Several Reasons To Choose Electroless Nickel Plating

by | Aug 31, 2015 | Business

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Plating of objects for decorative and protective reasons has been going on for centuries. While electro disposition has been a main staple in the plating and finishing business, there are other methods of providing the same type of protection. When dealing with nickel, a favored method is an electroless deposition. This treatment is referred to as electroless nickel plating.

The Process of Electroless Nickel Plating

The significant difference between electro and electroless deposition is indicated in the terminology. While electroplating uses electricity to achieve its goals, electroless does not. This makes the process somewhat simpler. In fact, electroless nickel plating is considered one of the least complex treatments in the metal plating.

Stated simply, the process of electroless nickel plating involves the three following materials:

1. A chemical reducing agent: The most common one has been sodium hypophosphite
2. A nickel salt
3. A hot aqueous solution

The chemical reducing agent acts upon the nickel salt the heated water solution to deposit nickel on a catalytic surface. This process is called chemical deposition. The deposit will be an alloy that is very hard. Since current is not employed, the deposit will be uniform in its thickness. This is true no matter what the shape of the object that is being plated. Electroless nickel plating is not restricted in its application to metallic substrates. It can also be employed for plating non-metallic substances such as plastic.

Basic Applications of Electroless Nickel Plating

Industrial uses of electroless nickel plating are prominent among certain manufacturing companies. The treatment is employed in diverse industries for the same reason but integrated into different components and products. Industries that request the services of electroless nickel plating include:

* Aerospace
* Automotive
* Electronics
* Firearms
* Food
* Forestry
* Foundry Tool Producers
* Oil and Gas
* Printing

These companies and services choose electroless nickel plating for its unique properties.

Reasons for Choosing Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless nickel plating provides its substrate with a range of properties that many find quite singular. They prefer to use it because it possesses:

* Corrosion and wear resistance
* High level of hardness
* Magnetic response
* Natural lubricity
* Uniformity in thickness

* Protection against specific chemicals

The strength of these features is dependent upon these three factors: amount or degree of phosphorus, heat treatment and deposition conditions. This is why it is imperative that the materials selector and the player work together to ensure the right material is readily available in a timely manner. This is what makes the relatively simple process of electroless nickel plating challenging – the necessity to get everything right the first time.

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