Tag Archive for 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

Heat Treatment and Homogenising

aluminium-heat-treatment-alloy-nitecWhen you think of heat treatment, I wonder what type of metal you associate it with?  Aluminium is probably not the first metal that springs to mind.  Why?  Because it is thought of as being a soft metal.  But there are certain, specific alloys which respond incredibly well to heat treatment, in fact, they actually respond in almost the same way as steel and iron.  So, what are the specific types of aluminium alloys?  They are aluminium alloys containing copper, zinc, or a blend of magnesium and silicon which enable them to respond well to the heat treatment process.  Be aware that pure aluminium and aluminium alloyed with manganese or magnesium does not work under heat treatment.  Therefore, when referring to the heat treatment process during this article, it is aluminium alloys containing copper, zinc or a blend of magnesium and silicon that is being referred to.

Harmonious Homogenising

Aluminium alloys come in to contact with the mold via their outside edge first, which forms a layer or skin of aluminium crystals, which are called grains.   This occurs when aluminium alloys are being cast.  They cool from the outside in, with the elements of the alloy precipitating which locks crystals in regionally.  This is how some areas become hard and some remain soft.  To even this imbalance out, we need homogenizing, so that redistribution of the precipitation can occur.  This means that the temperature needs to be taken to just below melting point which is between 900 and 1000 degrees farenheit.  Having reached the homogenizing temperature, the component is left to cool slowly, so that the internal structures uniformity is reached.

Annealing Aluminium Alloys

If you then require you aluminium alloys to be shaped, you will then require another process which is known as annealing.  The alloys must be heated once again to 570°F to 770°F for anywhere between thirty minutes to three hours, depending on the alloys composition and the component part.  Unlike the heat treatment or homogenising processes, the cooling process post annealing is not a critical factor in this process.

NiTEC UK and You

If you or your business are interested in the heat treatment process, or plating whether it is tin plating electroless nickel plating or copper plating, 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 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

Aluminium and Copper – Which and Why?

copper-wiring-plating-nitecThey are both metals – yes – but other than that they have many differences, the main ones of which are their weight, cost, appearance and their capacitance which, to the average Joe, is a metals ability to store electrical chargeAluminium was, in days gone by, the metal of choice but it seems today that Copper is making a comeback and the designers are switching over!

Copper used in wiring and electrical equipment is nominally pure which is why it is being chosen over Aluminium because Aluminium in its purest form does not seem to be strong enough to cope with many electrical applications.  Different Aluminium alloy properties change depending on the process they are subjected to.  If they are subjected to heat treatment for example, Al6101 becomes harder and stronger.

It has been a rather common misconception that Aluminium has been too soft for some uses and therefore compression connectors must be used to overcome this.  But, with design and plating changes, these compression connectors are no longer necessary.  Alloys and processing can instead be used in order to make Aluminium become just as useful, as good and as strong as Copper…ALMOST!

Copper Coating and Copper Plating

Sounds familiar but this is the opposite way round.  In order to reduce the corrosion of Aluminium and Copper, they are coated in Tin or Silver to reduce their corrosion, because without this Aluminium and Copper are both prone to oxidation and are therefore likely to rust and parts not work appropriately or safely.

All About Copper Plating

Copper Plating is decorative but normally used as it is an extremely functional metal.  It is often used for electricals, road mending techniques, medics and in telecommunications, it really is a multifunctional plating technique.  This is thanks to it being such an excellent conductor, its ability to shield against electro magnetic interference and radio frequency interference, and its excellent levelling properties.  Copper plating is highly thought of in the medical world especially due to the fact that it naturally kills bacteria, thus making it a great protector against infections and diseases, so often also used in laboratory settings, too.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it copper platingelectroless nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then why not get in touch with us, here at NiTEC UK?  We are a Derbyshire based company and 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

Spring in to Action in Birmingham with Heat Treatment Services

heat-treatment-nitec-ukApril sees the MACH exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC, where manufacturing in motion will be made visible to anyone wanting to view different techniques and products related to many services, including that of heat treatments, hard coatings and developmental services.

Groups, such as Wallwork Group, are returning again to exhibit here, to celebrate their new expansion project which allows them to offer customers a wider array of heat treatment services, hard coatings and development services.

Heat Treatment and NiTEC

For businesses such as Wallwork Group and NiTEC UK, exhibitions such as MACH, are important ways of bringing business and contacts together from across the industries.  These can include aerospace, automotive, medical, military and engineering contacts which are the most commonly used industries.  Specialists, skilled labourers, technical engineers and highly knowledgeable scientists combine their expertise to guarantee that you gain the product and information that you require so that you gain the perfect component parts for your business.  They are all at hand to help guide you towards the components which is best for you whilst also, often, making you a great, one-off show day deal, to aid with the financial side of things, too.

NEC, Industry, You and Me

So if you are in the aerospace, automotive, medical, military, engineering, oil and gas or energy/power industries then MACH could very well be the placed for you.  With new creations, the latest of developments and all the manufacturing technologies you could possibly need, there will be over 600 companies exhibiting this year for you to see.  At the last MACH there was 6,500 tonnes of live working machinery on show and two years later, it is set to be even bigger.  If you are interested in attending or finding out more about heat treatments or hard coatings then why not get yourself to Birmingham NEC from the 11th to 15th April – We guarantee it will be worth it if you are in the specified industries.

Contact NiTEC UK Today

If you would like more information regarding heat treatment then why not get in contact with NiTEC UK.  A Derbyshire based company, we are leading specialists in the heat treatment and 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

The Copper Plating Story

story-copper-plating-nitec-derbyshireWe all know plenty about Copper Plating, but what we often don’t know a great deal about is where the process originated from.  I bet you would be interested to learn that it was not at all intentional, but was, in fact, a complete mistake!

Where did Copper Plating come from?

This happy accident occurred centuries ago in 1724, when Thomas Bolsover, a Sheffield cutler, was mending the handle of a silver knife.  He was doing so with the assistance of a copper coin under the pressure vice but got a little distracted and the two metals both became heated.  Due to their heating, they fused together, the silver completely hiding the copper.  This mistake led Bolsover to experiment with other methods of retaining silver and copper together in unity whilst also being one, workable material, and this worked.  This was Bolsovers happy accident, as this was the beginning of the Sheffield Plate.  Dying in 1788, Thomas Bolsover was regarded in his obituary as the first inventor of plated metal, though sadly not the most well known.

All About Copper Plating

Copper Plating is not only undertaken for functional purposes but for decorative purposes, too.  Often used for road mending techniques, medics and in telecommunications, it really is a multifunctional plating technique.  This is due to it being an excellent conductor, has a good ability to shield against electro magnetic interference and radio frequency interference, along with it having excellent levelling properties.  Copper plating is highly thought of in the medical world due to the fact that it naturally kills bacteria, thus making it a great protection against infections and diseases, so often also used in laboratory settings, too.

Contact Us Today at NiTEC UK

If you or your business are interested in plating, be it copper plating, electroless nickel plating or heat treatment which may require specialist assistance, then why not get in touch with us, here at NiTEC UK?  We are a Derbyshire based company and 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

 

Whisky Sipping in Space Thanks to Plating

Gold-plating-aerospace-plating-NiTECDue to inspirational Physics developments, it is now possible for astronauts to drink Whisky in Space.  The activity of visiting to space may be a dangerous one but at the end of each day, the astronauts can rest easy when they are assured that they can have a ‘real’ drink, which isn’t out of a plastic bag.  Apparently, this is one of the most common complaints from the International Space Station (ISS) crews that they miss their familiar Earth-like environment back home.

Plating in the Solution to the Problem

On hearing this, Ballatine’s therefore addressed this by commissioning an Open Space Agency team, led by James Parr, in order to create an innovative, microgravity glass which would enable the astronauts in question to enjoy a glass of whisky, just as they would with their feet on the Earth.  Ballatine’s Space Glass looks like a regular whisky glass but has special, particular features allowing liquid to enter the glass, stay in the glass and which allow sipping.

It has been studied for over a year as to how whisky behaves in a zero gravity environment by building a series of prototype glasses to test their theories.  The final result is something that somewhat resembles a Don Draper balloon glass but which is made out of 3D printed plastic and has a weighted rose-gold plated spiral convex base which sits perfectly in the holders hand.  Its weight comes from the 10kg pull magnet, giving the glass some inertia, anchoring it to the table when in zero gravity.  The base also contains a clever, one-way valve to fill the glass using a standard Ballantine’s whisky bottle, in order to stop the whisky from spilling.

Gold Plated Glasses

The reason as to why the Space Glass has been gold plated was partly due to the aesthetics with the gold plating matching the plating used on the astronauts’ sun visors on their spacesuits.  But the gold plating was also used because it is one of the very few metals which does not affect the taste of the whisky when in Space.

How does Gold Plating help drinking in Space?

When liquids are in Space, they tend to turn in to a sticky jelly, so to counteract this from happening with the whisky, a spiral in the glass creates surface tension which holds it down.  The side of the glass contains a helix with a small channel concealed inside it which picks up the whisky in a capillary action, pulling it up to a gold plated mouthpiece on the rim of the glass.  Why a gold plated mouth piece you may well ask?  This is for multiple reasons – Firstly, so that the astronaut can physically see where their lips are meant to be placed so that they are over the concealed channel exit point and they know where to put their lips.  Secondly, the gold cools the alcohol as it passes through the mouthpiece.  Thirdly, gold plating and not metal plating of any other kind, means that there is no nasty after taste left in the mouth of the drinker and the texture of drinking out of what (at the end of the day) is a plastic beaker, is concealed.

NiTEC UK and You

If you or your business are interested in plating, such as electroless nickel plating or diffused nickel platingheat treatment or have a special project requiring specialist assistance, then why not contact NiTEC UK today?  We are Derbyshire based, leading specialists in the plating industry, offering a wide range of well-developed, tried and tested techniques which are not only high-end but are also cost effective.  We have experience of working for the aerospace, medical, army and automotive industries 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

 

Plating to Perfection

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

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

About the Oscar

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

Find Out More About NiTEC UK Today

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