Tag Archive for nickel plating

Rising Base Metals Rocketing to the Top?

nickel-plating-plated-nitecBase 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.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating or copper plating, then get in touch with NiTEC UK?  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the plating industry offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are high-end and also cost effective.  We have experience of working for many different industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We 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

 

Bronze, Silver, Gold

nickel-silver-gold-copper-plating-nitecAmerica, pre-1965.  Everyone had some silver coins, saved silver coins and spent silver coins – silver money was a part of natural, normal everyday life.  Nowadays, the choice you have for acquiring gold and silver bullion, is best if you do so via historic metal, like silver coinage.  This occurred in America, when their government cut their ties with gold in 1933, but they continued to have access with ease to silver for the next three decades.  This however, was abandoned in 1965 due to America slipping in to irreparable bankruptcy.

Gold Price Sells Silver

It’s a known fact that the higher the price of gold, the more silver is sold and copper plated currency isn’t used at all.  The ratio of silver to gold today is 79:1 with prices estimated $16 : $1,250.  So obviously in an economic meltdown, cheap silver will be chosen over the more expensive (90 per cent) and once these have both been exploited they will then turn to the gold.

Common Plating

Plating facilities match base metals with a wide array of coating surface metal finishes.  The most commonly used are copperbrassnickel, steel and bronze.  In order to decide which surface metal is used to coat for the finish, the components uses are highly considered so that the manufacturer can get the highest performance and longest lasting component part electroplated.

As examples:

Gold plating is the perfect solution for electrical conductivity, heat protection and corrosion and can survive in a multitude of environments and temperatures.

Silver plating is commonly used in the electrical industry dues to its low electrical resistance.

Nickel plating is ideal for the chemical industry.  It protects against chemicals and is corrosion and wear resistant.

Copper plating is most commonly used in the automotive industry.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it electroless nickel plating or copper plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then get in touch with NiTEC UK?  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the plating industry offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are high-end and also cost effective.  We have experience of working for many different industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We 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

Why Choose Electroplating?

copper-electroplating-nitecElectroplating is a modern form of metal finishing.  It is commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, medical, army and electrical industries.  It occurs by means of an electrochemical process when metal ions in an electrolyte solution bond to a metal substrate through electrodeposition.   The required metal component is suspended in solution, whereby a direct power supply provides a direct flow of current to the said metal component in the chemical bath.  This current provokes the ions in the solution to attract to the surface of the metallic part, resulting in a metal coating which covers the base metal thoroughly.

Electroplating Benefits

Electroplating is mainly done in order to enhance the performance and longevity of the component part in question.  Certain characteristics can be added to the part in order to create specific needs for the manufacturers.  These can include areas such as:

  • Lower friction through greater lubrication
  • Better wear, abrasion and corrosion resistance
  • Temperature and impact resistance
  • Improved conductivity
  • Improved solderability
  • Porosity reducing
  • Creating added strength and hardness to the component
  • Creating a thicker appearance to smaller or undersized components
  • Increased protection for EMI and RFI shielding

Common Plating

Plating facilities match base metals with a wide array of coating surface metal finishes.  The most commonly used in this field are copper, brass, nickel, steel and bronze.  In order to decide which surface metal is used to coat for the finish, the components uses are highly considered so that the manufacturer can get the highest performance and longest lasting component part electroplated.

As examples:

Gold plating is the perfect solution for electrical conductivity, heat protection and corrosion and can survive in a multitude of environments and temperatures.

Silver plating is commonly used in the electrical industry dues to its low electrical resistance.

Nickel plating is ideal for the chemical industry.  It protects against chemicals and is corrosion and wear resistant.

Copper plating is most commonly used in the automotive industry.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it electroless nickel plating or copper plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then get in touch with NiTEC UK?  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the plating industry offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are high-end and also cost effective.  We have experience of working for many different industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We 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

 

Nickel Plating and the Heatsink Saving

diffused-nickel-plating-company-coatingTechnical Giants, Thermalright, have recently announced their latest heatsink, multilingual Le Grand Macho.  It is an upgraded, amended version of the pre-existing HR22, which is more economical for buyers whose budgets cannot quite stretch to the HR22.  It is made up of three different types of metal, which include aluminium, pure copper and nickel plating.  It has been designed to replace an active stock Intel heatsink during passive operation, making sure that there is sufficient air flow provided.  When it is paired with a fan, the duo work together to dissipate 300W of heat and the copper base creates compatibility with a large array of different processors, including Intel.  This new heatsink model is soon to be available in the UK and can be chosen in silver and anodised black finish.

Nickel Plating Information

There are two types of Nickel PlatingElectroless Nickel Plating (ENP) and Diffused Nickel Plating.

Diffused Nickel Plating is a simple process which is the most effective nickel coating and ensures a high level of resistance against corrosion due to its total encapsulation method of plating.  It has been proven that the 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 for marine and salt environments, so much so that it is given 30 years sub-sea guarantee.

In a similar way, Electroless Nickel Plating is a high quality, cost effective metal coating solution which can substantially extend the life of components.  It also is extremely well resisted against corrosion and used frequently in the marine, oil and defence industries.    Electroless Nickel Plating aids the prevention of rust, wear and friction.  It can be hardened, too, by the use of heat treatment and it is guaranteed that it will not chip or flake, like paint or varnish can do.

Diffused Nickel Plating and Electroless Nickel Plating

What is different between the two methods of Nickel Plating, is the way in which the processes are undertaken.  It has already been deciphered that Diffused Nickel Plating occurs via a total encapsulation plating method but this is not the same for Electroless Nickel Plating.  This occurs when a layer of metal is deposited of even thickness all over the surface of a component, despite the shape of it.  This uniform coating is perfect for components which are used in industries, such as, Healthcare, Defence, Automotive and Aerospace, where the components are often not standard and need to be hygienic.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then why not get in touch with NiTEC UK?  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the plating industry offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are only high-end and also cost effective.  We have experience of working for a large array of industries, including the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few.  We 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

Nickel Plating takes precedence in new DIY Water Cooling Kit

Thermaltake_fans_nickel_plating_cooling_NiTECClosed-loop water cooling kits are often used in computers or gaming PCs but do not have the greatest of reputations when it comes to safety, though they may be convenient.  Instead, enthusiast are using custom kits due to their performance and the fact that they can customize them to be just as they need them to be.  The new Thermaltake Pacific R360 D5 water cooling kit seems to be a great hit so far this year, because it has everything enthusiast builders need, and everything is all in one box!

DIY Water Cooling Kit in a Box

Inside this Pandora’s box of goodies (for some of us) you will find:

  • A CPU water block – has a copper base an anti-corrosive nickel plating. Block is claimed to fit all modern CPU sockets
  • A D5 pump and reservoir
  • A 360mm slim radiator
  • Six Compression fittings
  • Three Ring 12 LED blue radiator fans – hydraulic bearing and anti-vibration mounting system. This also aids the aesthetics as well as make the cooler quiet.
  • A length of tubing
  • Thermaltake 1000 Blue Coolant
  • Extra accessories – often ordered extras to improve the external appearance of the water cooling kit.

 

What does Nickel Plating do?

The CPU water block has a base made out of copper and anti-corrosive nickel plating.  What does nickel plating do to help?  Due to it being so corrosion resistant, its life is drastically extended, which means that part replacement occurs much less frequently than with other coating types, materials or if left uncoated.  Rust is unable to form where nickel plating has occurred and therefore the quality of the components is improved.  Nickel plating is great because it deposits itself evenly over a surface which not only looks nicer aesthetically, but it also makes the component a lot more durable and hard wearingNickel plating is the perfect solution for components which a subjected to a high amount of friction, wear or use and if it is treated properly, with the appropriate heat treatment, it will not chip or flake either like a top coat of paint or lacquer does.

 

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you or your business are interested in plating, 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 computing, aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries, to name but a few and offer our services to 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

 

ABCD – Aluminium, Boron, Coating, Diamonds

Over the last decade, the demand for aluminium moulds has increased dramatically but consistently and apparently this shows no sign of slowing down, changing or ceasing all together.  Metal coatings are provided for a range of fabricated metal components, but the largest business currently is mould coating and plating.  Specifically the demand for aluminium itself is increasing.  This is because companies have begun to discover that that aluminium moulds can last longer, much longer, than what they were predicted.  The extra longevity of the aluminium moulds can be enhanced further if buyers opt for the mould to be plated with electroless nickel.  This is a cost effective way to extend the life of aluminium tooling and has become extremely popular with automotive suppliers.  Alternatives to aluminium coating or plating can be nickel boron plating and nickel diamond plating which are also popular but aluminium remains the optimum and is only set to continue growing in demand.

Nickel Boron Plating

Nickel boron is a surface deposit coating that can be applied to many different metals including stainless steel, aluminium and titanium.  It acts as a great alternative to chrome plating and has many benefits, which include extending wear and corrosion resistance.  The nodular structure of nickel boron reduces drag in aerodynamic and fluids in circumstances such as ship propellers, down-hole oil crude oil pumping equipment, automotive and truck transmissions and greaseless guns.

Nickel Diamond Plating

Nickel Diamond Plating is where electroless nickel deposits are combined with particles of diamonds.  Many substrates can be coated using this method such as carbon, aluminium, stainless steel and alloys.  Substrates, once coated in this, become extremely highly corrosion and wear resistant and therefore have a much increased lifespan.  Part maintenance and replacement costs are reduced dramatically, as are the costs for such.  This is a popular technique in industries such as textile industry, wood working tools, computer parts, paper handling equipment, automotive water pumps, chemical process pumps and gage blocks.nickel-diamond-plating-nitec

NiTEC UK, the Specialist Plating Company

NiTEC UK are leading specialist in the plating industry, specialising in electroless nickel plating and are based in Derbyshire, England.  We have a wide range of developed techniques available to provide high-end and cost effective services for you.  We have a great deal of experience working with companies in the automotive, aerospace and military industries and offer our services to the whole of the UK, France Holland, Brazil and Germany.

Call NiTEC UK today

If you are interested in finding out more about electroless nickel plating, nickel boron plating or nickel diamond plating, then why not get in touch without friendly and professional staff team today?  Call us today on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or you can go directly on to our website by clicking here.

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.

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.

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

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

Metal Coatings for Marine Environments

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

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

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

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

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

Metal Plating Services Chesterfield

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

Latest Photos of New Electroless Nickel Plating Factory Building

As you can see from the latest photos, the structure for the new factory extension is well on the way. As readers of our blog will know, it’s all part of a massive expansion phase for NiTEC UK, which will create 4 new plating electroless nickel plating lines and room for plenty more heat treatment processes.

Biggest Plating Line in Europe

The new factory extension will create an extra 3,000 square foot of space and will allow us to handle components of up to 30 tonnes. We think that this will make NiTEC the proud owners of the biggest plating line in Europe, making us industry leaders in the process.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

We have more than 30 years of experience specialising in the electroless nickel plating process and we also offer a variety of surface treatments including diffused nickel plating, copper platingnickel PTFE, nickel diamond, tin plating and nickel boron. For more information, please call us on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Further Electroless Nickel Plating for Designer Thomas Heatherwick

nickel plated extruded benchesAs readers of our blog will know, NiTEC UK had the pleasure of electroless nickel plating a number of extruded benches on behalf of the English designer Thomas Heatherwick. Heatherwick’s recent projects have included the Olympic Cauldron for the London Olympics and the Garden Bridge across the River Thames. These projects, and several others, have meant that Heatherwick’s popularity and exposure has increased dramatically over the past few months, boosting his profile as an incredibly well respected and admired designer.

Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge across the Thames

The Garden Bridge followed Transport for London’s tender for proposals to improve pedestrian links across the Thames. Thomas Heatherwick and British actor and campaigner Joanna Lumley developed an idea for a pedestrian ‘Garden Bridge’ across the river. The bridge would connect the North and South of the city with a garden, adding to London’s diverse horticultural heritage.

Nickel Plated Extruded Benches

Since the rise in Heatherwick’s profile, many pieces of work created by the designer have become very desirable. This includes his famous benches, which involve manufacturing aluminium components through an industrial process called extrusion.

The process involves squeezing heated metal through a shaped hole which is known as die. The heated metal produces straight aluminium lengths with a precisely shaped cross section. Extrusion often produces contorted shapes when the metal initially squeezes through the die because the metal is inclined to snag warp as it struggles to fit through the gap. The form eventually straightens out and usually during this process; the contorted end is chopped off and melted back down.

We are, of course, delighted to be electroless nickel plating further benches on behalf of Thomas Heatherwick, and also excited about the future of his design career. His recent projects have all been notable, and received positive feedback from many, so it’s great to be involved in another of his projects.

UK Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how NiTEC can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

Electroless Nickel Plating for the Oil and Gas Industry

Electroless nickel plating has been a popular coating choice in the oil and gas industry for a number of years. It is used in a wide variety of applications within the industry mainly due to its uniform, thick deposit and superior corrosion resistance.

Many base materials that are typically used in the oil and gas industry are greatly enhanced by the application of electroless nickel, resulting in lower fabrication costs and extended service life. Shutdowns and delays in the oil and gas industry are very common because of the need to replace components, but as electroless nickel substantial extends the life of parts and components, a huge amount of money can be saved.

Electroless Nickel on Valves, Flow Control Devices and Ball Plugs

electroless nickel plated valve ballsElectroless nickel coatings are often used on valves and flow control devices due to their uniform thickness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance. These parts are critical components in the operation of a well where good performance and long life are major economic factors. The coating also provides an excellent surface condition for ball plugs and improves the sealing at the seat areas. It’s now very common for mild steel ball valves to be coated with a layer of electroless nickel.

Applications of Electroless Nickel

There are lots of areas within the oil and gas industry where the application of electroless nickel has been successful. For example, in crude oil production at a plant in the Middle East where the gas contains 55% hydrogen sulphide and is processed at 80C, mild steel ball valves had a maximum life of three months, with failure occurring as a result of corrosion, surface cracking and erosion. However, by electroless nickel plating the valve components, their lives were extended and no surface deterioration was evident after two years of continuous service.

Similar benefits have been noted on ball valves at plants using the sea water injection system, which involves pumping sea water under high pressure in order to force the oil to the surface. At the Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia, 75 microns of electroless nickel on the valves had satisfactorily withstood the operating conditions to such an extent that no degradation of the coating was detectable after four years of operation.

Electroless Nickel Plating for Oil and Gas Applications

NiTEC UK 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

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 Electroless Nickel Plate Extruded Benches for Thomas Heatherwick

nickel plated extruded benchesNiTEC UK have been lucky enough to be involved in the nickel plating of a number of extruded benches for English designer Thomas Heatherwick.

Known for his innovative designs and creative use of engineering and materials to produce public monuments and sculptures, Heatherwick works across the disciplines of architecture, art and design.

These amazing extruded benches began life in Heatherwick’s design and architecture studio when working on a project that involved manufacturing aluminium components through an industrial process called extrusion.

Extrusion and the Production of Contorted Shapes

The process of extrusion involves squeezing heated metal through a shaped hole which is known as die. The heated metal produces straight aluminium lengths with a precisely shaped cross section. Extrusion often produces contorted shapes when the metal initially squeezes through the die because the metal is inclined to snag warp as it struggles to fit through the gap. The form eventually straightens out and usually during this process; the contorted end is chopped off and melted back down.

But Heatherwick considered the mutated sections to be more interesting than the straight parts, and decided to produce more warped lengths of extruded aluminium on a much larger scale! The designer then wondered if it would be possible to use the extrusion process to create seating, much of which was needed at the time to furnish new airports and stations being built around the world. Heatherwick saw it as a simple but effective alternative to ordinary furniture that needed to be  made up of several components and materials. These extruded seats could be made all in one go, with the legs and back of the seat formed all at once.

Nickel Plating Aluminium Benches

So, the Heatherwick studio hunted for a machine capable of making this dream a reality for more than 16 years, until they finally came across a new extrusion machine that had been built in the Far East. The machine was designed for use in the aerospace industry and had the capability of exerting ten thousand tonnes of pressure. The factory it came from could not actually guarantee the outcome of the experiment because the machine had never been used to its full capacity.

Using this specialised die, Heatherwick and his studio staff made a series of aluminium benches with straight, extruded lengths, and contrasting raw, contorted ends. We were asked to carry out the electroless nickel plating of the benches in order to provide a high quality surface that would be very resistant to wear.

For more information about our recent case studies and details of other great projects that we’ve been lucky enough to be a part of, check out the metal plating case studies page on the NiTEC website.

5 Great Properties of Electroless Nickel Plating

electroless nickel plated componentsNo 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, NiTEC 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 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk to us about your electroless nickel plating requirements.

Explaining the Process of Electroless Nickel Plating

electroless nickel plated componentsHere at NiTEC UK, 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 Nitec website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email web@nitec-enp.co.uk

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

Top 3 Benefits of High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel

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

Hardness

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

Corrosion Resistance

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

Uniformity

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

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

Other advantages of high phosphorus electroless nickel are as follows:

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

Corrosion Resistant Metal Coating

If you are looking for a highly effective corrosion resistant metal coating, high phosphorus electroless nickel is a great solution. Call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

7 Advantages of Electroless Nickel Coatings

For engineers looking to protect parts from wear, friction and corrosion, electroless nickel plating offers a range of advantages.

1. Effective Barrier Coating

Electroless nickel coatings are often less porous than electroplated nickel and hard chrome, providing an effective barrier of corrosion protection to steel. It can also be applied with none or little compressive stress, therefore making it gentle in application.

electroless nickel plating company uk2. Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings can reach up to 1000 VHN with the appropriate heat treatment and provide an excellent hard coating for light metals.

3. Wear Resistance

This type of coating has excellent wear resistance properties, and can, therefore, extend the life of a part or component. As parts can be used for longer, plating components with electroless nickel means that money can be saved on repairs and replacements, and the impact on the environment can be reduced.

4. Uniform Deposit

The process of electroless nickel plating provides flexibility of thickness and volume of the plating on metal surfaces. It can also be used to easily fill recesses or pits in the metal surface, resulting in a uniform deposit and surface finish. This means that a wide variety of industrial parts can be plated, including oil field valves, pumps, drive shafts, electrical and mechanical tools, and engineering equipment etc. The uniformity of electroless nickel coatings also means that close tolerances can be adhered to.

5. Natural Lubricity

Electroless nickel plating has natural lubricity, and has excellent release and anti-galling properties.

6. No Electricity Needed

Electroless nickel plating does not need any electricity; therefore the process can be completed in a more controlled environment with less equipment than traditional electroplating.

7. Cost Effective

Electroless nickel plating is a much more cost effective way of plating metal, requiring fewer coats to produce a strong, high quality coating. Also, the reduction in equipment and time needed for the process in comparison to electroplating makes it an efficient, cost effective process. Electroless nickel plated mild steel is also an excellent replacement for more expensive materials.

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating Company

For more information about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used to benefit your business, visit the Nitec website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email web@nitec-enp.co.uk

How to Get the Best Results from Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating specialistsElectroless nickel plating is a cost effective and high quality solution to protecting metals from corrosion and increasing their life span. Nickel coatings have a variety of fantastic properties from wear resistance to hardness, making it a popular choice of metal plating for the defence, automotive, aerospace and healthcare industries.

However, electroless nickel plating is quite a complicated process that involves precision and careful execution. As experts in the process, we’ve put together a few top tips that will ensure that the best results are achieved during the process of nickel plating.

Continuous Monitoring of the Plating Solution

For the electroless nickel plating process to be effective, the chemicals in the plating bath need to be of a precise balance. This requires continuous monitoring of the plating solution to ensure that the chemicals a replenished sufficiently.

Filtration of the Plating Bath

In order to remove insoluble materials that can cause substrate roughness, the plating bath needs to be filtered continuously.

Correct Preparation of Parts

Components should be chemically pre-treated and rinsed thoroughly before the plating process to ensure that any surface contaminants are removed. There are other mechanical finishing techniques that can also be used to prepare the surface of the part for electroless nickel plating and improve the condition of the service, for example shot blasting.

Plating Bath Temperature Control

The temperature of the nickel plating bath needs to be monitored closely throughout the plating process. If the temperature is too low, it will have the effect of lengthening the plating process and in extreme cases may prevent the metal coating from depositing properly. If the temperature is too high on the other hand, the speed of the deposition will be speeded up beyond a level that is optimum for quality, and may result in the substrate blistering.

Bath Water Purity

Any impurities in the water used for the EN bath can result in unacceptable plating results. The water should be free of metal ions, particulates or other foreign matter.

UK Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how NiTEC can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

5 Reasons to Choose Electroless Nickel Over Stainless Steel

electroless nickel plated componentDespite its name, stainless steel is not really fully stain proof. It doesn’t corrode, rust or stain easily with water as ordinary steel would do. But under conditions where there are low levels of oxygen, high levels of salt or poor circulation, stainless steel will stain and even corrode.

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we have put together a list of 5 reasons why we feel that nickel plating components is a better choice than manufacturing them from stainless steel.

Superior Hardness and Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel can be used in environments where corrosion resistance is important and where the levels of hardness of the metal are also important. However, electroless nickel plating mild steel can achieve the same effect, with properties of hardness and corrosion resistance actually exceeding the benefits offered by stainless steel.

Nickel Plating is Cheaper than Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a lot more expensive than mild steel or cast iron that has been electroless nickel plated. It is far more cost effective to electroless nickel plate parts made of mild steel or cast iron for the ultimate levels of corrosion resistance.

Meet Engineering Specifications

Electroless nickel plating can be carried out to exceptionally high levels of quality so that it meets required engineering specifications. This means that you will have the peace of mind that your plated components will last indefinitely, effectively protected from corrosion and wear for years to come.

For more information about how we can fulfill your nickel plating requirements, or for advice on using electroless nickel plating an as alternative to stainless steel, please visit the Nitec website, or call our friendly team of staff on 0845 224 3571

NiTEC Complete Undercoat for 24-Carat Gold Plated Men’s Racing Bike

Here at NiTEC UK, we’ve had our fair share of exciting plating projects. But this recent job was particularly unusual, not to mention absolutely beautiful. We recently worked in conjunction with a London based gold-plating and customization brand called Goldgenie, undercoating a men’s racing bike with a layer of nickel before the final 24 carat gold coat was applied. Electroless nickel plating provided the perfect anti-rusting and anti-corrosion properties to support the gold exterior, of which almost every inch of the bicycle is now plated, including its chain, handlebars and spokes!

As you can see from the photos, the result is just amazing. As a metal plating company we have had the pleasure of nickel plating a great many components and objects, including bikes, sculptures and garden ornaments. But this was something else; the finished effect was just stunning and we were delighted to have been involved in such a unique project.

£250,000 Price Tag

The men’s racing bicycle has been coated in a layer of 24 carat gold, and will set you back a huge £250,000. “Striking to look at, the bike is even more beautiful when in fluid motion, as the spinning spokes catch the sunlight and ripples along the golden frame,” Goldgenie say on their website.

An Amazing Piece of Moveable Sculpture

Frank Fernando, director of Goldgenie, told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s the most amazing piece of movable sculpture in the world. This particular bike comes in at just under £250,000 but we as a company embellish and diamond encrust, which is what my intentions are with this bike to the requirements of any potential customer.”

About Goldgenie

Since being founded in 1995, Goldgenie have established themselves as the go-to customization service for a number of organisations which include Lexus, Honda, Toyota and Nokia. They now have a reputation as being a global leader in the support of ethical mining. Goldgenie’s range of luxury gifts also include gold-plated iPhones, Beats by Dre headphones studded with Swarovski crystals and a 24-carat gold replica of James Bond’s signature Walther PPK handgun!

Corrosion Resistant Undercoat

For more information about using nickel plating as a corrosion resistant undercoat, call our friendly team on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk for more information.

Top 3 Benefits of Applying Corrosion Resistant Coatings

Corrosion resistant coatings are incredibly useful in a variety of industries; from aerospace and defence to engineering and automotive. They are able to effectively protect metal parts and components against corrosion, which may include degradation due to moisture, oxidation, salt spray and exposure to a range of industrial or environmental chemicals.

electroless nickel plated componentOur metal plating experts at NiTEC UK use a variety of different anti-corrosion coatings depending on the specification and requirements of the customer. This allows for the added protection of metal surfaces and has the advantage of acting as a barrier that will inhibit the contact between the chemical compound of the component and the corrosive material that it is exposed to.

Of course, many of the coatings we offer are not exclusively corrosion resistant; many also offer the qualities of abrasion resistance, chemical protection and non-stick performance.

Resistant to Harsh Chemicals and Extreme Temperatures

Corrosion resistant coatings such as electroless nickel plating and nickel PTFE are resistant to environmental and industrial chemicals, as well as extreme temperatures.

Extended Life Span of Components

One of the major benefits of corrosion resistant coatings is their ability to extend the lifespan of components, ensuring that parts have the longest service time possible.

Servicing Costs Reduced

As parts last longer, the costs of servicing components can be reduced significantly. Downtime as a result of corroded parts is severely reduced or avoided altogether. The use of a corrosion resistant coating means that the costs of repairing, replacing or maintaining parts can be dramatically reduced or avoided altogether.

If you are looking for metal coatings that have outstanding levels of  corrosion resistance, electroless NiTEC UK have the perfect solution. 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.

Top 5 Industries Using Electroless Nickel Plating

offshore oilrigElectroless nickel is an incredibly useful plating technique. Its advantages include corrosion resistance, uniformity of coating, and wear resistance, which are desirable attributes to a number of industries and applications. Here at NiTEC, we’ve put together a selection of the top 5 industries using electroless nickel plating as a coating, including application examples.

The Oil and Gas Industry

Components used in the oil and gas industry, especially those that are exposed to off shore environments, demand a very high level of protection and corrosion resistance. Electroless nickel plated components for pipelines and valves within this field have been used successfully for years. Electroless nickel plating on steel has excellent resistance in marine environments.

Engineering

Electroless nickel deposits are great for protecting components made of steel, aluminium, brass and alloys from abrasive and corrosive wear. As long as the plating solution can circulate freely in order to come into contact with all surfaces, it’s possible to achieve a specified thickness and even coating on the even the most complicated shaped components.

The Automotive Industry

Applications for electroless nickel plating are in abundance within the automotive industry due to electroless nickel plating’s good corrosion and abrasion resistance. For example, the plates of a viscous clutch can be coated, the parts for ABS systems can be nickel plated, as well as fuel injection pumps and carburettors.

The Textile Industry

Electroless nickel plated components are frequently used in the textile industry. Electroless nickel plating is very hard and has a high level of abrasion resistance. Therefore, heat treated deposits of electroless nickel and the use of composite coatings are perfect for extending the working life of parts that are in contact with fast moving textile products.

The Chemical Industry

Electroless nickel coatings are suitable for many applications in the chemical industry. This is because the coating is resistant to a wide variety of chemicals. It is often possible to use electroless nickel plating as a substitute for stainless steel. For example, it can be used for stirrers, valves, reaction tanks and covers.

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating

Our high quality electroless nickel plating service is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the engineering, automotive and oil and gas industries. For more information, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Specialist Electroless Nickel Coatings for the Automotive Industry

brake caliper nickel plating

As experts in corrosion resistant coatings, NiTEC UK have developed a range of metal plating techniques and finishes that enhance the performance and aesthetics of parts used in the automotive industry.

Our advanced metal coatings have lead to us being trusted by worldwide automotive manufacturers, and we regularly plate components used by leading makers of cars.

Increase the Corrosion Resistance of Brake Calipers with Electroless Nickel Plating

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK regularly plate arguably the most important part of a cars’ brake part; the brake calipers. High performance brake calipers are a key part of a modern car, and nickel is excellent for protecting steel, so is the perfect coating for applications of this sort.

As brake calipers are a necessity to allow your vehicle to stop, it is essential for them to be hard wearing and long lasting. Brake calipers are a vital part of your vehicle’s breaking system as they squeeze the brake pads against the surface of the brake rotor to slow or stop the vehicle.

Most cars on the road today have disk brakes. In a disc-braking system the car’s wheels are attached to metal discs, or rotors, that spin along with the wheels. The job of the brake calipers is to slow down the wheels of the car by creating friction with the rotors. It 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.

Anti-Corrosion Coatings for High Performance Brake Calipers

nickel plated brake caliperNickel plating is the perfect solution to creating hard wearing, corrosion resistant brake calipers, and is a very effective way of coating and protecting steel.

Brake calipers are also exposed to difficult environments, for example heat, cold, summer, winter, snow and salt. Therefore, a corrosion resistant coating on these parts is very important to ensure the longevity of the cars braking system.

For more information about the variety of coating that we provide, including electroless nickel plating and nickel PTFE plating for the automotive industry, please contact us on

Electroless Plating Vs Electroplating: Which is Best?

As experts in the metal plating process, the staff at NiTEC regularly carry out the process using a variety of metals, namely nickel. We use electroless plating methods, but electroplating is also an option when it comes to plating metals. Here is a comprehensive explanation of both processes, so that you can make an informed decision on the right technique for you and your requirements.

Metal Coatings Applied Using the Electroplating Process

copper electroplatingThe process of electroplating uses an electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations so that they form a metal coating on an electrode. When current is applied to the component, it shifts the chemical composition and delivers the coating to the surface, depositing a thin layer of metal onto a metal object or component.

Multiple applications are sometimes necessary to create plating of a specific thickness. This layer can be used to provide corrosion or wear resistance, to build up worn or undersized parts, or for decorative purposes. Electroplating involves potentially dangerous equipment in order to work, and also requires clean conditions and careful procedures.

A common system involves a chemical solution with the ionic form of the metal, a positively charged anode, which may consist of the metal being plated (a soluble anode) or an insoluble anode (usually carbon, platinum, titanium, lead, or steel), and finally, a negatively charged cathode where electrons are supplied to produce a film of non-ionic metal.

Metal Coatings Applied Using the Electroless Plating Process

Electroless plating, which is also known as chemical or auto-catalytic plating, is a non-galvanic plating method that involves several simultaneous reactions in an aqueous solution. They key difference between electroless plating and electroplating is that electroless plating occurs without the use of external electrical power.

The reaction that takes place during the electroless plating process happens when hydrogen is released by a reducing agent, normally sodium hypophosphite, and oxidised, therefore providing a negative charge on the surface of the part. The component is treated with chemicals to remove oils and other corrosive elements first, and is then activated with an acid etch or proprietary solution. The application of anti-oxidation chemicals completes the process, leaving the component with high levels of resistance to corrosion and friction.

Which is Best?

For the process of electroplating to be carried out successfully, it requires complex filtration equipment and possibly dangerous battery applications. Electroless plating, on the other hand, uses no extra equipment. The chemicals can be replenished automatically, and the engineers exercise more control over the deposition process which results in a smooth, even application of the nickel plating. It is also possible to vary the thickness and volume of the plating to exact standards and specifications.

UK Electroless Nickel Plating Specialists

If you are looking for a quality company specialising in the process of electroless nickel plating, look no further than NiTEC. Talk to a member of our friendly team on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk for more information.

The History of Electroless Nickel Plating

The process of plating metal, including nickel plating, has been used to strengthen metal against corrosion and wear for hundreds of years. It has also been used to enhance the appearance of metal, which otherwise may be quite dull and not so pleasing on the eye. There are various methods of plating that have been used over the years, and still are today, including electric and chemical methods of dispersing the layer of metal coating onto a substrate.

An Historical Overview of Electroless Nickel Plating

The electroless nickel plating of metallic nickel from an aqueous solution in the presence of hypophosphite first occurred as a chemical accident by Wurtz in 1844. Progress in the field of electroless nickel plating didn’t progress much until after World War Two, when in 1946, Brenner and Riddell developed a process for plating the inner walls of tubes with nickel-tungsten alloy, which was derived from the citrate based bath using an insoluble anode, bringing out the unusual reducing properties of hypophosphite.

An Alternative Process to Conventional Electroplating

early electro platingDuring the 1954-59 period, Gutzeit at GATC (General American Transportation Corporation) worked on full scale development of electroless plating by chemical reduction alone, as an alternate process to conventional electroplating.

A study was then conducted in 1966, in which the co-deposition of particles was carried out for electrodepositing Ni-Cr by Odekerken. The study revealed that an intermediate layer consisting of finely powdered particles such as aluminium oxide and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin were distributed within a metallic matrix.

This meant that a layer in the electroless coating was composite, but that other parts of it were not. The first commercial application of their work occurred in 1981, when they used the electroless Ni-SiC coatings on the wankel internal combustion engine and another commercial composite incorporating polytetrafluoroethylene (Ni-P-PTFE).

The Co-Deposition of Diamond and PTFE Particles in Electroless Nickel Plating

The co-deposition of diamond and PTFE particles was proven to be more difficult, and The feasibility to incorporate the fine second phase particles, in submicron to nano size, within a metal/alloy matrix has initiated a new generation of composite coatings.

Composite Coatings of Electroless Nickel

Here at NiTEC UK, we provide a number of electroless nickel composite coatings including nickel diamond plating, nickel PTFE and nickel boron. For more information about the composite nickel coatings offered by NiTEC UK, contact us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk. Our staff will formulate the right solution for your application, providing advanced nickel composite plating services to meet your needs.

UK’s Largest Electroless Nickel Plating Tanks at NiTEC UK

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK have the largest electroless nickel plating tanks in the UK.

Pre-Treatment for Electroless Nickel Plating

Before a component can be electroless nickel plated, it must be suitably prepared for the process. Firstly, the part is cleaned in a series of pre-treatment tanks and rinsed in water. It then enters the coating tank which is heated to a critical temperature above 90C and contains the plating solution made up of the nickel-phosphorus alloy and a reducing agent.

electroless nickel plating lineThe thickness of the coating that is deposited is dependent on the immersion time, and the phosphorus content of the solution governs its hardness and corrosion resistance.

In order to achieve the maximum thickness achievable, the part needs to be in the plating tank for approximately 9-10 hours, during which time the solution is agitated and continuously re-circulated to prevent debris being incorporated into the coating. The total contents of the tank will be filtered and re-circulated within 10 minutes.

There are three levels of phosphorus in solution that are typically used, each of them having different benefits and attributes.

 

Low Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating

A low phosphorus electroless nickel coating typically contains 2.5% phosphorus. This produces a very uniform porous free coating which uniformly covers the complete surface of the component, including inside recesses. It has excellent corrosion resistance in alkaline conditions, but the coating is relatively soft, below 235VPN, and is therefore not particularly wear resistant.

Medium Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating

Medium phosphorus solutions contain between 6 and 10% phosphorus and produce a coating which effectively combines intermediate hardness with good corrosion resistance. Medium phosphorus coatings deposit rapidly and produce a bright or semi-bright coating.

High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating

High phosphorus coatings contain between 11-14% phosphorus and produce hard coatings of up to 600VPN. This level of hardness is ideal for wear resistant applications in harsh acid environments typical of the conditions experienced in oil and gas drilling or mining applications. The high phosphorus level also renders them non-ferromagnetic and hence suitable for coating, for example, austenitic stainless steels, for applications where ferro-magnetism cannot be toleration such as MRI scanners. Such hard coatings are also used on stainless steel to improve its galling resistance in wear situations.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how NiTEC can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

Common Applications of Electroless Nickel Coatings

Here at NiTEC UK, we have an impressive total of 7 nickel plating lines, making us one of the largest nickel plating providers in Europe. As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we’ve put an article together describing the common applications of this unique metal plating service, illustrating its versatility and wide reaching advantages.

Aerospace Components

Electroless nickel plating is commonly used for aerospace components due to its excellent wear resistance, corrosion protection, chemical resistivity and lubricity. These fantastic qualities are perfect for use on valves, pistons, engine shafts, engine mounts, compressor blades and other flight-critical components.

Oil & Gas Components

Nickel plating is used primarily for corrosion protection in the oil and gas industry. It is incredibly effective at protecting parts used in harsh undersea and underground environments, for example on parts such as valves, pumps, and pipe fittings.

Automotive Components

brake caliper nickel platingElectroless nickel plating is commonly used for the purpose of wear protection and corrosion resistance on components such as pistons, cylinders, gears, differential pinon ball shafts, fuel injectors, ball studs, transmission thrust washers, knuckle pins, hose couplings, heat sinks and others.

Food Service Equipment

With its superior corrosion and wear resistance, attractive finish and cleanliness, electroless nickel coatings are perfect for food service equipment.

Electrical Equipment

Electroless nickel is often used for electrical equipment due to its solderability and conductivity properties.

Packaging and Handling Machinery

Electroless nickel is commonly used to plate components used in the packaging and handling machinery due to wear resistance, cleanliness and attractive finish.

Chemical Manufacturing and Transport Equipment

The chemical resistance of electroless nickel coatings makes them ideal for chemical manufacturing and transport equipment.

Molds and Dies

Electroless nickel coatings provide corrosion protection on molds and dies, and also help to minimise erosion and abrasion. Also, their low coefficient of friction improves release.

Plastics Manufacturing Equipment

Nickel plating is a common choice of plating of plastics manufacturing equipment due to its durability and release properties on injection molds and extrusion dies.

Printing Industry Equipment

It is often used for plating components and equipment used in the printing industry due to its excellent abrasion resistance on conveyance and chemical resistance on printer cylinders.

Salvage

Electroless nickel plating is commonly used to salvage old parts. It naturally deposits a very even layer of electroless nickel, therefore is often used to restore parts to their original dimensions, or bring mis-machined parts into tolerance.

The History of Onshore Oil Extraction in the UK

The History of onshore oil and gas extraction in the UK dates back to the 1850’s. Before the First World War in 1914, the UK got most of its oil and gas from abroad. Oil was first discovered in Scotland in 1851. During the construction of Heathfield rail station in Sussex in 1896, gas was discovered when natural water wells were being dug, which then went on to power the lights for the station.

onshore oil extraction techniqueDuring both the First and Second World Wars, Britain needed to produce its own oil to help the war effort, rather than rely on imports. It was of huge importance to the Government for the UK to be able to do this; therefore legislation was introduced to enable companies to explore for hydrocarbons more easily.

Onshore Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing

1973 saw Wytch Farm Oilfield in Eastern Dorset opeing, which is now the largest oilfield in western Europe. It is thought that the first hydraulic fracture in the UK was performed at around this time. After the 1979 oil crisis, onshore oil and gas activity rose again to meet the price increase, making production even more important.

In June 2013, The British Geological Survey (BGS) in association with The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimated that the area between Wrexham and Blackpool in the west and Nottingham and Scarborough in the east contained 1,329 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas compared to the annual consumption of natural gas in the UK of just over 3 tcf.

Onshore Oil Wells in the UK

Around 2,000 wells have now been drilled onshore in the UK with about 10% of them having been hydraulically fractured. There are currently around 120 producing sites with c.300 operating wells producing in excess of 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day or about 1% of the UK’s consumption.

Surface Technology for the Oil and Gas Industries

As specialists in metal finishing and surface technology for the oil and gas industries, NiTEC offer a full range of services including electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call NiTEC UK on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Electroless Nickel Plating and It’s Use in the Oil and Gas Industry

Electroless nickel coatings can be used in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas. The properties of most value to the oil and gas industries are generally the uniformity of the thickness of the deposit, the excellent corrosion resistance that it provides, and its properties of abrasion and erosion resistance.

Enhancing Oil and Gas Base Materials with Electroless Nickel

The base materials that are traditionally used in the oil and gas industry have been enhanced by the application of electroless nickel coatings. Not only does electroless nickel lower the fabrication costs of many parts, it also extends the surface life of components. Extending the service of parts used in this industry is incredibly valuable, as the cost of shutdowns can be very expensive and time consuming.

The Three Areas in the Oil and Gas Industry

offshore oilrig

Operations in the oil and gas industry can be divided into 3 main areas; surface operations, subsurface operations or downhole operations, and offshore operations. Equipment is often exposed to severe environmental conditions including chlorides, carbon dioxide, brines, hydrogen sulphide, sea water and reef water, which can contain high levels of sulphur compounds.

In addition to this type of exposure, equipment may be exposed to abrasion problems associated with the ingestion of sand, mud, and very high temperatures.

Typical components whose performance has been enhanced by electroless nickel include the following:

Surface Operations

  • Blowout preventors
  • brake assemblies
  • chokes
  • compressors
  • gas turbines
  • pump housings
  • pumps
  • connection manifolds
  • valves

Subsurface Operations or Downhole Operations

  • Couplings
  • logging tools
  • plungers
  • packers
  • pumps
  • safety valve units
  • tubing

Offshore Operations

  • blowout preventors
  • gas turbines/compressors
  • heat exchangers
  • pumps
  • riser connectors
  • valves

UK Based Electroless Nickel Plating Factory

Here at NiTEC UK, we are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating. Our Chesterfield, UK based electroless nickel plating factory has a total of 7 nickel plating lines, making us one of the largest in Europe with the capacity to plate items of all sizes, no matter how small or large.

To find out more about NiTEC UK, electroless nickel plating, and our ability to plate equipments and components for use in the oil and gas industry, contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Boost for Aerospace Industry with £1m Training Centre

The Aerospace industry is set for a boost with a £1m centre of excellence opening on the Isle of Man this month. The new centre is a joint project between the Manx government and the The Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster (IOMAC).

Red arrows pilot

Red Arrows ejector seats are made on the Isle of Man

BBC news reports that according to government figures, the high-tech sector contributes 4% of the island’s economy.

More than 1,000 people are employed to manufacture a range of high-tech aerospace items, such as the ejector seats used by the red arrows.

Worldwide Civil and Defence Aerospace Project

A spokesman said the new training facility would support the “growing need for highly-skilled engineers in the thriving industry”. The IOMAC is established as an integral part of the UK aerospace supply chain and member firms support every current major civil and defence aerospace project worldwide. Made up of 22 firms on the island including RLC Ronaldsway, Swagelok and Triumph Actuation Systems, the IOMAC produces precision-engineered parts for use of the island.

IOMAC’s Chris Allen said: “Everything from landing gear, ejector seats and optic lenses are made here and have travelled as far as Mars. The age of the skilled engineers is high and this centre is very important for the future.”

Manufacturing Centre of Excellence

The cluster of aerospace firms has had enormous involvement in setting up the training centre and helping to create and deliver a three year training course. Courses began in 2013 but the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre will be officially opened on 15th October 2014 by Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children.

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

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

5 Things You Need to Know about Electroless Nickel Plating

As specialists in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK have put together 5 things we think you need to know about the process!

Auto-Catalytic Chemical Reaction

Electroless nickel plating is an auto-catalytic chemical reaction used to deposit nickel onto a wide range of substrates. It uses a solution containing nickel phosphorous alloy, which can be specially tailored to suit the application it is being used for.

Can be Applied to Range of Substrates

Electroless nickel can be applied to wide range of substrates, including the following:

  • Aluminium and aluminium alloys
  • Copper and copper alloys
  • Ferrous and stainless metals
  • Beryllium copper
  • Zinc
  • Titanium

Superior Corrosion and Wear Resistance

Electroless nickel plating has many key properties that make it an excellent choice for any metal plating project. For example, electroless nickel coatings are incredibly corrosion and wear resistant, as well as being very hard.

electroless nickel plated componentAccurate, Uniform Deposit

Electroless nickel plating provides a highly accurate and uniform deposit onto the surface of a component, regardless of the complexity of the part. It can easily plate sharp angles and curves, deep holes and recesses, making it a fantastic choice of plating for unusually complex parts.

Applications for Electroless Nickel Plating

Typical applications for electroless nickel plating include valves, pumps, mould tools, gears, sprockets and splined shafts, and electronic components. The process has been widely used throughout most engineering disciplines; especially automotive, offshore, defence, aerospace, petrochemical, electronics, plastics and nuclear. It is highly recommended for offshore applications as it offers the very best levels of protection.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how NiTEC can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

New Nickel Boron Plating Service Available at NiTEC

As part of our recent expansion at NiTEC UK, we have added a variety of new metal plating and metal finishing services to the business. We are pleased to announce that we now have the facilities to carry out nickel boron plating.

Nickel boron plating can be applied to variety of different metals and is a great alternative to chrome plating. Among its many benefits are excellent wear and corrosion resistance.

Key Advantages of Nickel Boron Plating

boron

  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Excellent wear resistance
  • Ductile
  • Solderability
  • High-temperature performance
  • Lubricity
  • Accepts dry film lubricant
  • Uniformity of coating
  • Excellent rigidity
  • Resistant to fretting
  • Resistant to galling
  • Resistant to abrasion

Electroless Nickel Boron Plating

Nickel boron coatings mirror the surface profile of the substrate it is applied to, therefore little or no post-plate grinding or burnishing is needed after plating. The process of electroless nickel boron plating does not need an electrical current; therefore the coating deposition rates are fully controllable and produce incredibly accurate and consistent tolerances. So even on sharp corners, edges, flat surfaces, as well as blind holes, threads, channels, recesses and internal areas of all shapes and sizes, the result is exactly the same.

The nature of an electroless nickel boron coating reduces the surface to surface contact of surfaces that slide up against each other, thus reducing drag and friction. The surface of nickel boron is typically nodular; therefore the structure allows it to dissipate heat efficiently due to the greater surface area. These characteristics are especially effective when used on saw blades, for example.

Nickel Boron Plating Service Chesterfield, Derbyshire

To find out more about our nickel boron plating 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.

Electroless Nickel Plating Vs 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, we’ve put together a bit of information comparing the processes so that you can make an informed decision.

Protecting Metal Using 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. Galvanisation is an effective way of preventing the ferrous item from rusting, as the corrosion resistance of zinc is much higher than iron or steel. It is also a cheap process, easily applied and has a long, maintenance free service life.

hot dip galvanisationHot-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.

Hot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable. Electroplated coatings are less durable and unsuitable for outdoor applications because of the thinness of the deposit. This can be overcome to some extent, however, by painting the surface which slows down zinc consumption, therefore delaying the corrosion and extending its durability.

Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to Galvanisation

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. 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.

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.

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 for the Oil and Gas Division of Rolls-Royce

Along with smaller customers such as metal sculptors and car restorers, NiTEC have also had the pleasure of working with international companies with very specific requirements. For example, we were recently asked to nickel plate a component for Rolls-Royce’s oil and gas division.

Onshore and Offshore Oil and Gas Applications

Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air and operate in four global market sectors: civil aerospacedefense aerospace, marine and energy. They supply gas turbines, compressors and diesel power units to customers in over 80 countries worldwide.

Rolls-Royce’s energy business supplies gas turbines, compressors and diesel power units to customers around the world and is a world leader in the supply of power for onshore and offshore oil and gas applications. Not only that, they have more than 65 million hours of operating experience in oil and gas applications, 1,700 systems worldwide and over 650 units sold for offshore platform service.

The gas turbines supplied by Rolls-Royce provide the power that enables oil platforms to operate in some of the most hostile and remote locations of the world. This could be in temperatures ranging from -50°C in Canada and Russia in the winter, to more than 50°C in areas such as Africa and the Middle East in the height of summer.

Rolls-Royce’s compressor technology transports oil and gas across continents, with over 900 pipeline compressors installed on 35 pipelines in 24 countries. They also have over 700 barrel-type centrifugal compressors operating in various natural gas and process applications.

 

Corrosion and Wear Resistance for Oil and Gas Applications

NiTEC’s involvement in electroless nickel plating an oil and gas application for Rolls-Royce is a great achievement for us as a company. The oil and gas division at Rolls Royce operate with industry leading efficiency, therefore it’s a fantastic project to be a part of.

For more information about the ways in which NiTEC can help your company with exceptional corrosion and wear resistance for oil and gas applications, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Nickel Plating as an Alternative to Chrome Plating for Classic Car Restoration

Chrome plating is often used in the restoration of classic cars. There are many forums online that talk about the use of chrome plating to restore old vehicles, but if you read carefully, it does have its pitfalls.

Chrome plating is a highly labour intensive and very expensive method of plating a classic car. If you go for an especially cheap price for the service, it most certainly will not last. It’s vital to have other layers under the chrome plating, such as nickel, as this protects the steel below the chrome from corrosion. The shiny layer of chromium is porous and, without a waterproof layer between it and the steel, it will only last a matter of months.

Electroless Nickel Plating

nickel plating classic car restorationQuality nickel plating can really make a classic car restoration project and it is a great alternative to chrome plating. Most brightwork on cars before the 1930s was nickel plated, as opposed to chromium plated.

The process of electroless nickel plating is much cheaper and easier than chrome plating. Good chrome platers would usually apply a layer of nickel under the chrome anyway, so it’s just as effective but only half the work. The car needs to stay in the nickel vat longer than it would if chrome plating was to be applied on top as it needs to be thick enough to last polishing for years to come!

Metal Plating for Classic Car and Motorcycle Parts

Here at NiTEC, we offer a reliable nickel plating service for all classic and vintage car and motorcycle parts. Nickel plating is very hard wearing and offers fantastic corrosion protection. To find out more about nickel plating services for your classic car restoration project, call NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Top 5 Properties of Electroless Nickel

As experts in the process of nickel plating, the NiTEC staff are highly experienced and knowledgeable regarding the use of this innovative plating technique. There are many benefits to using nickel plating over other metal finishing techniques, many of which are outlined below.

nickel plating technical figure

1. Uniformity of Coating

The deposit formed by electroless nickel plating is based on a chemical reaction, causing the deposit to collect in equal thickness over all the part, regardless of its shape.

This completely uniform coating is a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

2. Ultimate Corrosion Resistance

Electroless nickel coatings are often used in functional applications because of the excellent corrosion resistance it provides. 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.

3. Wear Resistance

Electroless nickel has excellent levels of wear resistance. As a barrier layer, it is used on oil field valves, drive shafts, electrical tools and industrial machinery. The life of any metal exposed to harsh environments can be extended using this type of plating, therefore reducing the cost of repair and replacement parts. It basically extends the life of everything it coats! And with the appropriate heat treatment, electroless nickel can be hardened up to 950vhn, which makes it ideal for areas exposed to friction and wear.

4. Excellent Adhesion

A high level of adhesion can be achieved on a wide range of substrates, including steel, copper, and aluminium. The typical bond strengths reported for electroless nickel on copper and iron alloys range from 50 to 60,000 psi. The bond strength on light metals such as aluminium tends to be lower, somewhere in the range of 15 to 35,000 psi.

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 occurs 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.

5. Cost Effectiveness

Specialist electroless nickel plating is much cheaper than you would imagine. NiTEC now have 7 dedicated nickel plating lines and can offer reasonable quotations based on drawings or photos sent to us.

As you can see from the points made above, electroless nickel plating has many huge benefits that make it the plating method of choice for many industries. Call NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Bikes, Nickel Plating and the Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France 2014

As you are no doubt aware, the Tour de France will be sweeping into Yorkshire this July as it stages the Grand Depart. Here at NiTEC, we’re really excited about the region hosting such an iconic event and the interest and visitors it will bring to the area.

tour de france yorkshireThe Yorkshire roads will host the first stage of the tour, which starts in Leeds and finishes in Harrogate on 5 July. The second stage will leave from York and finish in Sheffield. After that, the riders race from Cambridge to London before the Tour moves on to the French stages.

Stage One of the Tour de France

The race will start on the Headrow in Leeds and then head out of the city north towards Harewood. It will also to visit Ilkley, Otley, Ripon, Skipton and Hawes before finishing Harrogate. This stage is a total 118 miles (190km).

Stage Two of the Tour de France

Stage two will start in York and go through Knaresborough, Keighley, and over Holme Moss into the Peak District National Park. It finishes after 124 miles (200km) at Sheffield Arena.

Electroless Nickel Plated Bike Frames

We’ve always been interested in the use of electroless nickel for plating bike frames a way of keeping it rust and scratch free. Road bikes and mountain bikes alike are exposed to a variety of conditions through general use including being exposed to mud, water and salt.

nickel plated bike frameHere at NiTEC, we often receive requests to nickel plate bike frames on behalf of our customers as the process ensures that the frame will be immune to rust, scratches and corrosion forever. We charge £185 to nickel plate a bike frame, and we can have it nickel plated and scratch and corrosion resistant in just 5 days of receiving it.

All you have to do is disassemble your bike, send us the handlebars and frame, and we’ll electroless nickel plate the parts and return them to you for reassembly. To find out more about having your bike frame electroless nickel plated, contact the team at Nitec today on (0)845 224 3571 or visit our website at for more information.

Decorative Aluminium Bathroom Sink Nickel Plated for Protection

Most people think of the plating activities we carry out at NiTEC as being purely for engineering applications, but as you may have seen from our last few blog posts, we do plate a lot of items for sculptors and artists too. We occasionally receive enquiries to plate more unusual domestic pieces, such as balustrades, staircases, furniture, and this metal basin.

nickel plated basin sink

Aluminium basin nickel plated for corrosion protection

The sink itself was originally cast out of aluminium and featured a large round inset for the basin itself. The bottom of the sink was a rugged texture that looked a lot like the texture of the surface of a jagged rock. As you can see from the picture, it’s a really impressive piece, and will undoubtedly look fantastic in the bathroom of its new home!

Protection for Prolonged Exposure to Water

Due to the amount of running water and handling that the sink would receive when it was used, the aluminium it was cast from was not really appropriate for a sink. Aluminium is very prone to corrosion and can tarnish and discolour easily. Although it doesn’t rust, the surface of the aluminium could become encrusted with calcium and hard water stains, which would leave it looking dull and possibly even stained.

We plated the aluminium sink with an electroless nickel coating to ensure that the surface of the basin remained bright and shiny, and to ensure that the prolonged exposure to water wouldn’t cause any staining or discolouration of the basin. Electroless nickel plating also ensures that the metal coating it deposits grows at a uniform speed all over the part and covers any crevices and rugged areas evenly and thoroughly.

Total Uniform Coverage with Electroless Nickel Plating

The uniform coverage of an electroless nickel coating doesn’t just benefit decorative items such as this sink, it’s also perfect for ensuring uniform coverage for engineering components too. Electroless nickel deposits do not build up on the edges or ends of components, and leave a uniform deposit both inside and out. This means that components can be plated to tight tolerances, meaning that there is no need to machine the part afterwards. This accurate coverage saves both time and money. It’s also a great alternative to stainless steel, too.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of using electroless nickel plating for corrosion protection and the uniform, even coverage of parts, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Nickel Plated Aluminium for Great Looking Garden Furniture

Garden furniture is a lovely addition to any garden. It’s a pleasure to have somewhere to sit and enjoy the sunshine, and it is fabulous for outdoor BBQ’s and summer gatherings. Keeping your garden furniture in top condition, however, can be a bit of a struggle. If you’re like the many people that leave their garden furniture out overnight and throughout the warmer months, it may be subject to the elements. This can result in fading from the sun, damp and mold from rain, and tarnishing.

Metal garden furniture can easily tarnish through exposure to the weather, and it’s hard to keep it looking good after a few seasons use. But there is a way to keep your garden furniture looking fantastic all year round, whatever weather condition it is exposed to!

Electroless Nickel Plated Aluminium Garden Chairs

These pictures illustrate a recent nickel plating job undertaken here at NiTEC, which involved electroless nickel plating unusually shaped chairs for use outdoors as garden furniture. The manufacturers wanted the chairs to be fully protected from the elements to minimise the problem of tarnishing and staining, and electroless nickel is the perfect metal coating to achieve this.

As you can see from the pictures, the chairs are a very unusual shape with a deep recess at the front which formed a cylindrical shape at the base of the chair in order to hold it up. Electroless nickel plating is a great choice for complex shapes such as this as it can be deposited evenly onto the surface of the aluminium and on all parts of the object or component it is covering.

Corrosion Resistant Metal Coating

Electroless nickel was also a great choice as it is extremely corrosion resistant and can withstand the elements for years without discolouring or tarnishing. Due to its unique ability to prevent the formation of rust, it can substantially extend the life of garden furniture. Another advantage is that electroless nickel coatings won’t chip, flake, peel or rub off like some paint or lacquer type top coats.

If you are looking for a way of keeping your garden furniture looking great all year round, electroless nickel plating has outstanding levels of wear and corrosion resistance. Call NiTEC 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

Behind the Scenes at NiTEC: Nickel Plating David Mach’s Gorilla Sculpture

In addition to nickel plating ‘The Spaceman’ sculpture by David Mach, we have also been involved in the plating of a similarly constructed sculpture by the same artist, this time of a gorilla. Whilst looking through our extensive archive of photos, the staff at NiTEC came across these great before and after images of the gorilla sculpture that we just have to share with our blog readers!

gorilla sculpture before nickel plating process

Gorilla sculpture before the electroless nickel plating process

David Mach is a British sculptor and installation artist who specialises in creating unique sculpture from mass-produced objects such as coat hangers. Following several shows, public installations and much success, Mach was nominated for the Turner Prize back in 1988 and joined the Royal Academy of Arts as a Professor of Sculpture in 200.

Coat Hanger Sculptures

Mach once said “I like to work in as many different materials as possible. It’s no understatement to say I am a materials junkie – jumping from highly-painted realistic cast fibreglass pieces to sculpture with coat hangers, to a thatched barn roof laced with fibre-optics to designs for camera obscures (or at least the buildings to house them) and layouts for parks.”

 

Electroless Nickel Plating the Sculpture

gorilla sculpture after nickel plating

Gorilla sculpture after the electroless nickel plating process

The gorilla sculpture featured here consists of hundreds of wire coat hangers which have been bent and twisted and then welded together to keep the shape.

Mach decided that the best way of plating the sculpture was to have it have it professionally electroless nickel plated in order to create an aesthetically pleasing finish and provide a high level of corrosion and wear protection.

 

Electroless nickel was the perfect choice of plating for this piece as it ensures that all the recesses of the metal are fully plated.

Here at NiTEC, we have plenty of experience handling large parts such as sculptures, and the equipment and man power needed to do so. If you would like to find out more about the process of electroless nickel plating 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.

Significant Growth in the Aerospace and Automotive Sectors

In the last 5 years, the aerospace and automotive industries have reported significant growth, despite the manufacturing sector in the UK’s having declined dramatically over the past 30 years.

The Financial Times has reported that “Britain’s manufacturers are using cutting edge technology and gadgets to improve products and processes as the sector accelerates it recovery.”

Revival in Manufacturing

British companies have contributed to the growth in the aerospace and car making industries, leading many to believe that the future of UK manufacturing is in the hands of those that use innovative technology, or so called “advanced manufacturing.”

The Financial Times’ recent analysis of the Office for National Statistics’ has found that the British aerospace industry’s output is up by 60% and the automotive industry up by 40% compared to 5 years ago.

Coatings for the Aerospace and Automotive Industries

Here at NiTEC, we regularly operate in the aerospace and automotive sectors, providing a range of surface technology options which include electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating and other metal plating and surface treatments.

car illustrating growth in automotive industry

Electroless nickel plating can be used for a wide variety of functional applications and includes many advantages. Electroless nickel coatings are have excellent levels of hardness, lubricity and corrosion resistance. The coating is also able to cover components with complex geometrics and cover internal and external surfaces evenly.

We recently became approved suppliers for the aerospace company HS Marston Aerospace Limited. Our staff are fully committed to developing our services for use in the aerospace sector and are understandably delighted that our services are compliant with HS Marston’s quality standards and requirements.

If you would like to find out more about our metal plating and coatings for use in the automotive and aerospace 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.

No Need For Liquid Lubricants With Nickel PTFE Coatings

Here at NiTEC, our experience in the metal finishing and surface technology fields allow us to work with a variety of customers from a wide range of industries. One of the specialist services we offer is nickel PTFE plating, a unique plating solution that combines the hardness of electroless nickel with the lubricity of Polytetrafloureothylene, otherwise known as PTFE.

Lubricious and Hard Metal Coating

nickel ptfe plated component

The PTFE coating is perfect for those customers that require a lubricious, hard, uniform coating that can be accurately deposited across the surface of the component. Our electroless nickel/PTFE composite is a fantastic coating that properties of PTFE with those of electroless nickel.

PTFE is self lubricating, has excellent low friction and release properties. Combined with the wear resistance, corrosion resistance and hardness of electroless nickel, Ni-PTFE is the perfect surface treatment. Its self lubricating properties also make it ideal for components that are unsuitable for conventional lubricants.

What are the Key Properties of Nickel PTFE?

Nickel PTFE has many fantastic properties including the following:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Wear resistance
  • Low friction
  • Uniform deposit
  • Lubrications

Where Can Nickel PTFE Coatings be used?

Our nickel PTFE coating provides low friction wear and self lubrication, which makes it an excellent choice for sliding wear applications and other instances where conventional lubricants would be harmful to the components. The Ni-PTFE plating process has been used extensively in the following industries:

  • Automotive
  • Machinery
  • Engineering
  • Mold and Die

If you would like more information about Nickel PTFE and the benefits it can have for your metal plating requirements, feel free to call the friendly team at NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk. Alternatively, visit the NiTEC website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

Electroless Nickel – Every Engineer’s Dream!

Here at NiTEC, we are extremely proud of our high quality electroless nickel plating services. We routinely nickel plate items for a wide and wonderful variety of applications and industries. This method of plating has so many advantages – which is why we like to call it every engineers dream!

What’s so Great About Electroless Nickel?

Electroless nickel coatings are comprised of a mixture of nickel alloy and phosphorus. This superb combination offers high levels of corrosion protection that are particularly useful in extreme conditions.

Electroless nickel is the perfect metal coating for working to close tolerances, meaning that post-plate grinding is rarely needed. It can be applied to a variety of base materials including stainless steel, iron, steel, brass and copper.

electroless nickel plating large parts

The Advantages of Using Electroless Nickel on Large Parts

Electroless nickel plating large components is a highly efficient method of plating, and can be extremely cost effective too.

NiTEC are one of the only electroless nickel plating companies that have the capacity to process large parts. In fact, we have never been approached with a project that we couldn’t fulfil because of its size!

Our staff have even been known to construct bespoke specialist plating tanks to accommodate larger items of unusual dimensions, such as sculptures. Of course, plating large components isn’t all about the size of the plating tank; there are lots of other practical issues to consider as well.

The mass of the part is a factor that needs to be considered. The larger and heavier the part is, the more consideration needs to be taken when moving the part in and out of the plating solutions and around the shop floor. Therefore, care must be taken when thinking about the selection of cranes and fixtures needed to lift the component.

Luckily, here at NiTEC, we have plenty of experience handling large parts, and the equipment and man power we need to do so. If you would like to find out more about the process of electroless nickel plating 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.

Boom for UK Aerospace Orders after 2013 Record Year

According to The Manufacturer, the industry’s leading publication of manufacturing news, articles and insights, last year was a record year for the aerospace industry in the UK.

The trade organisation ADS, who work to advance the UK Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industries,  have reported that UK orders of commercial aircraft have increased by 28% in the last year. This makes 2013 a record year for the aerospace industry, with orders rising more than a quarter compared to 2012.

According to the ADS, there is also now a backlog of orders for commercial aircraft, including 20,000 engines and 11,000 aircraft. This backlog of orders is set to keep the UK aerospace industry, and its employees, busy for approximately 9 years!

“Growth in the aerospace industry”

UK aerospace boom for manufacturing industry“These figures highlight the opportunity for growth in the aerospace industry and the potential rewards that British businesses could reap,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable.

He also suggested that by working together, the UK government and industry can make sure that the opportunities are optimised.

Mr Cable said: “Together we have committed £2 billion over the next 7 years to create an Aerospace Technology Institute to help us win work on developing and building the planes and helicopters of the future, here in the UK. The Aerospace Industrial Strategy, which the Government has developed jointly with industry, is giving businesses the confidence to invest in the UK, creating more high-skilled, long-term jobs.”

Paul Everett, CEO of ADS said, “Global demand for new aircraft and engines is generating new demand and opportunity for the UK aerospace industry. The Aerospace Growth Partnership and the government’s long-term commitment to the sector’s growth is making a difference and we must continue to maximise the value of this unique collaboration between industry and government.”

UK specialise in aircraft manufacture

ADS has predicted that by 2032, there will be demand for the following:

  • 29,000 large civil airliners
  • 24,000 business jets
  • 5,800 regional aircraft
  • 40,000 helicopters

It’s great news, as the UK specialise in the development and manufacture of some of the most complicated and high tech parts of modern aircraft.  ADS predict that this means a potential market share of around $600bn for the UK.

Here at NiTEC electroless nickel plating specialists, we are thrilled that UK manufacturing is thriving. The aerospace industry is a growing sector and there is so much talent in the industry in this country. Our electroless nickel plating services can be used for a wide variety of industries including oil and gas, aviation and aerospace, so it’s fantastic news for us too.

If you would like more information about our electroless nickel plating services 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.

Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Coatings

Here at NiTEC, we spend our days electroless nickel plating components for a variety of applications including aerospace, electrical/electronics, the energy industry, and general engineering.

Properties of electroless nickel coatings

Hardness

Electroless nickel coatings produce very tough, abrasion and corrosion resistant surfaces, which can be further hardened with heat treatment. The hardness of the plated surface can also be increased by decreasing the phosphorus content of the coating, usually to around 2%.

Corrosion resistance

They also have a good natural corrosion and chemical resistance. These properties can also be maximised by increasing the phosphorus content of the coating, usually to 10% or above.

Electroless nickel and phosphorous levels

The chemistry of electroless nickel plating solutions can be altered to give the plated coating different properties, for example, a medium phosphorus coating, a low phosphorous coating and a high phosphorus coating.

Medium Phosphorous electroless nickel coating

Electroless nickel coatings with medium phosphorous content are the most commonly used and applied electroless nickel coatings. They generally have a phosphorous content of 6-9% and a VPN of roughly 500. However, this can be increased further with heat treatment. The coating tends to be bright, with a normal plating thickness range of 3-50 microns. Medium phosphorous electroless nickel coatings are very stable and reliable with fast plating rates.

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coating

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings contain less than 3% phosphorous and are very hard. With the appropriate heat treatment, a low phosphorus coating can be in the region of 1000 Vpn. The normal plating thickness of this type of coating is in the region of 10-25 microns and is grey/silver in colour.

High phosphorous electroless nickel coating

Electroless nickel coatings with high phosphorous contents typically have very high levels of corrosion and chemical resistance. High phosphorous coatings are non-magnetic, silver/grey in colour and have a normal thickness range of 25-75 microns. Plating rates are typically slow and the plating solution tends to have a short life.

If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating services 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 Vacuum Chamber

Here at NiTEC, we are often approached by companies with specific plating needs for bespoke applications. We were approached by Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, who had manufactured a large vacuum chamber that they wanted plating with a thin layer of electroless nickel.

Without plating, the iron from the walls of the chamber would compromise and possible affect the results of the tests carried out inside it. Lasers used during testing would also cause damage to the chamber walls without a layer of electroless nickel.

The facilities at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories are used by scientists and engineers in order to advance their research into materials and structures, light sources, astronomy and particle physics. Every year about 10,000 scientists and engineers use the Laboratory’s facilities to advance their research. Many are academics and post-graduate students working on projects funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Electroless nickel plated layer for protection

Rutherford Appleton Laboratories had manufactured the large vacuum chamber for tests that involved lasers travelling down the centre of the chamber. This area needed to be plated with a layer of electroless nickel so that the layers did not burn through the paint during testing.

The vacuum chamber came in a number of large sections, some which weighed more than 20 tonnes. The team at NiTEC manufactured tanks to fit each part of the chamber that needed to be plated. The main body of the chamber weighed 150 tonnes and was built like a small room, containing many windows, portals and doors.

Blanking plates were manufactured for each of the chamber components, and the chamber was then sheeted over and manually and internally shot blasted. Originally, the chamber was going to be used as the plating tank and filled with electroless nickel plating solution. But the portals and windows contained recesses which were identified as gas traps and to overcome this and ensure complete coverage of the electroless nickel plating, all of the blanking plates were fitted with small air pipes. These fed up the outside of the chamber and back into the top, removing gas and solution and ensuring complete coverage.

If you would like to find out more about our electroless nickel plating services 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.

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.

Plating Motorcycle Parts With Electroless Nickel

As much as you’d like them to, motorcycles don’t stay looking shiny and new forever. There may come a point where the elements have taken their toll, and your motorcycle starts to look a little worse for wear.

electroless nickel plated motorcycle frame

Here at NiTEC, electroless nickel plating specialists in Derbyshire, we can offer a plating service that will make your motorcycle look like new again.

We have plating tanks large enough to accommodate the entire bare frame, and we can also plate specific parts on request.

Restore old motorcycle parts

Electroless nickel plating is a great alternative to chrome plating for motorcycle frames and parts. Nickel plating is typically used on pistons, oil industry parts and in the aerospace industry due its good corrosion resistance and wear properties.

Large electroless nickel plating tanks

At NiTEC, we have large capacity electroless nickel plating tanks which are up to 10 metres in length, and we can lift items of up to 20 metric tonnes. Our tanks are, in fact the largest in the country, as our competitors only offer solutions of up to 3 metres in length. This means that we can plate components of all sizes, including small pins, motorcycle parts and even oil pipelines.

If you would like to find out more about our motorcycle parts electroless nickel plating service 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.

15 Reasons To Choose Electroless Nickel for your Metal Plating Needs

electroless nickel plated componentWhen considering a plating method, there are lots of options you can consider. Here at NiTEC, we are experts in electroless nickel plating and consider the process superior to many other coatings on the market.

There are many advantages to electroless nickel plating that in our opinion make it a cut above the rest.

For example, electroless nickel:

  • Allows the deposit to coat a variety of surfaces, many of which would be difficult if not impossible to plate using the process of electroplating.
  • Is a very cost effective solution to coating metals such as mild or stainless steel.
  • Can substantially extend the life of a component.
  • Produces a metal layer with a very even thickness over all surfaces of the component, regardless of its shape or dimensions. This means that there is little or no excess deposit at high points on the component.
  • Deposits of electroless nickel have excellent physical and chemical properties, including hardness, wear resistance and lubricity.
  • Creates a uniform coating that makes it ideal for critical high-end engineering items, especially those used in the defense, automotive, healthcare and aerospace industries.
  • Has a high level of corrosion resistance making it perfect for extending the life of anything that it coats. This makes it the perfect solution for parts that are exposed to harsh environments such as the marine, oil, gas and defense industries.
  • Because of its ability to extend the life of components due to its high levels of corrosion resistance, electroless nickel coatings can reduce the cost of repair and replacement parts.
  • Prevents the formation of rust on a component, therefore preventing the parts around it from rusting too.
  • Tight manufacturing tolerances can be achieved with an electroless nickel coating because of its ability to deposit nickel evenly on the surface of a component
  • Can be used to improve the surface of a component so that it is back within the specified tolerances.
  • Provides the surface of the component with a surface layer that allows post finishes to be carried out effectively.
  • Has self lubricating properties which reduce the wear of a component through friction, creating minimal coating weight loss.
  • The use of electroless nickel on a component creates a coating that will not flake or chip off like some paints and lacquers will.
  • Can be hardened up to 950vhn with the appropriate heat treatment.

Choose electroless nickel for your metal plating needs by calling the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Electroless Nickel – Corrosion and Wear Protection

The corrosion protection provided by electroless nickel plating can extend the life of a component. This is due to its ability to block the formation of rust on a component, which in turn stops it from becoming a catalyst for part on part rusting. This has massive advantages in all industries because it is not necessary to worry about one bad part contaminating the rest, or it jeopardizing the final assembly of the product.

Electroless nickel also improves the quality of components because it allows for tight manufacturing tolerances. This is because electroless nickel creates a uniform build-up of nickel on all surfaces, regardless of their shape and dimensions. It can also be used to build parts that may have been out of specification back into tolerance. By using an electroless nickel coating on worn parts, they will be reusable in the capacity of post machining and other post finishes.

electroless nickel plated componentsThe advanced properties of corrosion protection that electroless nickel can offer means that components can be manufactured from a less expensive metal and coated using nickel. By not having to make the part out of a more expensive metal, profit margins can therefore be increased.

The wear protection provided by electroless nickel can also extend the life of a component. An electroless nickel coating will reduce wear of a part due its self lubricating properties and high levels of hardness.

This means that there is minimal weight loss on the coating from part on part friction. Electroless nickel also provides outstanding release properties and anti stick surfaces.

Electroless nickel coatings won’t chip off, flake, peel or rub off like some paint or lacquer type top coats which have been applied without pre-surface treatments. So there’s also no need to worry about the strength of the coating.

If you are looking for a metal coating that has outstanding levels of wear and corrosion resistance, electroless nickel is the perfect solution. 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.

 

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

Aerospace Metals and The Hubble Space Telescope

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating, the staff at NiTEC like to keep up to date on the various uses of nickel around the globe. As nickel electroforming was used as the plating service of choice on parts of the Hubble Space Telescope, we thought it only right to feature it in a blog post!

The Hubble Space Telescope was carried into orbit in 1990 by a space shuttle and remains there today taking pictures of space. The HST provides scientists and astronomers with exceptional images from space that has contributed a great deal to improving our understanding of the universe.

Named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the HST has led to many breakthroughs in the field of astrophysics. Built by NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency, the HST is operated by the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Perhaps the most memorable outcome of the images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope was the ability to accurately determine the rate of expansion of the universe.

Nickel electroforming has had an important role in the manufacturing of parts for the HST due to the ability of the process to meet very exact dimensional specifications. The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) consists of a slit wheel that is made up of segments. These were produced by nickel electroforming, and then vacuum-laminated to stainless steel wheel segments.

Obviously a procedure such as this requires high levels of precision and accuracy. Multilayer electroforms with a minute tolerance were required, and were achieved using this process. The application of nickel electroforming has made a big contribution to the success of the Hubble Space Telescope and the high precision obtained by nickel electroforming has made it possible to produce enhanced coronographic HST images.

For more information about the ways in which nickel can be used, and corrosion protection aerospace metals, vvisit the NiTEC website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

Nickel Use in Rocket Engines and Aerospace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Stop Rust and Corrosion on Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes

So you’ve just invested in a great new bike and you’re looking forward to getting out there and seeing what it’s made of. Top notch road and mountain bikes don’t come cheap, so no doubt you’re keen to keep your bike in fantastic condition.

Protect your bike from the elements!

But getting out there on your bike means getting it dirty! You cycle through muddy puddles, squeeze past a prickly hedge or two on your off road adventure, and splash the frame with dirt and pebbles as you go.

What if there was a way to guarantee that your bike stayed scratch and rust free?

Here at NiTEC, we have found the answer! Having your bike frame electroless nickel plated is the perfect way to keep it rust, scratch and corrosion free, for a really affordable price. For just £185, you can have your steel or aluminium bike frame electroless nickel plated.

Not only does this look great, electroless nickel coatings are incredibly corrosion resistant and resistant to scratches, making them ideal for keeping your bike in fantastic condition for years to come.

Electroless nickel plated bike frames

To protect your road or mountain bike from rust, corrosion and scratches, all you have to do is send it to us. Simply dissemble it, leaving just the handlebars and frame, send it to us, and we will have it nickel plated for you in just 5 days.

To find out more about keeping your bike rust and scratch free for years to come, contact NiTEC today on 0845 224 3571 or email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Why Use Electroless Nickel as an Alternative to Galvanisation?

The process of galvanisation

The process of galvanisation applies a protective coating of zinc onto the metal. This type of coating is commonly used on steel or iron in order to prevent rusting. Galvanisation prevents a ferrous item from rusting, as the corrosion resistance of zinc is much higher than that of steel or iron. Advantages of galvanisation are that it is relatively cheap and easily applied. It also has a very long life and needs little maintenance.

Galvanised componentHot dip galvanisation

Hot dip galvanisation is the most common method of galvanisation. The steel part is submerged in a bath of molten zinc, coating the component with a layer of zinc. Hot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable.

Electroplated galvanisation

Galvanisation can also be achieved using electrochemical and electrodeposition processes. Electroplated coatings are generally less durable and not really appropriate for outdoor applications because the deposit is very thin. This can be helped by painting the surface of the component, which slows down zinc consumption, delays the corrosion and extending its durability.

The advantage of electroplating is that it is much cheaper than hot dip galvanising. It is used for many different outdoor applications but despite looking good when it is new, it isn’t very durable and won’t withstand the elements very well.

An alternative to galvanising

Although galvanisation is cheaper, the final finish isn’t as attractive or durable as some other types of metal finishing. Electroless nickel plating can be used as an alternative to galvanisation as it is durable and aesthetically pleasing.

Electroless nickel plating can also be used in harsh environments because of its high corrosion resistance. The uniform coating created by this process can be a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defense, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Considering the extent of its durability and the attractive finish it creates, electroless nickel plating is cheaper than you might think. It is also the ideal plating for a surface exposed to friction and wear, which can also be increased by using heat treatments.

If you would like to find out more about using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to galvanisation, contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

Nickel Plating – The Cheaper Alternative to Stainless Steel

Electroless nickel plating can be a great alternative to stainless steel. It’s much more cost effective and it still offers amazing corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is very expensive and it’s often hard to find a source to cast very large components made of stainless steel.

Making large parts out of cast iron and then electroless nickel plating them is a cheaper and quicker solution.

Hardness and Wear Resistance

It’s also perfect for plating large machined parts that need to be resistant to corrosion. Electroless nickel plating is also a great alternative to stainless steel because of its hardness and wear resistance.

Here at NiTEC, we’re experts in the process of electroless nickel plating and our equipment means that we can plate even the most difficult large parts accurately and consistently.

If you would like to find out more about reducing costs by using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to stainless steel, contact NiTEC on  0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk

NiTEC Sponsor Well in Africa for AquAid

Here at electroless nickel plating specialists NiTEC, we are pleased to be able to make a difference to people’s lives in Africa by getting our water coolers from AquAid.

We have recently been asked to sponsor a water well on behalf of this great charity, and of course we jumped at the chance to do our bit!

Aquaid saves the lives of children in Africa by raising funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, like in schools and villages.

For every water cooler and bottle of water that we get from Aquaid, a donation is made on NiTEC’s behalf to The Africa Trust.

As a way of spreading the word about the great work that AquAid do, we have put a badge of support on to the NiTEC website to show our commitment to helping AquAid’s recent project installing Elephant Pumps in Africa.

One of the many installed water pumps will be inscribed with NiTEC UK, and in time we look forward to receiving a certificate and letter of thanks from the villagers/pupils.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we can help to support such a worthwhile and needy cause,” said NiTEC Commercial Director Marcus Hill. “It’s fantastic to be involved in supporting AquAid and The Africa Trust, everyone at NiTEC is thrilled to be involved and doing their bit to help.”

The Africa Trust  was founded by AquAid in order to bring sustainable solutions to poverty in Africa. This amazing charity works tirelessly to establish sustainable supplies of clean productive water and decent sanitation. Income generating projects are also used to pay school fees, improve clinics and generate the funds needed to run orphanages.

For more information about NiTEC and our services, including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, and copper plating, please visit our website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the NiTEC website.

 

Reduced Lead Time for Nickel Plating

The last few months have been a really exciting time here at NiTEC. The new laboratory is finally finished and it has made a dramatic difference to the way we run the business. Before the lab, nickel plating jobs often took up to 2 weeks to complete, because we had to send samples off for testing before returning them to the customer.

But now we have a brand new lab and we can do this testing in-house, which has reduced our lead time to 24 hours! It really is a massive improvement on the turnaround time of our work, and in turn benefits customers a great deal too.

Quality Director Paul Allen said, “The lab is a fantastic step for NiTEC. Not only can we reduce offsite costs for testing, we can offer our customers a much faster service. Completed metal plating jobs would often have to wait to be dispatched until the required test results and paperwork had been completed by a third party laboratory. Now that we do the necessary testing in-house, our service is so much quicker. So far, our customers are very happy!”

The new lab has the facilities to perform all the tests that verify hardness, phosphorus levels and diffusion layers. We have also invested in a Mitutoyo Micro Hardness Tester and we use colour metrics to measure the phosphorus levels of diffused nickel.

If you have a project that requires a fast turnaround for your plating needs – we can meet them! For more information about our new laboratory and the positive impact it will have on your metal plating order, please call 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

 

Electroplating and Electroless Nickel Plating – Advantages and Disadvantages

There are two methods of depositing a thin layer of nickel onto the surface of a metallic object. One is electroplating, the other electroless plating. So what is the difference and why would you use one over the other?

In this post we’ll look at the differences between these two types of nickel plating, from the chemistry behind the processes, to the ideal uses for each.

Electroplating

The process of electroplating occurs when a rod of the plating method is used as an anode. The anode is immersed in a bath of electrolyte which contains the salt of the metal to be plated. For nickel plating, the salt used is Nickel Chloride.

With electroplating, two or three plating processes may be used, sometimes with a layer of a different metal underneath to improve adhesion.

Disadvantages of electroplating

Electroplating may result in hydrogen embrittlement, where the hydrogen gas leaks out at the surface of the cathode and diffuses into the surface of the component to be plated, making it brittle.

This embrittlement can be reduced by post plate heat treatment at a low temperature, which reverses the process of hydrogen diffusion into the surface layers of the component.

 

 

 

Electroless nickel plating

The other method of plating with nickel is electroless nickel plating. This type of plating doesn’t need an electric current because it happens using a chemical reaction.

The electroless nickel solution consists of nickel ions, reducing agents and other chemicals. The most commonly used reducing agent is sodium hypophosphite.

Advantages of electroless nickel plating

Electroless nickel plating has many fantastic properties which makes the process superior to other types of metal plating.

  • The process extends the life of any component that it coats.
  • The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has an even thickness over all surfaces of the component.
  • This effect cannot be achieved with electrodeposited coatings.
  • Electroless nickel plating also provides excellent wear and corrosion resistance, as well as hardness and lubricity.

Another advantage of the process of electroless nickel plating is that the parts to be plated do not need to conduct electricity. This means that electroless nickel plating can be applied to ceramics, composites and polymers.

This method of plating is great for producing prototypes of metallic parts by plating a polymer casting or part to give some idea of the finished piece.

Disadvantages?

It is still possible for electroless nickel plated parts to suffer from hydrogen embrittlement, so for parts that are prone to corrosion through use, post heat treatment may be needed to improve the adhesion of the nickel and reduce the internal stresses within the nickel that has been deposited. When heat treating electroless nickel, it is also important to ensure that the heat treatment doesn’t temper-soften the existing material.

If you are looking for a quality company specialising in the process of electroless nickel plating, look no further than NiTEC. Talk to a member of our friendly team on 0845 224 3571 or email info@nitec-enp.co.uk for more information.

Electroless Nickel Plating and Its Use in Aerospace Applications

Electroless nickel has many fantastic qualities which make it perfect for use in the aerospace industry. Below are some of the components used in the aerospace industry that electroless nickel is commonly use to plate.

Turbine blades and compressor blades

Turbine blades and compressor blades are parts of aircraft engines frequently exposed to highly corrosive environments. Electroless nickel is extremely corrosion resistant, making it favourable for this type of use.

Engineers working in the aerospace industry often use aluminium because of its light weight and density. An electroless nickel coating compliments the properties of aluminium by adding solderability, corrosion protection, wear resistance and hardness.

Piston Heads

The combination of electroless nickel and aluminium is often used to make piston heads. Electroless nickel is an effective coating because it prevents wear, and therefore increases the life of the piston. Aluminium is effective because it is so lightweight, meaning that the piston is able to work better.

Aircraft shafts

Electroless nickel is often used to plate the main shafts of air craft engines because it provides an excellent bearing surface. Typically, during air craft maintenance, rebuilding the shaft may be necessary. But with electroless nickel, the surface can be stripped off and re-plated to the thickness needed instead of buying new components, therefore saving money. This technique is also used when reconditioning rear compressor hub sleeves and bearing liners.

For more information about the use of electroless nickel plating in aerospace applications, please contact the specialist team at NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit the NiTEC website.

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

Phosphorous Variations in Electroless Nickel Coatings

As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC provide the full spectrum of nickel and phosphorous alloys.

Electroless nickel can be alloyed with between 4 and 14% phosphorous. There are three main types of electroless nickel, which are outlined below.

Low phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

Low phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with approximately 4% phosphorous. Electroless nickel coatings of this type are typically very hard, have good corrosion protection in alkaline environments and lowest impact on fatigue. Low phosphorous electroless nickel is best for higher temperatures.

Medium phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

Medium phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with between 5 to 9% phosphorous. This is the most common type of electroless nickel plating and is typically very bright. Medium phosphorous electroless nickel plating offers moderate corrosion and wear protection.

High phosphorous electroless nickel coatings

High phosphorous electroless nickel is alloyed with 10 to 14% phosphorous. This type of electroless nickel coating has a glass-like structure with the highest level of corrosion protection. It is also non-magnetic.

If you would like advice from the experts on which type of electroless nickel coating will best suit your product and it’s use, contact NiTEC on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or visit our website to contact a specific member of staff.

FAQs for Electroless Nickel Plating, Shot Blasting & Heat Treatment

 

What is electroless nickel plating?

Electroless nickel plating is the process by which nickel or a nickel alloy is deposited onto a component. It is carried out without the use of an externally applied current, unlike electroplating. The nickel is deposited onto the component from the aqueous solution created by the chemical reaction.

What are the advantages of electroless nickel plating?

Corrosion resistance and corrosion protection

One of the most common reasons for the use of electroless nickel coatings in functional applications is its excellent corrosion resistance. In the very corrosive conditions encountered in drilling and producing oil wells, for example, electroless nickel has the ability to withstand the combination of corrosive chemicals and abrasion.

Wear resistance

With the appropriate heat treatment, electroless nickel plating can be hardened up to 950vhn. This makes it ideal for areas exposed to friction and wear.

Hardness

A great feature of electroless nickel plating is its hardness. Hardness values for electroless nickel deposits are in the range of 450-750 VHN, depending on the phosphorous content of the deposit.

Lubricity

Electroless nickel plating has natural self lubricating properties, which eliminates the need for liquid lubricants on components.

Solderability and bondability

Electroless nickel-phosphorus alloys are easily soldered with a highly active acid flux.

Uniformity of deposit regardless of geometries

Electroless nickel plating has a completely uniform coating. It’s a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace. Electroless nickel can be deposited to produce a wide range of coating thicknesses, with uniformity and minimum variation from point to point.

This uniformity can be maintained in plating both large and small parts and on components that are fairly complex, with recessed areas. Electroplating of such parts, on the other hand, would produce thickness variation and possible voids in the plating when coating holes and inside diameters.

Nonmagnetic properties of high-phosphorus nickel alloy

Electroless nickel deposits containing greater than 8 percent phosphorus are considered to be essentially nonmagnetic as plated.

How long will it take for my order to be completed?

As a specialist plating company our capacity and turnaround is fast and efficient. Depending on the size and scale of the order, our standard lead time is 5 days.

Where do NiTEC deliver to?

We frequently deliver throughout the UK, Europe and the world.

Can you provide a quote based on an email?

We are able to provide customers with comprehensive quotes based on drawings and photographs that have been emailed to us. We aim to respond to enquiries within 48 hours.

How hard is electroless nickel plating?

Electroless nickel deposits 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.

Heat treatment can be used to increase the hardness of electroless nickel coatings, achieving in excess of 1000 VHN. This makes the deposit hardness comparable to that of hard chrome, with the advantage of an even coating which will not require post plating machinery.

For more information about electroless nickel plating and more great reasons to choose nickel as your plating material, visit the NiTEC websitebecome a fan of our Facebook page, or why not follow us on Twitter?

Quality electroless nickel plating

Here at NiTEC, our staff are thoroughly committed to providing a quality electroless nickel plating service.

All employees at NiTEC are responsible for making sure that Quality Assurance techniques are applied to their work. They are also responsible for achieving the specified quality levels at all stages of work.

In accordance with the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001:2008we are committed to following our Quality Assurance Program, which is outlined in our Quality Manual.

NiTEC is also well equipped for all aspects of quality control and product testing. We have invested in facilities and equipment meaning that the staff at NiTEC have the ability to carry out non destructive testing for thickness and hardness on components.

Work is regularly processed to the following specifications:

  • Defence Standard 03-5
  • Aerospace Material Specification AMS 2404B
  • US Military Specification MIL-C-26074B
  • International Standard ISO 4527

We are able to tailor numerous in-house specifications in order to meet the customers’ exact requirements. Our policy statements are available to read online by clicking the links below:

View NiTEC’s Quality Policy here.

View NiTEC’s Health and Safety Policy here.

View NiTEC’s Environmental Policy here.

For more information about the services that we offer including electroless nickel plating, copper plating, and diffused nickel plating, please visit the NiTEC website, call our friendly team of staff on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk