Tag Archive for plating services

Copper Plating and the Use of Copper Balls

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

Successful Copper Plating

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

Why Choose Copper Plating?

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

Contact NiTEC UK Today

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

 

What to Consider before you Electroplate

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Are you thinking about having parts electroplated?  Here are the most important things you need to take in to consideration before and during the process…

What should you consider Pre Electroplating?

 

  • Nesting

Electroplating involves electrical and chemical reactions on the surface of the part you are wanted to be plated, so exposure is crucial to the result of the final product.  Parts which are nesting will lack adhesion and therefore coverage on the final product.

  • Tolerance

The tolerance on vital dimensions on the part in question should be designated with the plating thickness in mind.  This is should be accounted for when the pieces are ready for assembly after the products have been through the chemical process.

  • Environment and exposure

What is your product going to be exposed to?  A high amount of friction, heat or sea spray?  This is essential for negotiating the thickness of the necessary plating required to maintain the resistance, corrosion and rust protection of the part in question.

  • Geometry

Electroplating involves using a current in order for the reaction to be initiated on the surface of a part, which means that the geometry of the parts surface will influence the distribution of electroplating across the surface.  This is called current density.  It is normal that plating builds up in parts which have sharp corners, bends and threads but it can be prevented if specialists use advanced plating processes.

  • Drainage

The preparation of the surface of a part needing plating must be correct so that the inside surfaces of a part will be sufficiently covered when the process is completed.  This is so that the plating will have the correct bond strength for plating to have been carried out correctly and for the part to have ultimate protection and increase its longevity.  This, for some parts, may mean they need to have a weep hole create during their design phase, so that this can be achieved.

  • Usage

It must be clear what your intended use is for the part you are needing plating.  Make it clear to your specialists what the use and required characteristics are of the part.  Important features include conductivity, low friction, high strength, corrosion resistance, wear, exposure to sea spray or water etc.  This will determine which metal your part is made from (eg. Copper, Nickel, Tin, etc), how your part should be finished and plated.

 

NiTEC UK and You

 

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company and we are leading specialists in the plating industry.  We offer an array of well-developed, high-end techniques which are cost effective and reliable.  We have extensive experience working for industries, such as aerospace, medical, army and automotive and offer our services to the UK, France, Germany, Holland and Brazil.  If you need plating services such as electroless nickel plating, copper plating or heat treatments, then contact us today by calling our friendly and professional team on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to be taken directly to our website and view the services we offer for yourself.

 

Electroplating from the Start

electroless-nickel-plated-componentElectroplating is a form of metal plating which is used by many industries in a range of capacities which include the aerospace, automotive, army, space, medical, electronic and engineering sectors, to name but a few.  It is useful due to the fact that it is so versatile and lends itself so because of its electrochemical process where metal ions in solution are bonded to metal substrates by means of electrodeposition.

Before Electroplating

Pre Electroplating, all parts must be thoroughly cleaned and then a process of chemical baths must be followed so that the parts can be prepared and activated so that the adhesion for the strong bond can take hold and become effective.  This is key in the electrodeposition process.  Many variables must be monitored closely during the electroplating bath process, such as the power supply which provides a direct flow of current to the parts in submerged.  This enables ions to be attracted to the surface of the metallic part evenly.  Every mole of electrons that are transferred to the part, allows one mole of metallic ions in the solution to adhere to the part during the bath process.  A chemical reaction can subsequently occur where the reduction and oxidation of ions takes place.

Types of Electroplating

Specialist plating facilities are able to plate a large array of different base materials to protect various surfaces.

Base materials for electroplating include:

  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Stainless Steel
  • Nickel Silver

Surface finishes for electroplating include:

About Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating is a high quality but cost effective coating solution which can drastically extend the life expectancy of a stainless steel component.  This is due to the metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel coating creating an even thickness across the components surface, despite its shape.  This makes electroless nickel plating very popular in sectors such as the defence, health, automotive and aerospace industries.

NiTEC UK and You

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company in the UK and are leading specialists in the plating industry.  We offer a large array of well-developed high-end techniques which are cost effective and readily available for you.  We have extensive experience of working for industries, including that of the aerospace, medical, army and automotive sectors and offer our services to the UK holistically, France, Germany, Holland and Brazil.  So, if you are interested or are in need of plating, such as electroless nickel plating, copper plating or heat treatments, then contact us today by calling our friendly and professional team on 0845 224 3571, email us at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can click here to be taken directly to our website and view the services we offer for yourself.

The 3 P’s – Plating, Process and Products

After only a couple of decades, the metal finishing world has been transformedElectroplating is the most modern form of metal finishing which is used in a wide array of industries such as aerospace, automotive, healthcare and military defence, to name but a few.  During this electrochemical process the metal ions in solution are bonded to a metal substrate via the process of electrodeposition.

Pre-Electroplatingletter-p

Before electroplating was a front runner in the metal finishing world, parts had to be properly cleaned before entering a series of chemical baths to prepare and activate in order to prepare and activate the metal to create strong adhesion created during the process of electrodeposition.

The Plating Process

Electroplating baths involve multiple variables and components which must be closely monitored constantly.  The parts have a constant power supply provided directly to them which initiates the ion attraction in the solution towards to metallic surface.  Every time a mole of electrons is transferred to the part in question, one mole of metallic ions in solution adhere directly to the part as well.  Whilst this happens a chemical reaction also occurs on the surface of the part which includes ions being reduced and oxidised.

What do you need to consider before electing to use Electroplating?

  • Because electrical and chemical reactions are both involved in the electroplating process, exposure is critical to the finished product. The nesting of parts will create a lack of adhesion and lack of coverage which should be avoided.
  • Plating thickness should be kept in mind when dimension tolerance is designated and the extra room for electroplating should be left so that parts fit together after the process has occurred.
  • What environment are the parts going to be exposed to? This will help you to decide what level of thickness you will require in order for your part to be made corrosion proof.
  • The geometry of the part in relation to the current distribution aka current density, across the surface of a part. Plating builds up on sharp corners, bends and threads for example.
  • Do you need to think about the drainage of plating solutions the addition of a weep hole may need to be added during its design phase in order for it to be successful.
  • Think about the type of metal you should be using in relating to the job you want it to do for you! What characteristics do you need the surface to have for the job in question?  Does it need to be a conductor, have low friction, be strong, corrosion resistant, hard wearing etc?  This should make you therefore lead you in to thinking about the types of plating which would be effective – Gold plating, Silver plating, Nickel plating or Copper plating

Electroplating Suppliers at Your Convenience

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire based company, who are experts in the Electroless Nickel Plating process or ENP.  If you are interested in finding out about Electroless Nickel Plating or other process we supply, such as Diffused Nickel plating, Shot blasting or Heat Treatment, then why not give us a call on 0845 224 3571.  Alternatively, you could get in touch with our friendly and professional staff via email at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or click here to go directly to our website to extensively discover our services.

 

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.

Factory Extension and New Plating Line To Create 5 New Jobs at NiTEC UK

After an eventful 2013, this year is set to be equally as exciting here at NiTEC. We are pleased to have received planning permission to have an extension built onto our metal finishing factory, which will create an extra 3,000 square foot of space.

This extension will allow us to be able to install a 7th electroless nickel plating line, meaning that we will be able to respond even more quickly to our customers’ plating needs.

Specialist electroless nickel plating line

This specialist electroless nickel plating line will create 5 new jobs at NiTEC, and will be in full operation in February 2014. We will also have a state of the art crane installed over the plating line which will allow us to handle components of up to 20 tonnes.

Commercial Director Marcus Hill said: “The market is growing rapidly and our new plating line means that we can accommodate more work in response to this growth. We are really pleased to be able to respond even more quickly to our customers’ plating needs.”

Experts in the metal finishing process

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

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

The Smart Metal that Remembers its Shape!

As a leading plating and metal finishing company, NiTEC have always been fascinated by the many uses of nickel. Nickel really is a very useful metal and it is used in all sorts of everyday items that you wouldn’t expect.

Nickel-titanium shape memory alloy is what is known as a ‘smart metal’. If it is deformed in any way or heated up, it naturally returns to its original shape, or ‘remembers’ it!

Nickel-titanium alloy

This alloy is commonly used for the frames for glasses, the kind that spring back into shape even if you sit on them. Nitinol is the generic name for the family of nickel-titanium alloys.

Nitinol stands for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory, and in 1961 a researcher at an American Laboratory discovered that this particular alloy has ‘shape memory’.

Although it was a fantastic discovery which has gone on to change the way glasses are made, it was actually come across by accident. During a laboratory management meeting, a badly bent strip of Nitinol was presented to the attendees. An attendee of the meeting picked up the piece of Nitinol and heated it up with his pipe lighter. To the amazement of the people in the room, the strip stretched back to its original shape.

So, whichever way you bend, stretch and pull your frames, they will always return to their original shape!

For more information about NiTEC as a plating company, or the uses of nickel in the aerospace and automotive industries, please visit the NiTEC website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

Nickel Plating Services in the Automotive Industry

Electroformed, electroplated and electroless nickel is commonly used in the automotive industry.

One of the biggest and most obvious uses of nickel is the use on bumpers, wheels and grilles. The use of nickel plating on parts such as these is partly due to the fact that it looks good with its shine and bright finish. But nickel also provides excellent corrosion resistance, durability and wear resistance, as is often demanded by makers of vehicles.

Nickel and Industry Warranties

Nickel plating is a great way of metal hardening and can protect components for decades, which is obviously great news for the automotive industry because it means that manufacturers can offer industry warranties.  High quality plated components can be produced in bulk, with consistency and reliability.

The automotive industry is the biggest user of nickel for plating applications. Steel bumpers are very popular as they look great, and they are also very durable. Substrate materials include steel, aluminium and plastic. The benefit of using nickel plating on substrates such as these is that they are relatively cheap, and with a layer of nickel plating they can be made extremely durable.

Environmental Benefits of Nickel

Nickel plating lightweight materials such as aluminium and plastic is also beneficial because lightweight parts on a vehicle improve fuel efficiency. It’s also better for the environment for parts to have a longer life as it reduces scrap. Also, plated components can be recycled, which is good for the European auto industry as their objective is to produce vehicles that are completely recyclable.

If you would like to find out more about metal hardening and metal corrosion protection, or the use of nickel plating in the automotive industry , why not ‘Like’ the NiTEC Facebook page or follow @nickelplating on Twitter for regular news, pictures and case studies.

 

Nickel and Computer Hard Disks

It’s truly amazing how far the IT industry has advanced over the past few decades. Laptops, computers and tablets continue to reduce in size, but despite shrinking, they can actually hold more data than ever before.

IBM invented the very first computer disc storage way back in 1956. The disks were about 150cm in diameter, which is roughly twice the size of an old vinyl record, and they could store 100 kilobytes of data. The computer hard disks we use today can be as small as 1cm wide and hold more than 400 gigabytes!

Hard disk drives work by using a magnetic head to move to a location where information is stored. As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC have a wealth of knowledge about the use of nickel and the benefits of using nickel in everyday items such as hard drives.

Nickel really is a critical part of the technology involved in hard drives and is used in the film heads. It is applied to the magnetic heads using a plating process that uses heat, not electricity, to deposit the nickel layer.

This film head technology means that the storage density of hard drives has increased by 10 every 8 years since 1979! It also means that hard disk drives can now be used in mobile phones, video games consoles and iPods.

If you would like to find out more about NiTEC’s plating services and metal finishing services, call us on 0845 224 3571 or email: info@nitec-enp.co.uk