal plating and electroless nickel plating, we spend a great deal of time looking for the most effective way to get the very best results for our customers. With this in mind, we have recently purchased a large trichloroethylene plant in order to degrease metal parts and components before they are plated.

Why is Degreasing a Component so Important?

Degreasing is often the first step of the metal plating process and one of the most important, because insufficient degreasing and incorrect preparation of the surface to be plated is the biggest cause of rejection of a component. The degreasing and cleaning of parts is essential to metal plating projects, as molecular layers of oil and other particles can prevent the adhesion of the coating.

Parts Cleaning and Degreasing Using Solvents

Trichloroethylene solvent degreaser

Trichloroethylene

The solvent degreasing plant that we have onsite at NiTEC contains trichloroethylene, a chemical compound commonly used as an industrial solvent and classed as a category 2 carcinogen.

Various organic solvents can be used for degreasing, including trichloroethylene, and many are harmful to health if inhaled. Because it is a dangerous substance, there are many laws governing its use.

Our solvent degreasing plant is closed topped with a secure lid which ensures that the NiTEC UK workforce never come into contact with the solvent, or are exposed to it in any way. The equipment works by degreasing the required parts using vapour from the solvent. After the trichloroethylene has been used, it can be recondensed so that it can be saved and reused.

Vapour Degreasing Service

This machine is an incredibly effective replacement for other degreasers on the market which are simply not as effective. There are many alternatives to trichloroethylene, but none achieve results of such a high standard. That’s why we are so pleased to be able to offer this service to our customers!

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of effective degreasing of components with our in-house solvent decreasing plant, 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.

Copper Plating for Lord’s Cricket Ground

Here at NiTEC, we’ve recently been involved in an exciting project copper plating part of the bar for use at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Situated in St John’s Wood in London, Lord’s Cricket Ground is often referred to as the ‘home of cricket’.

copper plated componentOf course, it’s such a busy bar that it has to be very large to accommodate everyone, and make sure that everyone gets served their drinks in a reasonable amount of time.

To make sure that this happens, the bar staff at Lords pour pints of beer from allocated drink stations along the bar, which can then be passed to members of staff serving customers in order to save time.

Lord’s Cricket Ground Bar

The piece that we have copper plated is used to conceal the plastic pipes that the beer travels through as it is pumped up and down the bar. Because of all the pouring stations, there are obviously lots and lots of pipes that pump the beer down to them, and they needed to be contained in a way that was not only practical but looked good too. As you can see, the piece is long and circular, perfectly designed to hide the pipes. We think that the copper plating creates an aesthetically pleasing feature which will look really good at the historic cricket ground.

copper plated componentThe pictures show a section of the copper plated surround, several of which will be fitted together to make up a 25 meter length tube that will run from one end of the bar to the other.

As you can see, the parts have been copper plated separately for ease of handling and transport reasons, and will be fitted back together once it arrives at Lords and then assembled at the bar.

Copper Plating for Decorative Applications

As experts in copper plating, we’ve noticed that the process has become more and more popular for decorative applications. A copper plated surface is generally very bright and shiny, therefore it’s a really attractive option when it comes to metal plating. In addition to the appealing look of a copper plated surface, it also naturally kills bacteria, which makes it perfect for us in the food and drink industry!

If you are interested in the process of copper plating for either a functional or decorative application, NiTEC 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

Happy New Year From NiTEC UK!

As 2013 draws to a close, we are looking back on what has been a very busy year for NiTEC in the metal plating industry. From our nomination for the Excellence in Manufacturing Award at The Sheffield Business Awards, to our new testing laboratory, 2013 has been a great year for all of us here at NiTEC UK.

New facilities to monitor phosphorus levels

Our new laboratory means that our lead times have been cut dramatically; we are now able to turn around standard plating jobs within 24 hours. Our new state of the art, in house facilities mean that we no longer have to outsource testing. We can now monitor phosphorus levels, perform micro-sections and hardness tests on site.

Excellence in Manufacturing Award

In November we were thrilled to discover that NiTEC had been shortlisted for The Wake Smith Excellence in Manufacturing Award at The Sheffield Business Awards. The ceremony took place in December and although we didn’t win, we were very pleased to have been nominated for such a prestigious award.

We have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process, and a comprehensive range of metal finishing processes and techniques. We also offer a variety of surface treatments including electroless nickel platingdiffused nickel platingcopper platingshot blasting and heat treatment. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

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.

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.

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

The Ultimate Corrosion Protection

Here at NiTEC, we are experts in the fields of corrosion protection and corrosion resistance. We have spent years developing extremely sophisticated metal finishing techniques in order to establish ourselves as market leaders.

Our metal plating tanks are up to 10 meters in length, making them the largest in the UK. We have even been known to construct bespoke plating tanks in house to cater for customer’s specific needs. We can plate parts of all sizes, from small components the size of pins, to large applications such as oil pipelines and castings weighing up to 25 tonnes.

NiTEC’s onsite laboratory

The corrosion protection and corrosion resistance offered by the metal finishing services at NiTEC is closely monitored to ensure that we offer our customers the very highest standards.

We have a laboratory onsite which carries out all of the necessary tests to ensure that the thickness and hardness of the coatings we provide is measured accurately. We are also committed to investing in the very latest instrumentation to continually maintain the highest levels of quality for our plating services.

If you would like to find out more about our range of metal plating and metal finishing services that are the ultimate in corrosion prevention, contact NiTEC 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

NiTEC Nickel Plate Bespoke Furniture for Meta

As electroless nickel plating specialists, NiTEC have been approached for various plating techniques for a variety of projects.

One of our more unusual projects involved nickel plating a very out of the ordinary table for Meta, the contemporary objects and furniture company created by Mallet Antiques.

Designed by Asymptote Architecture, this amazing coffee table has been hand cut from a 5.2 tonne billet of gunmetal-quality steel, and nickel plated by us! Named ‘Ivo 03’, this unique piece of furniture has been exhibited in Milan, New York City, London and Miami.

This type of steel is perfect for this piece, as it can be carved with the finest detail and then polished.

The table consists of 2,000 mathematically delineated diamond shaped pieces, each of a slightly different shape. The slumped glass top has been suspended across the surface of the steel, which is highly polished to give the look of shiny waves of steel.

The base of this beautiful table is made from bespoke Tula steel. Tula steel is an historic metal that Meta has carefully recreated by analysing an original and rare piece of Imperial Tula steel dating back to 1780.

The edges of the table’s metal base have been hand etched with an intricate and sympathetic pattern of incised relief, by the same craftsmen who restored parts of the Kremlin Palace.

In addition to nickel plating, the table was also hand finished using traditional polishing methods to bring out the smooth, reflective qualities if the metal.

If you would like to find out more about the special projects we have undertaken at NiTEC, visit the electroless nickel plating case studiespage of our website. For help with your unusual plating project, contact us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

 

Engineering Applications of Electroless Nickel Plating

Over the years the staff at NiTEC have developed a wide range of metal finishing and metal plating techniques. We are able to process many materials such as ferrous substrates, plate stainless steel, plate copper and its alloys, and even plate aluminium alloys.

There are endless applications for electroless nickel, and they can be found in a huge number of industries.

Electroless nickel plating is a very common choice for many engineering applications because it has lots of great qualities, for example:

  • Wear resistance
  • Hardness
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Uniform coating
  • The ability to plate non-conductive surfaces

 

 

 

Electroless nickel plating can be used for a number of industrial applications, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Sea water pumps
  • Aircraft control systems
  • Photographic equipment
  • Oil field drilling equipment
  • Aircraft engine mounts
  • Undercarriage fixtures
  • Hydraulic pistons
  • Valves and pump shafts
  • Printing rollers
  • Machine slideways
  • Excavating equipment
  • Hydraulic cylinders
  • Fine instrument pivots
  • Memory discs
  • Spray nozzles
  • Worm wheels
  • Valve blocks

If you would like to find out more about electroless nickel can be used as a corrosion resistant, hard wearing coating for your engineering application, contact the specialist team at NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk