Base metals are essential in the growth of the infrastructure, manufacturing and utilities sector of the UK. The mining of base metals refers to major industrial non-ferrous metals like nickel, copper, tin and aluminium. It is the dramatically increasing energy and urbanisation demand which are making the need for the metals rise, as well as the fact that they are used for automotive systems, metal coatings, electrical systems and make many goods more durable. But will fluctuating prices negatively impact the base metal market?
Nickel Plating is Key
In 2014, Lead-zinc accounted for 24% of the global market and copper accounted for 16%. Zinc was popular due to its specific characteristics, such as its unique bonding abilities with other metals, anti-corrosive properties and it has the ability to galvanise well. The attributes have boosted its use considerably. Copper is predicted to rise, forecast until 2023, thanks to its proven strength in the infrastructure sector. The use of tin is also set to rise through the use of tin coating for electronic components in the automotive sector. However, the most interesting sales increase seems to be a very specific area of the Nickel world to increase its sales – this seems to be nickel plating – though the reasons or sectors remain unspecified.
Information Regarding Nickel Plating
There are two types of Nickel Plating – Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP) and Diffused Nickel Plating.
Diffused Nickel Plating is a simple process which is the most effective nickel coating, ensuring a high resistance level against corrosion. This is thanks to its total encapsulation plating method. It has been proven that their corrosion resistance is more effective than that of the highest grade stainless steel, whilst at the same time being much cheaper. Diffused Nickel Plating is the perfect plating method if your components are used in marine or salt environments. This gives them a 30 year sub-sea guarantee.
In a similar way, Electroless Nickel Plating is a high quality but cost effective solution to metal coating which can extend the longevity of components dramatically. It is creates a good resistance against corrosion and is often used in marine, oil and defence industries. Electroless Nickel Plating prevents rust, wear and friction. It can also be hardened through the use of heat treatment and is guaranteed not to chip or flake, like paint or varnish does.
Electroless Nickel Plating and Diffused Nickel Plating
A question often asked is…What is the different between the two types of Nickel Plating? The basic answer is very simple – the plating processes used are very different.
It has already been deciphered that Diffused Nickel Plating occurs when the encapsulation plating method is performed but this is not the same as Electroless Nickel Plating. The process for this occurs when a layer of even thickness metal is deposited evenly over the surface of a component, no matter what its shape. The uniformity in its coating means that it is the perform plating method for components which are used in particular industries, such as Healthcare, Defence, Automotive and Aerospace, where the components are often not standard, need to be hygienic, regularly cleaned and are under constant stress.