Electroless Nickel Plating
UNIFORM THICKNESS…EXCELLENT CORROSION PROTECTION…SOLDERABILITY…CAN REPLACE STAINLESS STEEL…ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR LIQUID LUBRICANTS
Electroless Nickel Plating is the deposition of a nickel-phophorous alloy onto a substrate (base material) without the use of an electrical current. The electroless nickel plating process utilizes an autocatalytic chemical reaction to deposit a reliable, repeatable coating of uniform thickness. This uniformity of deposit can, in some cases, eliminate the need for post-plate grinding. Electroless nickel demonstrates excellent corrosion protection, with similar lubricity properties to plated chromium. Electroless nickel effectively coats parts with sharp edges, deep recesses, seams, threads, and complex geometries. Electrolurgy offers a variety of alloys of nickel and phosphorous, including:
- High Phosphorus (10% to 13%): superior corrosion protection; most resistant to acidic environments; greater than 65 Rc hardness with post-plate thermal treatment
- Medium Phosphorus (5% to 9%): best appearance
- ENSlick® Electroless Nickel (Nickel-Teflon): increased lubricity; can reduce or eliminate the need for liquid lubricants in some applications (see ENSlick page for more information)
- Electroless nickel can also be rendered non-magnetic, making it the optimal choice for electromagnetic shielding. Electroless nickel can be applied over a variety of substrates including stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and many proprietary alloys.
ELECTROLURGY’S ELECTROLESS NICKEL PLATING CAPABILITIES:
- Plating thicknesses from 0.0001 to 0.0050 inches
- Rack and Barrel Plating Available
- Precision masking for selective surface plating
- Salt spray corrosion testing per ASTM B 117
- Post-plate hydrogen embrittlement relief
- Hardnesses up to 70Rc (high phosphorous with post-plate bake)
- XRF thickness analysis
- AMS-C-26074 (Supercedes MIL-C-26074)
- ASTM B733
- MIL-F-14072 (M265)
- AMS 2404
- AMS 2405
- MIL-STD-171 (1.4.3)
- ISO 4527
- ASTM B656
- The electroless nickel plating process is aqueous and takes place at a temperature of 190 F.
- While the process applies a uniform coating on all geometries, adequate solution flow is required. Blind holes or obstructed areas may receive less coating.
- Stainless steels and non-ferrous substrates may require post-plate thermal treatment to improve deposit adhesion.
- High-phosphorous electroless nickel will often discolor when given post-plate thermal treatment for maximum surface hardness.
COMMON APPLICATIONS OF ELECTROLESS NICKEL COATINGS:
- Aerospace Components: For wear resistance, corrosion protection, chemical resistivity and lubricity on valves, pistons, engine shafts, engine mounts, compressor blades and other flight-critical components.
- Electrical Equipment: Due to it’s solderability and conductivity properties.
- Packaging & Handling Machinery: Due to wear resistance, cleanliness and attractive finish.
- Chemical Manufacturing and Transport Equipment: Due to chemical resistance.
- Molds & Dies: Corrosion protection minimizes erosion and abrasion. Low coefficient of friction improves release.
- Food Service Equipment: For superior corrosion and wear resistance, attractive finish and cleanliness.
- Plastics Manufacturing Equipment: For durability and release properties on injection molds and extrusion dies.
- Oil & Gas Components: For corrosion protection in harsh undersea and underground environments for parts such as valves, pumps, pipe fittings and others.
- Printing Industry Equipment: For abrasion resistance on conveyance and chemical resistance on printer cylinders.
- Automotive Components: For wear protection and corrosion resistance on pistons, cylinders, gears, fuel injectors, ball studs, hose couplings, heat sinks and others.
- Salvage: For restoration of parts to their original dimensions or to bring mis-machined parts into required tolerance.