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, us 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

Staff at us 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 us’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 our phone number or email us at .

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 us, 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 us 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 or email 

Aerospace and Defence Set to Rebalance the Economy

Farnborough International Airshow 2019 takes place this week, an event known throughout the world for promoting UK engineering excellence and industrial expertise. Aerospace and defence industry leaders will gather at the air show to discuss new technologies and trends, sharing the very latest thinking and exploring new opportunities within the sectors.

The Hampshire Airport will play host to politicians, military officials and airline executives from all over the world as the global aerospace and defence industry meet to display and discuss the latest commercial airliners, fighter jets and drones.

Domestic manufacturing giants Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will be in attendance. On the commercial side, airline executives will no doubt be tempted by Boeing and Airbus, looking for multibillion dollar deals, while Rolls-Royce anticipate sales for the engines that power the aircraft.

The Thriving UK Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is experiencing a definite upturn in fortune, with global air passenger traffic on the rise and the continued demand for new aircraft. Major aerospace companies have thousands of aircraft on order and have been regularly increasing the rate of aircraft deliveries. This is having an impressively positive effect on UK businesses too; the latest global commercial aircraft data shows that orders are worth an estimated £150bn to the UK alone.

This event provides the UK with an opportunity to make real waves in the aerospace and defence sectors, underlining its prominent role despite cuts being made globally. Paul Everett, chief executive of ADS, the aerospace and defence trade body, told the Guardian newspaper, “Aerospace sustains high-value long-term jobs in the UK. We help create a rich science base with the kind of high-skilled jobs that politicians dream about. Aerospace is unquestionably the Premier League of our manufacturing industries.”

Engineering Excellence

The success and appeal of the Farnborough Airshow owes much to the UK pioneers and innovators who have contributed to revolutionising the aerospace industry. The UK remains a significant industrial power in the sector, and a huge amount of the aircraft that will be flying, and on display, at the airshow rely on the advanced skills, manufacturing and engineering excellence of the UK.

Metal Plating for Aerospace and Defence

If you would like to find out more about our metal plating and coatings for use in the aerospace and defence industries, call us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Further Electroless Nickel Plating for Designer Thomas Heatherwick

As readers of our blog will know, us 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 our phone number or email us at  to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how us can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

Reduced Lead Time for Nickel Plating

The last few months have been a really exciting time here at us. 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 us. 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 our phone number or email .

us Nickel Plate Bespoke Furniture for Meta

As electroless nickel plating specialists, us 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 us, visit the electroless nickel plating case studiespage of our website. For help with your unusual plating project, contact us or email 

 

Copper Plating for The Brewin Dolphin Garden at The Chelsea Flower Show

We were recently involved in copper plating some absolutely fantastic pieces for The Brewin Dolphin Garden at The Chelsea Flower Show. Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, built by Bowles & Wyer Contracts and designed by Matthew Childs, the garden made quite an impression at the famous yearly flower show, earning a Silver-gilt medal.

Copper Plated Benches and Patinated Copper Archways

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the garden “highlights opportunities to nurture potential for the future.” Brewin Dolphin’s heritage of nurturing and preserving wealth was reflected in the calm, tranquil spaces and the fresh, lush planting. There were also a variety of bold, engaging elements including copper plated benches, patinated copper archways and generous paths and sculpture.

The RHS said the garden “symbolised emerging opportunities and Brewin Dolphin’s forward-thinking approach. Investing in relationships was also a key part of the garden, demonstrated by the inclusion of a sociable entertaining space.”

Garden Designer Matthew Childs

In addition to Matthew Childs’ success at the Chelsea Flower Show, he also received a gold medal and ‘Best Conceptual Garden’ at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2012 for the garden ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’, and in 2019 he returned to the Hampton Court Palace Flower show with a show garden for Ecover which was awarded a gold medal and ‘Best in Show’.

As you can see, the The Brewin Dolphin Garden is a really gorgeous space, created by a very talented garden designer. This garden was Matthew Childs’ debut contribution to the Chelsea Flower Show. As a designer of unique, award winning gardens and landscapes for private and commercial clients, Matthew must be over the moon with his input into this years’ show.

UK Copper Plating Service

Here at us, we’ve been asked to carry out some great copper plating jobs for a variety of clients. As you can see from above, copper plating is fantastic for decorative applications. For more information about the copper plating services available at us, copper platers in Chesterfield, contact us or email

Top 3 Reasons to Use Aqua Blasting as Your Metal Cleaning Method of Choice

As experts in metal finishing and metal plating, us have recently expanded our services to include aqua blasting, or vapour blasting, as it is sometimes called. This wet blasting process has many great advantages, including the ability to effectively and gently eradicate surface dirt and grime from metal components. Here are 3 reasons to choose aqua blasting as your metal cleaning method of choice.

Aqua Blasting Leaves the Underlying Surface Smooth

The process permits non-aggressive surface cleaning in order to produce a satin finish on a wide range of metals. Aqua blasting cleans by the flow of water and not impact, and the water acts a lubricant between the media and the component. It involves the use of a non-ferrous media; which is subsequently mixed with water to result in an extra-smooth finish once the process has been carried out. That is possible thanks to the flow of a water-borne abrasive.

Unlike shot blasting, and other blasting methods which actually move the surface material from the components, the process of aqua blasting is non-intrusive. It is, therefore, suitable for delicate parts and soft metal. Aqua Blasting is commonly used when a fine finish is required for aluminium, alloys, steel and many other metals; including bronze, magnesium, titanium, brass and copper.

Critical Dimensions of the Part are Not Affected

Another benefit to aqua blasting is that the water used in the process acts like a protective buffer. This means that the emulsion is able to effectively lift off any grime, all the while leaving the underlying surface intact. That means that there will be no alteration to the dimensions of the treated part, eradicating the need for post treatment plating etc.

Aqua Blasting is Useful for a Variety of Needs

In addition to its gentle cleaning properties, aqua blasting is a process that can also be used for the removal of carbon deposits, and the removal of paint, rust, carbon, and similar deposits in engineering industries. It can also be used as a method of surface preparation prior to bonding, re-painting or re-coating.

Aqua Blasting and Vapour Blasting Service Chesterfield, Derbyshire

To find out more about our aqua blasting service, as well as a range of our other metal plating and metal finishing services, call us or email .

Copper Plating for the Bicentenary Bar, Lord’s Cricket Ground

For those of you that follow the us blog, you’ll be aware that we were recently lucky enough to be involved with Lord’s Cricket Ground carrying out an exciting copper plating project for their bar.

Copper Plated Ducting

We can finally reveal the finished copper plated ducting at the Bicentenary Bar, which is located under the East Stand at Lord’s, just inside the East entrance gate off St John’s Wood Road. Here are some pictures of the copper ducting in place.

It really is a stunning effect overall, and we are told that it looks just amazing in real life!

The large duct carries beer python bundles, and the vertical ones take beer lines down to each pouring station. They are used to conceal the plastic pipes that the beer travels through as it is pumped up and down the bar. Because of all the pouring stations, there are obviously lots and lots of pipes that pump the beer down to them, and they needed to be contained in a way that was not only practical but looked good too. As you can see, the ducts are long and circular, perfectly designed to hide the pipes.

Decorative Uses of Copper Plating

Copper plating has become more popular for decorative applications in recent years, and you can see why! It creates a really bright and very shiny effect, giving a luxurious finish that is perfect for interior design uses. It also naturally kills bacteria, which makes it a great choice for the food and drink industry!

If you ever go to a major cricket match at Lords, have a look at the Bicentenary bar and you’ll be able to see this great copper plating project in action.

If you are interested in the process of copper plating for either a functional or decorative application, us can help. To make an enquiry or simply to have a chat with one of our friendly team about your requirements, call us or email

5 Reasons to Choose a Composite Diamond Coating for your Nickel Plating Needs

Nickel diamond coatings are a popular composite diamond coating which combine an electroless nickel deposit with fine particles of diamonds. This type of coating provides a practical and affordable solution to using the fantastic properties of diamond on the surface of components. As experts in the process of nickel diamond plating, we’ve put together our top 5 reasons to use a composite diamond coating for your nickel plating needs.

Can be used to Coat a Variety of Substrates

Nickel diamond plating can be used to coat a variety of substrates including metals such as carbon and tool steels, aluminium, alloys, copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel and titanium.

Increases the Lifespan of Coated Machinery Parts

Nickel diamond plating provides a highly corrosion and wear resistant coating. By providing maximum protection to the surface of the substrate, coated machinery parts 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.

Uniformity of Coating

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.

Can be used for a Variety of Applications

Nickel diamond can be used for a huge range of applications across a variety of industries. Common applications include high speed 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 and gage blocks.

Nickel Diamond Plating and Composite Diamond Coating Services

If you are interested in the process of nickel diamond plating, us can help. To make an enquiry or simply to have a chat with one of our friendly team about your requirements, call us or email

 

Electroless Nickel Plating for Valve Components in Engineering Applications

We recently published a blog post regarding the use of electroless nickel for valves and flow control devices in the oil and gas industry. Although electroless nickel has been used successfully on ball valves in the oil and gas industry, it has been equally successful on valve components in other engineering applications too.

It is essential that valves can be opened and closed easily and reliably whenever necessary, even though no movement from a set position may have occurred over a long period of time. Protection of the stems from corrosion and abrasion can be achieved by coating with electroless nickel.

Electroless Nickel Coatings for Fire-Flow Valves

Electroless nickel coatings have also been beneficial in the manufacture and performance of fire-flow valves due to their corrosion resistance, hardness, surface finish and lubricity. Fire-flow valves are required to provide a tight seal during normal operations and to act as shut off valves after inadvertent exposure to 650C.

Electroless nickel is also used on some critical safety valve applications. For example, blowout preventers are safety valves used to shut down oil and gas wells in emergency situations. A unit consists of a hydraulically operated ram, capable of cutting through the tubing carrying the oil and gas to seal the flow.

After testing, a unit is only required to operate once in an emergency but to ensure satisfactory performance, it is mandatory that no corrosion or physical damage occurs on the ram or sealing surfaces. Electroless nickel coatings are frequently used to provide the hardness and corrosion resistance required.

Corrosion Resistant Oil and Gas Coatings

us 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 us or email

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 us. Talk to a member of our friendly team or email  for more information.

The Advantages of Corrosion Resistant Coatings

Corrosion and rust can have a catastrophic effect on the safety of a variety of equipment used in the automotive, oil and gas, and engineering industry. And it’s not just the safety of this equipment that’s a problem, corrosion and rust can also affect the reliability and efficiency of the equipment too.

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion occurs when a metal or alloy is attacked by agents in the surrounding atmosphere. This reaction causes the surface of the material to disintegrate into an oxide or sulphide, or even the dissolution of the material into the surrounding environment.

How Do Corrosion Resistant Coatings Work?

There are many things that can degrade metal components, such as exposure to chemicals, oxidation, moisture and salt spray. Corrosion resistant coatings protect the metal from this degradation by providing a barrier between the component and the corrosive material.

The advantages of using components that are resistant to corrosion are numerous.  They can increase the life of a component as they prevent the formation of rust on a part, in turn stopping the part from becoming a catalyst for rust formation on surrounding parts. This, therefore,  prevents part on part rusting and removing the risk of one part affecting the final assembly.

What are the Benefits of Corrosion Resistant Coatings?

Coatings which possess anti-corrosive properties such as electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating ensure that metal components have the longest possible life by inhibiting the effect of chemicals, moisture and salt spray etc.

Another benefit of an anti-corrosion coating is that they can tolerate extended periods in extreme conditions such as fluctuations in temperature, exposure to hostile elements and extreme moisture and damp. The use of corrosion resistant plating before the part is exposed to corrosion can reduce costs and delays due to replacement of parts.

Electroless Nickel Corrosion Resistant Coating

Electroless nickel is a uniform coating that is the perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

It is very resistant to corrosion and will therefore extend the life of everything it coats. This makes it ideal for coating parts exposed to harsh environments such as those operating in the marine, oil and gas and defence industries. Therefore, it can reduce the cost of repair and replacement parts.

The process of electroless nickel plating is a great way to prevent corrosion from occurring on parts used in the automotive, oil and gas, and engineering industry. Contact us today on 0845 2243571 or email 

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 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

us 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 us or email

Nickel Plating for the Oil and Gas Division of Rolls-Royce

Along with smaller customers such as metal sculptors and car restorers, us 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

us’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 us can help your company with exceptional corrosion and wear resistance for oil and gas applications, call the us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

5 Reasons to Choose us as Your Nickel Plating Company

Here at us, we are leading specialists in the electroless nickel plating process. As a specialist plating company we have developed a wide range of techniques and we are able to provide a high-end, cost-effective service. Here are 5 reasons why you should choose us as your nickel plating company.

1. Worldwide Plating Services

Our metal plating services are not just limited to the UK, we are also able to service Europe and the rest of the world. Our worldwide plating and delivery service can provide customers with accurate quotes based on drawings that have been emailed to us, making the process hassle free and convenient for customers all over the world.

2. Wide Range of Metal Plating Services

Our Chesterfield based metal plating factory carries out a wide range of metal plating and metal finishing services. We can offer our customers a comprehensive range of surface treatments including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating, nickel boron plating, nickel diamond plating, tin plating, aqua blasting, heat treatment and shot blasting. Our equipment and experience enable us to process all ferrous substrates, including plating stainless steel, copper and its alloys, and aluminium alloys.

3. Onsite Laboratory

Here at us, we have a laboratory on site that allows us to ensure that all our processes are very closely controlled. We specialise in the testing, validation and certification of specific customer requirements associated with the plating industry. Services available in our lab include salt spray testing, kesternich testing, hardness testing, phosphorus content testing and micro section testing.

4. Highly Experienced Staff

We have more than 30 years’ experience in the plating industry, and have, therefore, developed a wide range of techniques.  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.

5. Flexible Approach and Wide Range of Capabilities

us have a very flexible approach to customer requirements. We are able to take on jobs of all sizes; no job is too large or too small for us as a plating company. We regularly electroless nickel plate components from small pins and connectors to large castings weighing up to 25 tonnes. The shape and volume of our processing can also be changed to accommodate our customer needs.

Metal Plating Company in Chesterfield, UK

To find out more about our metal plating services, please call the us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

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 us on our phone number, email:  or visit the us website.

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

Quality 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 us, 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 us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Engineering Applications of Electroless Nickel Plating

Over the years the staff at us 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 us , or email: 

Phosphorous Variations in Electroless Nickel Coatings

As experts in electroless nickel plating, us 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 us , email  or visit our website to contact a specific member of staff.

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.

Official 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 2019. 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 2019, the fastest growth rate of any big advanced economy. It did lose pace in the first quarter of 2019 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 us, 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 us or email

Top 5 Properties of Electroless Nickel

As experts in the process of nickel plating, the us 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.

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. us 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 us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Bikes, Nickel Plating and the Yorkshire Grand Depart, Tour de France 2019

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 us, we’re really excited about the region hosting such an iconic event and the interest and visitors it will bring to the area.

The 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.

Here at us, 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 us today on (0)845 224 3571 or visit our website at for more information.

The Biggest Electroless Nickel Plating Line in Europe Well Under Way

Here is the latest photograph of the new factory extension which is soon to be completed at us. After lots of hard work and extensive building work, the new factory extension will create an extra 3,000 square foot of space, and create another electroless nickel plating line. In fact, we have a suspicion that it will be the biggest plating line in Europe, making us industry leaders in the process.

Specialist Large Capacity Electroless Nickel Plating Line

The specialist electroless nickel plating line should be fully operational in the next few weeks and will include the installation of a state of the art crane, allowing us to handle components of up to 20 tonnes. Marcus Hill, the Commercial Director at us 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.”

Increasing Demand for Nickel Plating

“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 Europe, with the capacity to plate items 12 metres in length.”

Metal Finishing Services at us

Here at us, 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 platingtin plating and nickel boron plating, in addition to our already well established services of diffused nickel platingcopper 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 or email 

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 us 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 us website, become a fan of our Facebook page, or why not follow us on Twitter?

Quality electroless nickel plating

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

All employees at us 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.

us 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 us 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 us’s Quality Policy here.

View us’s Health and Safety Policy here.

View us’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 us website, call our friendly team of staff on our phone number or email: 

Nickel Plate Outdoor Metal Sculptures for Corrosion Resistance

As specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, we have previously worked with metal sculptor David Mach, and have nickel plated a few of his pieces. For example, we nickel plated his spaceman and gorilla sculptures which are both made from coat hangers.

Electroless nickel can coat metal such as mild steel or stainless steel and make it last for years – that’s why the process of nickel plating is simply perfect for outdoor sculptures. Its corrosion resistance properties and its ability to withstand adverse weather conditions make it the perfect plating solution for metal garden sculptures, and any other sculpture that will be displayed outside.

Large Capacity Electroless Nickel Plating Tanks

The process of electroless nickel plating deposits a uniform coating on to whatever it is plating, and compared to stainless steel, it is also relatively cheap. Our huge nickel plating tanks that are big enough to accommodate very large pieces of sculpture, such as garden sculptures and bespoke pieces such as those plated for David Mach.

The main reason Mach decided on electroless nickel plating to plate his pieces was due to its excellent corrosion resistance and the assurance that gave him that the piece would look stunning for years to come, no matter where it was located. In fact, the corrosion resistance offered by electroless nickel plating is actually better than stainless steel!

A Great Alternative to Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion, and can therefore be used when the levels of hardness of the metal are important. But using electroless nickel plating as an alternative to stainless steel has many advantages. Mild steel or cast iron with an electroless nickel coating is a much more cost effective way of achieving high levels of hardness and corrosion resistance.

The process of electroless nickel plating is a great way to prevent corrosion from occurring on outdoor sculptures made from metal. If you are interested in the process as a cheaper alternative to stainless steel, contact us on 0845 2243571 or email  and we’ll show you how much you can save.

Copper Plated Benches and Patinated Copper Archways for the Chelsea Flower Show

The 2019 Chelsea Flower Show is now in full swing, and this year’s entries are as strong as ever! The show is held for 5 days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. As the most famous and celebrated flower show in the UK, it attracts garden designers and visitors from all over the world.

Copper Plating for the Brewin Dolphin Garden

Last year, we were lucky enough to be involved in copper plating benches and patinated copper archways for The Brewin Dolphin Garden at The Chelsea Flower Show. The garden won a Silver-gilt medal and featured fresh, lush planting, copper plated features and generous paths and sculpture.

Gold Medal for the Brewin Dolphin Garden 2019

This year, The Brewin Dolphin Garden was designed by Darren Hawkes Landscapes and built by Bowles and Wyer with Wheelbarrow. The garden features over 40,000 pieces of hand-cut slate that form the surface of the suspended platforms. There is also an underground stream that is glimpsed through well openings, one of which is illuminated by sunlight shining through a hole in the platform above. It was announced this morning that this year’s garden beat it’s Silver-gilt medal from last year with an impressive Gold!

Professional Copper Plating Services in Chesterfield, UK

As you can see, bright copper plating can be used decoratively, giving a highly polished copper-pink appearance. Our metal plating experts also have a range of lacquers available for copper plating solutions which prevent tarnishing of the copper plating, if it is intended for a decorative purpose.

Here at us, we’ve been asked to carry out some great copper plating jobs for a variety of clients. For more information about the copper plating services available at us, copper platers in Chesterfield, contact us or email

Salt Spray and Corrosion Resistant Coating

The effects of salt spray on metal coatings can result in corrosion of the surface of the metal. Metal surfaces that are exposed to marine environments need to be fit for use in sub-sea conditions to prevent this type of corrosion from occurring.

Here at us, we aim to keep at the forefront of our industry by developing products to solve problems such as these. We needed to come up with a product that would be a cost effective answer to extend the life of mild steel exposed to a marine environment.

Components operating in conditions such as these need to last a long time, as the simple act of just replacing them can result in downtime and can be very expensive.

Through years of research, development and testing, we’ve created a product that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion for an unprecedented amount of hours – SeaTEC 100. It’s a really exciting achievement within the engineering industry, and is ideal for use in sub-sea conditions.

SeaTEC 100 can be used to plate metal components, valves and connectors used in marine environments. It is able to increase the strength of items such as pipeline connectors, which is ideal because these are the points at which the material is at its weakest level.

It has also been tested to withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours, an unprecedented amount of time within this industry. It is also available in a variety of colours.

SeaTEC100 is an ideal plating for oil rigs and pipes used to transport oil and gas as it can substantially extend the life of materials such as mild steel. This means that downtime as a result of corroded parts is severely reduced or avoided altogether, and the cost of repairing, replacing or maintaining parts is reduced too.

us also specialise in the process of electroless nickel plating, copper plating, and shot blasting and heat treatment. To find out more about SeaTEC100, electroless nickel plating and the other services we offer, please visit the us website, call us or email: 

Prevent and Eliminate Microbial Growth with Copper Plating

In our last blog post we discussed the antimicrobial action of copper and its power to inhibit the growth of micro organisms.

But the process of copper plating isn’t just limited to laboratory equipment such as the incubator that we copper plated on behalf of New Brunswick. Copper is also used in a variety of everyday products to effectively prevent and eliminate microbial growth, including the following:

  • Copper -sulfate and -chelate aquacades control aquatic pests in ponds and municipal water supplies.
  • Copper based pesticides are widely used to control fungi, algae and nematodes.
  • Brass (copper/zinc alloy) used in machining coolant filters removes bacteria and algae.
  • Copper can be incorporated into cement or paint. This can be particularly useful when used in basements which tend to be very humid and sometimes damp, as it prevents the growth of bacteria and fungus.
  • It is used in cooling systems and towers to reduce bacteria and algae.
  • Plumbing pipes that contain copper have been proven to reduce the threat from the bacteria Legionella pneumophila. The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research carried out a study showing that copper piping reduces the growth of these particular bacteria, which is the causative agent of Legionaire’s Disease.

Pure Copper Touch Surfaces in Incubators

Copper is a recognised approach for preventing microbial growth in the incubator. Copper has recently enjoyed a popular resurgence within the clinical sciences, and in 2018 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certified that pure copper “kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours.” Copper has also been proven to be effective against bacterial spores.

The cell culture research community now strongly back the use of incubators featuring copper interior chambers in recognition of copper’s effective antimicrobial activity. Copper is often used in C02 incubators because it is understood that the higher the temperature and relative humidity, the better the effectiveness of coppers antimicrobial action.

If you are looking for a reliable copper plating service for laboratory equipment such as the interior chambers of incubators, us can help. Call us to speak to a member of our team or

Copper Plated Medical Clipboards Kill Bacteria on Contact

As specialists in metal finishing and copper plating, us endeavour to keep up to date with recent developments in the industry and adapt our services accordingly. Our most recent service is the process of copper plating medical clipboards for use in hospitals.

Copper plating is often used in hospitals and laboratories due to its natural ability to kill bacteria on contact.

us’s commercial director Marcus Hill believes that copper plating clinician’s clipboards can help to provide an effective defense against the spread of infections such as MRSA in hospitals.

Hospital-acquired infections are not only very common, but they cost the NHS huge amounts of money every year. Research carried out by the University of Southampton has proven that metallic copper surfaces kill microbes in a matter of minutes by causing membrane damage to the bacteria.

Copper has been proven to prevent the horizontal gene transfer in bacteria, which is to blame for antibiotic resistance, in turn increasing the number of health care associated infections. Horizontal gene transfer often takes place in hospitals on surface that are frequently touched. Copper plating therefore contributes to the prevention of infection spread and gene transfer.

Copper plated clip boards are a logical step forward in the quest to reduce the spread of bacteria and provide extra protection alongside the standard hygiene practices in the hospital environment,” said Marcus.

Slippery Nickel: Electroless Nickel PTFE Plating

Electroless nickel PTFE, otherwise known as slippery nickel, is a composite nickel/PTFE coating that offers a huge range of benefits to a variety of industries. The main reason that nickel PTFE is so popular is due to its properties of low friction and self lubrication, making it a great choice for sliding wear applications and other instances where conventional lubricants cannot be used.

The Co-Deposition of Electroless Nickel PTFE

During the co-deposition process of nickel PTFE, Teflon particles are plated along with the electroless nickel and become part of the plated coating itself. This technique ensures that the plated coating has high lubricity throughout the life of the plated part, because as the coating wears, PTFE particles are exposed continuously. That means that the Teflon particles are present throughout the entire thickness of the coating.

Release Properties and Uniform Coverage

Nickel PTFE improves the “release” or anti stick properties of molds and dies due to its self lubricating properties. It also increases the efficiency of, and reduces the sound made by slides, bearings and cylinder or piston assemblies. This property also facilitates the reliable operation of moving parts when they are continuously exposed to solvents or are working in cryogenic temperatures. Nickel PTFE provides an exceptionally uniform coverage, including corners, threads and bores. There’s also no need for post-plating finishing.

Common Applications of Nickel PTFE

A comprehensive list of the common applications of nickel PTFE is published below.

  • Rubber and plastic molds
  • Transmission components
  • Core pins
  • Couplings
  • Slides
  • Frozen food molds
  • Camera shutters
  • Valve stems
  • Rotating cores
  • Fiber and yarn guides
  • Gears
  • Hydraulic cylinders
  • Fuel system components
  • Clutch components
  • Tablet punches
  • Pistons
  • Pump rotors
  • Bearings
  • Spray nozzles
  • Air caps
  • Security bolts
  • Pneumatic equipment
  • Hydraulic equipment
  • Shafts

What Substrates can Nickel PTFE be Applied to?

Nickel PTFE can be applied to a variety of substrates including copper alloys, titanium, aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel.

If you are looking for a metal coating that is self lubricating, corrosion resistant and wear resistant, Ni-PTFE is the perfect solution. Call us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an inquiry.

Underwater Corrosion Protection for the Oil and Gas Industry

As experts in coatings that provide high levels of underwater corrosion resistance, our services are used for a variety of applications in the oil and gas industry. Components and parts used in such industries are exposed to extremely harsh and demanding environments. As such, corrosion problems occur related to sea water, aggressive chemicals, galling and seizure of threads and wear protection.

Industry Leaders in Metal Coatings for Oil and Gas

Here at us, we are industry leaders in metal coatings that provide underwater corrosion protection for the oil and gas industry. We have extensive expertise in characterising and understanding the process of wear and corrosion, so that we can work with our customers to ensure that the most effective metal coating solution is identified and carried out.

Salt Spray Testing

We also have our very own laboratory on site that specialises in salt spray testing, which can effectively assess the reliability of a product by simulating these environments, therefore ensuring that the coating will survive in the environment it is intended for. The standard salt spray test method is used to check the corrosion resistance of coated samples, substrates, and components which may be prone to suffering from degradation as a result of salt corrosion. We have the facilities to carry out salt spray testing to the specification of ASTM B117.

Marine Corrosion Protection Coating

Our product SeaTEC 100 is an industry leading product that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. The coating is ideal for use in sub-sea conditions and can be used to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions. SeaTEC 100 effectively increases the strength of items such as pipeline connectors, where the material is at its weakest level, and has been independently tested to withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours, a period of time that is unprecedented within this industry. It effectively plates metal components, valves and connectors, making SeaTEC100 a cost-effective way of extending the life of mild-steel operating in marine environments.

SeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion Protection

For more information about underwater corrosion resistance SeaTEC 100 and its ability to extend the life of parts exposed to subsea conditions, please contact the expert team at us by calling our phone number or email us at .

us Electroless Nickel Plate Extruded Benches for Thomas Heatherwick

us 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 us website.

Copper Plating a Laboratory Incubator to Prevent Cell Culture Contamination

Here at us, we love sharing our recent plating projects with our blog readers. This copper plating job has a particularly interesting story behind it!

We were asked by New Brunswick, producers of laboratory products, to copper plate the interior of this incubator in order to prevent bacteria escaping and cell culture contamination.

Incubators such as this provide the perfect environment for cell cultures to grow. However, these warm, humid conditions can also encourage and sustain the growth of microorganisms that can cause contamination. This is where copper can help.

Antimicrobial Action of Copper

Copper has the power to inhibit the growth of many different micro organisms. It can, in fact, slow or stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast. Copper ions are able to bond to contaminants and disrupt the key proteins and processes that are critical to microbial life.

The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) has recently carried out a study that explored the suppression of bacterial colonization by solid copper, proving that copper piping reduces the growth of Legionella pneumophila, causative agent of Legionaire’s Disease.

The Use of Copper in Incubators

Copper reduces microbes in a wide range of laboratory equipment, including medical and scientific devices such as incubators. Testing, studies and experience have shown that copper wire, copper sulphate or even a simple penny added to a water reservoir of carbon dioxide incubators can significantly inhibit microbial growth. And copper surfaces clearly reduce the number of contaminants present too.

The incubators produced by New Brunswick, therefore, are manufactured using copper interiors, as copper has been proven to have antimicrobial properties. If you would like to find out more about the process of copper plating, its antimicrobial properties and us’s expertise in projects such as this, call us or email

Budget Reveals Increased Support for the Oil and Gas Sector

March 18th saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer give his Budget to Parliament. As the final budget before the general election, it showed a significant improvement in many important areas, including those that will affect the oil and gas sector. As experts in metal finishing for the oil and gas sector, including corrosion resistant coatings, us know that the sector provides a large number of highly skilled jobs, energy security and makes a massive contribution to the economy of the UK.

Bold and Immediate Reforms to Oil and Gas

The Chancellor has announced ‘bold and immediate’ reforms to oil and gas tax, with the intention of easing the tax burden on oil and gas companies operating on the UK Continental Shelf. The measures will save the industry approximately £1.3 billion over the next 5 years, while boosting production by 15%.

Encouraging Investment in the North Sea

In order to encourage investment in the North Sea, the UK government will be introducing a new Investment Allowance and reducing the supplementary tax charge on oil and gas companies from 30% to 20%, backdated from January 2019. These changes are expected to increase oil production by around 15% by 2019, and drive £4 billion of new investment over the next five years. The rate of Petroleum Revenue Tax paid on older oil and gas fields will also be reduced from 50% to 35% from next year.

In the Budget document, the government said that its changes would “send a strong signal that the UK is open for business and ensure the [UKCS] remains competitive as the basin matures” and “extend the life of key infrastructure”. Mr Osborne announced that the Government would also fund  to assess the potential in “under-explored areas” of the UK North Sea.

Metal Finishing Services 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. Our revolutionary metal coating SeaTEC100 is a solution to increase the longevity of components used in subsea conditions that protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. For more information about corrosion resistant coatings, please call us or email

Decorative Aluminium Bathroom Sink Nickel Plated for Protection

Most people think of the plating activities we carry out at us 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.

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 us team , email  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 us, 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 us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

5 Great Properties of Electroless Nickel Plating

No 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, us 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 our phone number or email us at  to talk to us about your electroless nickel plating requirements.

Electroless Nickel Plating a Mild Steel Phoenix Sculpture

Here at us, 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 us 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 us on our phone number or email: 

Fast Turnaround Metal Plating Services

As one of Europe’s largest electroless nickel plating specialists, us are proud to be able to offer a 24 hour turnaround on our metal plating services. Up until recently, we outsourced testing to an external company with a lead time of up to 2 weeks, but our new on-site laboratory means that we have access to in-house testing facilities including phosphorus levels, micro-section testing and hardness tests.

Our laboratory specialises in the testing, validation and certification of specific customer requirements associated with various aspects of the plating industry. We decided to set it up in order to fill the gap in response in lead time processes, certification and verification.

  • Phosphorus testing
  • Kesternich testing
  • Hardness testing
  • Salt spray testing
  • Micro-section testing

Quality Director Paul Allen said, “The lab is a fantastic step for us. Not only can we reduce offsite costs for testing, we can offer our customers a much faster service. Completed 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 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Since the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, there has been a considerable refocusing in the oil industry on the verification and traceability in subcontractor processes. The metal testing services available at us will ensure that your metal plated parts and components are safe, reliable, and fully certifiable to meet regulatory standards.

Accurate, Certifiable Testing

The specialist metal testing laboratory available at us has facilities ensure that all our testing methods are closely controlled. In addition, our ongoing investment in instrumentation means that thickness, micro-hardness and phosphorous analysis measurements can be obtained using non destructive testing methods, ensuring that we maintain a high level of quality.

Worldwide Metal Testing Services

The metal testing services at us are available throughout Europe and the rest of the world including the UK, France, Holland, Brazil and Germany. Once we receive your samples, we can turn around most tests in just 72 hours, with the exception of salt spray and sulphur dioxide (Kesternich) testing, which by definition will take a number of days. Once the tests are complete, you will receive your results in the format you have requested, including photographic evidence should you require it.

To find out more about our metal testing services, please call the us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

 

us Sponsor Second African Water Well

As experts in metal finishing services including electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating, we carry out metal plating for a variety of industries all over the world. Last year, we shared the news that the water well we sponsored for AquAid had been built and was in full working order out in Africa.

Making a Difference in the Lives of Those Less Fortunate

Our relationship with AquAid remains the same; they do an excellent job of supplying the us offices with water coolers, so we decided to go ahead and sponsor another well. We were really pleased to learn that our last well made a huge difference to people’s lives in that village, so we decided to continue with the good work. Obviously, we are very proud to be associated with such an amazing project, and delighted to be able to make such a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

You may have noticed that we have a badge of support on our website, to let people know about this great cause, and show our commitment to helping Aquaid’s recent project installing the elephant pumps in parts of Africa.

Who are AquaAid and What Do They Do?

Aquaid raises funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, such as schools and villages. And for every water bottle that we get from Aquaid for the us offices, a donation is made to the The Africa Trust.

UK Metal Plating Services

For more information about us and the metal plating services that we offer, including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, and copper plating, please call us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the us website.

Types of Electroless Nickel Plating and the Different Benefits of Each

As experts in the process of electroless nickel plating, we offer a range of metal plating services which all have different properties. Here’s a guide to our main services, including the benefits of each.

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 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. Other advantages include low porosity, pit-free deposits and a very stable and robust coating.

Nickel PTFE Plating

Nickel PTFE plating is a unique plating solution that combines the hardness of electroless nickel with the lubricity of Polytetrafluoreothylene (PTFE). Its properties of low friction wear and self lubrication make it an excellent choice for sliding wear applications, and instances where conventional lubricants would be harmful to components.

Nickel Boron Plating

Nickel boron is a surface deposit coating that can be applied to a wide range of metals including steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, aluminium, cobalt alloys, copper alloys, and titanium. It is a great alternative to chrome plating and has many benefits, including excellent wear and corrosion resistance. It is also resistant to fretting and galling, resistant to abrasion, ductile, solderable and has excellent rigidity.

Nickel Diamond Plating

The features of nickel diamond plating enable it to provide a highly corrosion and wear resistant coating. 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. Nickel diamond plating has many other benefits which make it a superior choice of coating, including hardness and increased thermal transfer.

Electroless Nickel Plating Service

Contact us today on our phone number or email us at  to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements. We are able to talk you through the different services that we offer, and provide more details on the benefits of each one.

Explaining the Process of Electroless Nickel Plating

Here at us, 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 us website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email

Behind the Scenes at us: 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 us 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 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 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 us, 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 , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

New Ultra-Large Electroless Nickel Plating Line at us

We 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 us, 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

2019 was a busy year for us 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 us

Here at us, 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 or email 

Jobs Growth for UK Oil and Gas Sector

BBC News has recently reported that companies in the oil and gas sector in the UK expect to create nearly 40,000 jobs in the next two years. According to a survey commissioned by the Bank of Scotland of 100 UK companies, the expectations of employment growth has increased this year, with 69% of company executives being optimistic about their prospects for growth in 2019 and 2019.

International Expansion and Investment

The companies involved in the study also expressed that international expansion was a priority, with 64% of them already planning further growth in foreign markets in the next 2 years.

The research, carried out by BDRC Continental, analysed companies over a range of size, location and service type. There was also a study carried on the same topic last year, which found that companies in the oil and gas sector were expected to hire an extra 34,000 people over a period of two years.

The commercial area director of the Bank of Scotland, Stuart White, said: “The findings of this report are excellent news for the economy, demonstrating the employment-generating nature of the oil and gas industry now and in the future. With most of the UK’s oil and gas firms clustered in Aberdeen and the north-east, Scotland should reap the largest share of these new jobs, however other parts of the UK will benefit from expansion plans.

“The results also demonstrate the global nature of the industry as more firms look to expand internationally and tap into the markets with the largest levels of recoverable reserves,” he explained. “With 44% of income already generated internationally, this is not a new trend, and reflects the reach UK firms have as the industry benefits from the expertise gained in the challenging North Sea environment.”

Marine Corrosion Protect for the Oil and Gas Industry

Here at us, our metal plating and metal finishing service are often employed on components used in the oil and gas sector. We regularly deal with parts such as end fittings and flexible pipelines, among others. In addition to electroless nickel plating and diffused nickel plating which provide excellent corrosion resistance, we have also developed our very own SeaTEC100, the ultimate in marine corrosion resistance. This specialist surface increases the life of components used in subsea conditions and effectively protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time.

If you are looking for a metal coating that provides high levels of corrosion resistance for use in the oil and gas industries, call the us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

Effectively Degrease Components with our Solvent Decreasing Plant

Here at us, we are always looking for new ways to improve our services. As experts in metal finishing, metal plating and electroless nickel plating, we spend a great deal of time looking for the most effective way to get the very best results for our customers. With this in mind, we have recently purchased a large trichloroethylene plant in order to degrease metal parts and components before they are plated.

Why is Degreasing a Component so Important?

Degreasing is often the first step of the metal plating process and one of the most important, because insufficient degreasing and incorrect preparation of the surface to be plated is the biggest cause of rejection of a component. The degreasing and cleaning of parts is essential to metal plating projects, as molecular layers of oil and other particles can prevent the adhesion of the coating.

Parts Cleaning and Degreasing Using Solvents

Trichloroethylene

The solvent degreasing plant that we have onsite at us contains trichloroethylene, a chemical compound commonly used as an industrial solvent and classed as a category 2 carcinogen.

Various organic solvents can be used for degreasing, including trichloroethylene, and many are harmful to health if inhaled. Because it is a dangerous substance, there are many laws governing its use.

Our solvent degreasing plant is closed topped with a secure lid which ensures that the us workforce never come into contact with the solvent, or are exposed to it in any way. The equipment works by degreasing the required parts using vapour from the solvent. After the trichloroethylene has been used, it can be recondensed so that it can be saved and reused.

Vapour Degreasing Service

This machine is an incredibly effective replacement for other degreasers on the market which are simply not as effective. There are many alternatives to trichloroethylene, but none achieve results of such a high standard. That’s why we are so pleased to be able to offer this service to our customers!

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of effective degreasing of components with our in-house solvent decreasing plant, call us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

How to Choose the Perfect Electroless Nickel Coating for your Needs

There are a variety of considerations to be addresses before you can decide which type of electroless nickel plating will best suit the specifications of your metal plating requirements.

 

What Will the Part Be Used For?

One of the first considerations when choosing a plating method is the industrial application of the part. By determining what it will be used for, a list of requirements or traits that are needed from the metal coating can be established. For example, does the part require conductivity, or good adhesion properties?

What Sort of Environment Will it Function In?

The characteristics of the environment that the component will be used in should be considered before a decision is made on the type of metal coating that would be most appropriate. Corrosion resistance will be an important factor here, and determining the quantity of atmospheric testing that is needed for the required function is imperative.

How Hard Does it Need to Be?

The required hardness of the coating needs to be quantified in order to establish which type of electroless nickel coating would be most appropriate. Our hardness testing facilities use the Vickers hardness test to ensure that parts meet the required specifications.

Types of Electroless Nickel Coatings

Here at us, we provide a range of electroless nickel coating types to suit a variety of applications including the following:

  • High Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Medium Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Low Phosphorus Electroless Nickel Plating
  • Electroless Nickel PTFE Plating
  • Nickel Boron Plating
  • Nickel Diamond Plating

Electroless Nickel Plating Company

As experts in the process of elecrtroless nickel plating, the experienced professionals at us will be able to talk you through a series of questions in order to determine which one would best suit your needs. Call the us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

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

The 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 us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

Copper Plating for Lord’s Cricket Ground

Here at us, we’ve recently been involved in an exciting project copper plating part of the bar for use at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Situated in St John’s Wood in London, Lord’s Cricket Ground is often referred to as the ‘home of cricket’.

Of course, it’s such a busy bar that it has to be very large to accommodate everyone, and make sure that everyone gets served their drinks in a reasonable amount of time.

To make sure that this happens, the bar staff at Lords pour pints of beer from allocated drink stations along the bar, which can then be passed to members of staff serving customers in order to save time.

Lord’s Cricket Ground Bar

The piece that we have copper plated is used to conceal the plastic pipes that the beer travels through as it is pumped up and down the bar. Because of all the pouring stations, there are obviously lots and lots of pipes that pump the beer down to them, and they needed to be contained in a way that was not only practical but looked good too. As you can see, the piece is long and circular, perfectly designed to hide the pipes. We think that the copper plating creates an aesthetically pleasing feature which will look really good at the historic cricket ground.

The pictures show a section of the copper plated surround, several of which will be fitted together to make up a 25 meter length tube that will run from one end of the bar to the other.

As you can see, the parts have been copper plated separately for ease of handling and transport reasons, and will be fitted back together once it arrives at Lords and then assembled at the bar.

Copper Plating for Decorative Applications

As experts in copper plating, we’ve noticed that the process has become more and more popular for decorative applications. A copper plated surface is generally very bright and shiny, therefore it’s a really attractive option when it comes to metal plating. In addition to the appealing look of a copper plated surface, it also naturally kills bacteria, which makes it perfect for us in the food and drink industry!

If you are interested in the process of copper plating for either a functional or decorative application, us can help. To make an enquiry or simply to have a chat with one of our friendly team about your requirements, call us or email

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.

2. 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 us website, call our friendly staff for advice on +44 (0)845 224 3571 or email

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 us, 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.

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 , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

No Need For Liquid Lubricants With Nickel PTFE Coatings

Here at us, 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

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 us or email . Alternatively, visit the us website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

UK Aircraft Engine Blade Casting Facility Opened by Rolls-Royce

As experts in metal finishes and plating techniques used in the aerospace industry, we were delighted to read the news about the new £110 million advanced blade casting facility which has been opened nearby in Rotherham. Rolls-Royce have opened the 50,000ft² facility, which is expected to produce more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year, including high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades.

New Technology and Modern Manufacturing Processes

Rolls-Royce plan to open the facility in 2017, and it is estimated to bring 150 new jobs into the region. Matthew Hancock, who is the UK Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “This new facility will house the most advanced blade casting facility in the world, and is a truly remarkable feat of engineering. Our aerospace growth partnership has put in place a long-term industrial strategy for the whole aerospace industry, and this investment by Rolls-Royce in new technology and modern manufacturing processes is testament to the ongoing strength of this sector.”

The facility will make use of the manufacturing methods that have already been developed within Rolls-Royce and at the Coventry based Manufacturing Centre. The facility will include automated manufacturing techniques, including integrated wax fabrication lines, 3D structured light inspection and computed tomography (CT).

Turbine Blades for Trent, Rolls-Royce and Airbus

The new plant will produce turbine blades which will be used in various Trent aero engines, Rolls-Royce Trent XWB, which will power Airbus A350 XWB. Each Trent XWB engine requires 182 HP and IP turbine blades, which are 10cm in height and 300g in weight, and undergo 200 processes before being installed. The blades operate at temperatures of up to 200°, and are placed in a disc that rotates at over 12,000rpm. The turbine extracts energy from the engine’s combustor hot gas stream, and uses it to drive the fan and compressors.

UK Based Metal Plating Services

Here at us, 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 andaerospace industries. For more information, please call us or email

How to Get the Best Results from Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless 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 our phone number or email us at  to talk through your electroless nickel plating requirements and see how us can provide high quality processes at a cost to suit your business.

Corrosion Resistant Coatings for Marine Environments

Mining equipment suffering from rust and corrosion

Corrosion can be a big problem for parts and machinery operating in marine environments. Mild steel is commonly used for marine applications due to its strength, ease of fabrication and relatively cheap price.

The only problem is, it corrodes very easily when exposed to seawater. So when mild steel isn’t protected by a corrosion resistant layer or barrier, it quickly loses its strength and can, therefore, result in failure of parts.

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is the gradual destruction of materials by chemical reaction with their environment. It is the oxidisation of the metal at the interface between the metal and the environment, and the reaction results in the degradation of the mechanical properties of the metal. Corrosion is dependent on many factors, including oxygen concentration, pH, water temperature and the presence of dissolved salts such as chloride, sulphate and sulphites.

Pitting Corrosion

Pitting corrosion is a type of corrosion that occurs on mild steel in a localised fashion. The steel penetration can be very deep in relation to the area under attack, and it is therefore one of the most dangerous types of corrosion.

Bacterial Corrosion

Bacterial corrosion can also be referred to as micro-biological corrosion or anaerobic (without oxygen) corrosion. This type of corrosion is likely to happen if the environment that the metal is exposed to supports bacterial activity. For bacterial corrosion to occur, there must be stagnant water, a hydrocarbon food source e.g. oil or coatings, the presence of sulphates, an operating temperature of between 20 – 40C, and the presence of bacteria.

Corrosion Prevention Using Metal Coatings

The prevention of corrosion requires the elimination or suppression of the chemical reaction between the environment and the metal. One way of preventing this reaction is by applying a metal coating to the surface of the substrate, and the effectiveness of the coating depends on factors including the type of coating used, the operating environment and the coating type.

SeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion Protection

Here at us, we have developed a corrosion resistant metal coating that effectively protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an extensive period of time. For more information about SeaTEC 100 and its ability to extend the life of parts exposed to subsea conditions, please contact the expert team at us by calling our phone number or email us at .

Facebook To Buy Titan Aerospace for $60 Million

Here at us, we like to keep up to date with all things going on in the aerospace industry. This week’s big news is that Facebook, backer of Internet.org, is set to buy Titan Aerospace.

Internet.org is a project which aims to make internet access affordable across the globe. According to recent figures, there are some 5 billion people without access to the World Wide Web, that’s a third of the globe’s population, and this project is set to change that. Facebook has partnered with Samsung, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera and Qualcomm to create data-compression technologies and cheaper smartphones to make browsing the internet cheaper.

Orbital Solar-Powered Drones 

Source:Titan Aerospace

Titan Aerospace makes orbital, solar-powered drones which are able to fly for five years without landing. TechCrunch have reported that Facebook are looking at buying the company for a whopping figure of 60 million dollars.

Facebook then plans to use these drones to provide parts of the world without access to the internet, such as Africa, with reliable internet access.

The first step is to build 11,000 unarmed aerial vehicles to blanket these parts of the world.

The models that are reported to be used are the Solara 50 and 60, which are launched from internal battery packs. They are able to rise to 20 Kilometres above sea level and can remain there with enough energy for 5 years. Capabilities like this make them perfect for regional internet systems. According to TechCrunch, all of Titan Aerospace’s production would then be for the Internet.org project.

As specialists in electroless nickel plating and the use of surface technology in the aerospace industry, it’s very exciting to see the changes and growth within the aerospace sector. If you would like to find out more about the use of electroless nickel or diffused nickel, contact us

5 Reasons to Use Nickel Boron Plating as an Alternative to Chrome Plating

 

Nickel boron plating is a great alternative to chrome plating for a variety of reasons. As experts in the process of electroless nickel boron plating, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 reasons to use nickel boron instead of chrome plating.

1. Can be Applied to a Variety of Metals

Nickel boron coating can be applied to a variety of metals including steel, aluminium, stainless steel and nickel alloys, copper alloys cobalt alloys and titanium.

2. Nickel Boron is Resistant to Fretting and Galling

One of the biggest advantages of nickel boron is its superior resistance to fretting and galling. Galling is a form of wear that is caused by the adhesion between two sliding surfaces, and fretting refers to wear and corrosion damage at the asperities of contact surfaces.

3. No Electric Current Required

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.

4. No Need for Post Plate Grinding

Nickel boron coatings mirror the surface profile of the substrate, therefore little or no post-plate grinding or burnishing is needed.

5. Nodular Surface Structure

The surface of nickel boron is typically nodular; therefore the structure allows it to dissipate heat efficiently due to the greater surface area. The nodular structure of nickel boron also reduces drag in aerodynamics and fluids when applied to components such as ship propellers, down-hole crude oil pumping equipment, bushings, thrust washers,  automotive and truck transmissions, guide plates for paper handling equipment and greaseless guns.

UK Nickel Boron Plating Specialists

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 us or email .

 

Electroless Nickel – Every Engineer’s Dream!

Here at us, 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.

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.

us 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 us, 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 , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

5 Reasons to Choose Electroless Nickel Over Stainless Steel

Despite 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 us website, or call our friendly team of staff on our phone number

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

Here at us, 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 or email  for more information.

us Are Now Approved Suppliers for HS Marston Aerospace Ltd

We are pleased to announce that we are now approved suppliers for HS Marston Aerospace Limited. HS Marston is a great company and we are delighted to have been approved as their suppliers.

Commitment to the Aerospace Sector

Quality Director Paul Allen said: “I am particularly proud of this approval as Marsden are a very well respected aerospace company. This approval demonstrates us’s commitment to the aerospace sector.”

HS Marston Aerospace Limited has been providing products for use in the aerospace industry for more than 90 years. Today, they supply a range of heat transfer and fluids management products for commercial and military markets. HS Marsden’s products are used within airframes and engines and on fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

Full Compliance with HS Marston Aerospace

The scope of our approval is as follows: ‘This approval requires full compliance with HS Marston Aerospace Limited, Purchase Orders, Quality Standards and Requirements for Suppliers and Subcontractors defined in Company Standard ME1019.’

Here at us, we operate in a variety of sectors and endeavour to provide the right service for each industry.

Whether it is electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, shot blasting or heat treatment, we will work with your requirements to make sure that you get the highest quality service at a cost to suit your business.

For more information about our services,  call us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

 

Pickling Stainless Steel Components for Aerospace Group Meggitt

As experts in electroless nickel plating, us 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.

Hydofluoric 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 us’s experience working with substances such as hydofluoric acid and stainless steel, please don’t hesitate to call us on our phone number or email us at . Alternatively, you can click here to visit the us website.

Boom for UK Aerospace Orders after 2019 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 2019 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”

“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 us 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 , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

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.

Our metal plating experts at us 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 us have the perfect solution. Call us , email us at  or visit the contact page on our website to make an enquiry.

Benefits of Corrosion Resistant Marine Coatings for Sub-Sea Components

As experts in a variety of corrosion resistant coatings, us have extensive experience in the oil and gas industry. Our metal finishing specialists understand the hostile environments and challenges that are presented by this industry, which is why we have taken the time and effort to develop a coating solution that has been specifically designed to address corrosion problems that arise in this area.

Increase the Lifespan of Sub-Sea Components

Corrosion resistant coatings are a great way of increasing the lifespan of subsea components within the oil and gas sector. Our metal coatings and metal finishing services have been designed and developed to address the wear, abrasion and deep sea corrosion issues that critical components are exposed to during their lifespan.

SeaTEC100 Marine Coating for Corrosion Resistance

us’s SeaTEC100 can extend the life of mild steel operating in marine environments, and it is a very cost effective way of doing so.

Developed and tested by our specialist team, this product is able to protect mild steel from salt spray corrosion for an unprecedented length of time. Perfect for use in sub-sea conditions, SeaTEC100 increases the strength of items such as pipeline connectors, where the material is at its weakest level.

Protecting Mild Steel in Marine Environments

SeaTEC100 can effectively plate metal components, valves and connectors, making it the ideal plating for oil rigs and pipes used to transport oil and gas. This coating has also been tested to withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours, longer than any other coating has been tested for within the industry with positive results.

For more information about using our metal plating services and SeaTEC 100 to extend the life of parts exposed to subsea conditions, please contact the expert team at us by calling our phone number or email us at . Alternatively, you can visit the us website for more information.

Long Lasting Oil and Gas Components for Subsea Applications

Oil and gas components are exposed to harsh environments, both under the sea and underground. This exposure to such extreme levels of temperature, moisture and pressure can have a detrimental effect on these components in a short space of time.

Corrosion protection in Sub-Sea Environments

As specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, us have worked tirelessly on developing the latest technology in corrosion resistant marine coatings.

 

Our specialists have developed and tested this revolutionary product, and we consider the coating to be a market leader within our industry.

SeaTEC 100 is our very own development and the perfect solution for corrosion protection and corrosion prevention in sub-sea environments. Not only will it protect mild steel from salt spray corrosion and marine corrosion for an unprecedented amount of time, SeaTEC effectively coats valves, pumps and pipe fittings to ensure that they remain intact and in operation.

Features of SeaTEC 100 Marine Corrosion Resistance

SeaTEC 100 effectively plates metal components, valves and connectors, making it a very cost effective way of extending the life of mild steel operating in subsea, marine environments.

This coating is great for increasing the strength of components. Materials tend to be at their weakest levels in areas where they have joins; therefore, components such as pipeline connectors are often vulnerable to corrosion. Corrosion at vital points such as these can mean failure of a system, so their longevity is essential to the overall lifespan of the system as a whole.

The Ideal Plating for Oil Rigs and Gas Pipes

SeaTEC 100 has also been through an extensive, independent testing process which has confirmed that the coating can withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours. This period of time is actually unprecedented in the industry, making SeaTEC100 a leading coating. This ability to extend the life of materials such as mild steel in marine environments means the downtime as a result of corroded parts is reduced or eliminated, saving money and time.

If you are looking for a metal coating that provides high levels of corrosion resistance for use in the oil or gas industries, call the us team , email  or get in touch via our contact page.

Top 5 Industries Using Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless 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 us, 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 us or email

Electroless Nickel Plated Steel for The Darwin Centre at The Natural History Museum

Although this isn’t a recent project for our electroless nickel plating specialists at us, it’s definitely worth talking about on our blog! We were involved in a very exciting project in conjunction with The Natural History Museum and the development of their new extension, The Darwin Centre.

This building consists of a glass structure attached to the famous London museum, and stores vast collections and housing new laboratories for scientists with ‘behind the scenes’ access for visitors. Our expertise was required to electroless nickel plate a series of steel ‘spiders’ which would hold the panels of glass together that the extension is constructed from.

Environmental Architecture

Phase I of the project was designed by the architectural firm HOK and completed in September 2002. It includes storage for the Museum’s collection of 22 million zoological specimens stored in spirit, and is a great example of a new wave of environmental architecture.

The 120,000 square feet/ 11,150 square metre building is faced by a large glass solar wall, held together with the electroless nickel plated ‘steel spiders’, and is designed to reduce heat in summer and heat loss in winter. It has a ‘caterpillar’ roof made of recyclable materials, which lets in lots of natural light, and reduces the need for electricity.

HOK used zoomorphic brackets in the solar wall of The Darwin Centre. These are sun-tracking metal louvers which move and change the appearance of the building. The centre also has a triple-skin, caterpillar like inflated roof. HOK used these techniques to reflect the centre’s work and ideals.

The environmental features of The Darwin Centre follow the designer’s wish to re-create ‘architecture parlante’. This is when the external appearance of a building reflects what happens inside, an idea which Alfred Waterhouse practised on the exterior of the main building with his use of animal sculptures. The designers also wanted to provide a visual connection to the main museum building by Waterhouse. It therefore incorporates terracotta, and the steel frame echoes the blue terracotta of the Victorian building.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

As experts in electroless nickel plating and various other metal plating techniques, we have carried out a number of special projects in the fields of architecture, sculpture and engineering. For more information about our services, please visit our metal finishing website, call us or Email: 

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.

The 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 us 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.

Specialist Electroless Nickel Coatings for the Automotive Industry

As experts in corrosion resistant coatings, us 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, us 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 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

African Well Sponsored by us Up and Running

We are pleased to announce that our water well has been built in is in full working order out in Africa!

Last year we sponsored a well for AquAid, the company who supply the us offices with water coolers.

We recently received confirmation that our well has been built and is up and running making a real difference to people’s lives.

We are very proud to be associated with such an amazing project, and delighted to be able to make such a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Aquaid and the Africa Trust

Aquaid raises funds to build fresh drinking water wells in areas of Africa where it is needed the most, such as schools and villages. And for every water bottle that we get from Aquaid for the us offices, a donation is made to the The Africa Trust.

Also, we recently put a badge of support on our website, to let people know about this great cause, and show our commitment to helping Aquaid’s recent project installing the elephant pumps in parts of Africa.

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

For more information about us and our services, including electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, and copper plating. Our AquAid badge of support can also be viewed on the homepage of the us website.

Clean, Strengthen and Polish Metal with Chilled Iron Shot-Blasting

What is shotblasting used for?

Shotblasting is a method which is used to clean, strengthen or polish metal.

This method is used in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, construction, shipbuilding and foundry. Basically, it can be used in any industry that uses metal!

Airblasting

Airblasting is a form of shotblasting that is carried out using a blastroom or blast cabinet. The blast media, for example iron, is pneumatically accelerated by compressed air and projected by nozzles onto the compartment.

The shotblasting media itself can be mixed with water, which is called wet blasting. In wet blasting and air blasting, the nozzles can be installed in fixed positions or they can be operated manually. They can also be operated using an automatic nozzle manipulators or even robots.

Shotblasting facilities at us

At us we pride ourselves on using the most technically advanced equipment to achieve the highest quality finish on all our projects. Our shotblasting capabilities include the following.

  • The ability to shot blast components of up to 20 tonnes in weight.
  • The capacity to shot-blast up to a 216m³ components.

If a finer surface finish is required then it is also possible to blast the component with Aluminium Oxide 180-220 grit.

The shot blast booth at us, used for shotblasting and heat treatment, has a capacity of 216m3 and is made from stainless steel which minimises the particles that settle on the work. We also pride ourselves on our excellent customer service, our fast turnaround times, quality workmanship and competitive rates.

To find out more about about shotblasting and abrasive blast cleaning processes available at us, please visit the us website, call us , or email us at 

Electroless Plating Vs Electroplating: Which is Best?

As experts in the metal plating process, the staff at us 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

The 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 us. Talk to a member of our friendly team or email  for more information.

Common Applications of Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel coatings can be used in a wide variety of common applications. The superior corrosion resistance, hardness levels and wear resistance make it a very versatile coating.

Aerospace

Electroless nickel coatings have the perfect properties for use in the aerospace industry, for example, they can be used in the protection of hydraulic control systems.

Nickel coatings can also be used for the refurbishment and the recovery of worn machined parts. They can also be used to correct incorrectly machined parts enabling the component to be used.

Electrical and Electronics

Nickel coatings are used for electrical and electronic applications due to their ability to protect the components successfully. For example, electroless nickel coatings may be used for electrical connectors and hard drive computer components in order to impart corrosion protection and wear resistance. They are also useful for providing solderability and a non-porous barrier layer, and to otherwise enhance the performance or useful life of a particular component.

Automotive

The automotive industry has specified electroless nickel plating on brake, transmission and steering assembly components, in addition to other parts. Electroless components enhance performance, and with longer lasting parts, they can help automakers to extend their product warranties.

The energy industry

Electroless nickel coatings can be used for chemical and wear resistance to equipment in the oil and gas industry. It is also useful for coalfield cutting tools, as it provides a wear resistant coating that doesn’t carry the risk of sparking.

General engineering

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a wide variety of applications within general engineering. For example, it can be used for wear resistance in plastics and textile handling equipment, corrosion resistance in chemical handling plants, appearance, and wear resistance in automotive applications.

 

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

During 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 us, 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 us, contact us on our phone number or email us at . Our staff will formulate the right solution for your application, providing advanced nickel composite plating services to meet your needs.

Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Coatings

Here at us, 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.

Factory Extension and New Plating Line To Create 5 New Jobs at us

After an eventful 2019, this year is set to be equally as exciting here at us. 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 us, and will be in full operation in February 2019. 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

us 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 plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shot blasting and heat treatment. For more information, please call us or email 

6 Reasons to Use Electroless Nickel Plating for Engineering Applications

Electroless nickel plating is an incredibly functional finish that can offer massive advantages in the field of engineering. As experts in the process, we’ve put together our top 4 advantages of electroless nickel plating, which we feel prove that this method is superior over conventional plating processes.

1. Uniform Deposition of Electroless Nickel

Electroless nickel coatings provide a uniform deposition on the surface of the component.

2. Strong, Chip Free Coating

With electroless nickel plating, there is no need to worry about the strength of the coating.

Electroless nickel coatings do not chip, peel, flake or rub off like some coatings do, such as paints and lacquers. It can also be applied on its own without any other pre-surface treatments.

3. The Ability to Plate Irregular Shapes

In addition to the uniform deposit of electroless nickel, it is also able to plate irregular shapes uniformly. This means that should a part have recesses and crevices, the coating will be deposited on these parts evenly, regardless of the shape.

4. Heat Treatment to Increase Hardness

Another advantage of electroless nickel coatings is that they can be treated with heat in order to further increase the level of hardness of the deposit.

5. Corrosion and Erosion Barrier

Electroless nickel provides a barrier against corrosion and erosion in especially demanding applications in the marine and offshore industry, and the petroleum industry.

6. Release Properties

Electroless nickel coatings also provide exceptional release properties due to its anti-stick surface. This self lubrication also reduces the wear of a component, which means that there is very little coating weight loss from friction between parts.

Electroless Nickel Plating Services

Here at us, 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 us or email