Tag Archive for stainless steel

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.

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.

Electroless Nickel Plating – The Accidental De-scovery

During analysis of something else entirely, Brenner and Riddell actually resulted in discovering electroless nickel plating purely by mistake.  It was in 1946 that they noted the additive NaH2PO2 actually caused cathode efficiencies of 100% and more, in a nickel plating bath, leading them directly to the conclusion that a chemical reduction was indeed taking place.  Initially, they named this process electrodeless plating, but when the name autocatalytic was adopted the –de was discarded, creating the word electroless which we still use today.  Nearly 70 years later, electroless nickel plating has developed massively in to one of the most substantial sectors of the NaH2PO2metal finishing industry, with the coatings being readily available to both engineers and
designers for over half a century.

The Pros of Electroless Nickel Plating (ENP)

  • ENP is a high quality, cost effective solution to coat metals like stainless steel.
  • ENP can dramatically elongate a components longevity.
  • ENP deposits a metal layer of equal thickness all over the surface of a component, despite its shape or size.
  • The uniformity of the coating is favoured by engineers working in the industries of defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace.
  • ENP is highly corrosion resistant, so is ideal in harsh environments like the marine, oil, gas and defence industries.
  • ENP prevents rust formation from occurring.
  • Due to ENP’s corrosion resistance, it reduces the cost and frequency of repairs and replacements needed on stainless steel parts (for example).
  • The quality of components coated with ENP noticeably improves.
  • ENP acts as a protective layer from wear because it is self-lubricating and therefore reduces the friction of the component in question.
  • When a component is EN plated, it is guaranteed not to chip or flake, unlike other substances used as top coats, such as paint or lacquer.
  • ENP can be hardened up to 950vhn through the use of heat treatment if substantial friction and wear are issues.
  • Pit-free deposits are created using ENP.
  • ENP acts as an excellent adhesive to other substrates like aluminium and copper.
  • ENP causes components to have a lower percentage of porosity.
  • Components are non-magnetic after being EN plated.
  • Staining is much less likely to occur once ENP has taken place.

 

Suppliers of Electroless Nickel Plating

NiTEC UK are a Derbyshire, UK, company, who are experts in the process of electroless nickel plating or ENP for short.  If this process is something you or your business would like to find out more about, then please give our friendly and professional team a call on 0845 224 3571, send us an email at info@nitec-enp.co.uk or alternatively you can  get in touch with us through our contact page.  Visit our website to find out more about other metal plating services, too, such as diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shotblasting and aqua blasting.

 

 

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

Pickling Stainless Steel for World Renowned Aerospace group Meggitt

As experts in the various processes of metal finishing, and often the company of choice for several aerospace companies, NiTEC recently took on a project pickling steel for world renowned Aerospace group Meggitt.

Meggitt PLC – Engineering for Extreme Environments

Meggitt PLC is a global engineering group specialising in extreme environment components and sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets.They are a FTSE 100 supplier of aircraft parts, and they supply flight displays and wheels to both Boeing and Airbus.

Why Pickle Stainless Steel?

The process of pickling stainless steel is a metal surface treatment that is used to remove any impurities from the surface of the metal. This could be stains, inorganic contaminants, and rust or scale. Acid is commonly used to remove these surface impurities.

The Safe Handling of Hydrofluoric Acid

pickling stainless steelStaff at NiTEC used hydrofluoric and nitric acid to remove the discoloured scale from the stainless steel, and as you can see from the pictures, the process makes a huge difference to the surface of the steel.

Hydrofluoric acid is a really effective acid for pickling; although it is typically more expensive than other acids, the process of pickling is much quicker and it effectively minimises the base metal loss.

We had the exciting task of pickling stainless steel for a project located in offshore Brazil and were lucky enough to be chosen as partners in the project because of our expertise in the safe handling of hydofluoric acid, which is an integral part in the process we carried out for Meggitt.

Metal Finishing Services in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

If you would like more information about Nitec’s capabilities with regard to metal pickling, pickling stainless steel, and our experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk.

Pickling Stainless Steel Components for Aerospace Group Meggitt

As experts in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC UK have taken on some great projects over the years, as well as working with some really fantastic companies. In the past we have been lucky enough to do some work for Meggitt, a global engineering group specialising in components for extreme environments and smart sub-systems for aerospace, defence and energy markets.

Removing Scale from Stainless Steel

Meggitt are a FTSE 100 supplier of aircraft parts, and they supply flight displays and wheels to both Boeing and Airbus. Our job was to pickle a stainless steel component for a project located in offshore Brazil.

We were lucky enough to be involved in the project due to our experience working with hydofluoric acid, which requires safety procedures that we are familiar with. Using this type of acid was integral to the process we carried out for Meggitt, therefore we were an obvious choice to help with it.

pickled stainless steel for meggitHydofluoric and nitric acid was used to remove the discoloured scale from the stainless steel component, and as you can see from the pictures, the process makes a huge difference to the surface of the steel.The component on the right in this image shows what the steel looked like before the process of pickling, and the component on the left shows the finished result.

If you would like more information about NiTEC’s experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid and stainless steel, please don’t hesitate to call us on 0845 224 3571 or email us at web@nitec-enp.co.uk. Alternatively, you can click here to visit the Nitec website.

Long Lasting Components with Increased Performance

The process of electroplating is very cheap and very popular. But many customers come to realise that nickel electroplating, chrome electroplating and stainless steel do not last as long as they had hoped. Their original goal with electroplating or using stainless steel may have been to reduce costs and ensure that the part stayed in good condition for the entirety of its life, but sadly this is not always the case.

Electroless nickel plated componentThe importance of plating components

Plating components is really important to ensure their longevity because it provides a barrier between the component and the atmospheric working conditions. If plating isn’t applied to end products, corrosion and wear will cause the functionality of the part to deteriorate very early on its life.

This often has a knock on effect to the unit it was assembled into as well, causing it to be much less effective and eventually unusable. But keeping your parts from failing doesn’t have to mean that you have to settle for expensive metal alloys, stainless steel, or an electroplated finish. You can use electroless nickel plating instead.

Why should I choose electroless nickel plating instead of electroplating or stainless steel?

The electroless nickel plating service from NiTEC UK is of an exceptionally high quality and meets the 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 the process of electroless nickel plating and the benefits that it will have on the longevity of your components, call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

Replace Stainless Steel with Electroless Nickel for Large Components

Stainless steel can be very expensive, especially when it is used on very large components. It can also be hard to find a source to cast large stainless steel components. A cost effective alternative to stainless steel is electroless nickel, therefore it is often used as a replacement on large parts. It is much more cost effective and time saving to make large components out of cast iron and then electroless nickel plate them to provide extra corrosion resistance.

Alternative to stainless steel

Electroless nickel is perfect for plating large machined parts that need to be resistant to corrosion. With electroless nickel, once the component has been plated, no more needs to be done to it.

But with conventional electro-deposit such as hard chrome or electrolytic nickel, they need to be machined after plating to hold dimensional accuracy. This re-machining on large, electroplated parts can cost hundreds to thousands of pounds.

Electroless nickel properties and characteristics often give it a significant advantage over conventional materials and methods. Here at NiTEC, the equipment and methods we use mean that even the most difficult large part can be plated correctly and consistently.

Hardness and corrosion resistance

When designing large parts, electroless nickel should be considered if hardness, corrosion resistance and wear are a concern. As leading specialists in the electroless nickel plating field, we have the facilities to plate large components, unlike small firms.

If you would like to find out how you can save money by using electroless nickel plating instead of stainless steel for large parts call the NiTEC team on 0845 224 3571, email info@nitec-enp.co.uk or get in touch via our contact page.

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