Electroless Nickel Plating uses chemical reactions in aquatic solutions to create a perfectly uniform nickel coating on the surface of a metal.
During the Electroless Nickel Plating process, a nickel salt and hypophosphite solution serves as a bath for the base material. Once the component is in the solution, the base material acts as a catalyst to the deposition of the nickel-phosphorous onto the product. This results in increased hardness, wear resistance and lubricity, providing up to 30+ years corrosion protection in subsea environments.
Placing the component to be plated, (a suitable catalytic substrate) in the heated plating bath, triggers hypophosphite ions to be oxidised into orthophosphite. A portion of the hydrogen given off by this process is absorbed into the catalytic substrate surface. Ionic nickel at the surface of the catalyst is then reduced by the absorbed active hydrogen to metallic nickel. Simultaneously some of the absorbed hydrogen reduces a small amount of the hypophosphite at the catalytic surface to water, hydroxyl ion and phosphorus resulting in a Nickel Phosphorous coating. The process continues autocatalytically increasing the thickness of the deposition until the component is removed for the plating bath.
Electroless Plating will also leave a nickel coating that is free from flux-density or power supply issues and produces an even deposit regardless of the surface’s geometry or shape, unlike electrolytic.
With Electroless Nickel Plating, a variety of different finishes can be obtained. Nickel is generally admired for its lustrous finish, but with Electroless coating it can also be adjusted for a matte or semi-bright finish, making it a versatile option. However, Electroless Nickel Plating will not cover or fill any surface imperfections. For example, if plating a polished component, the finished result will be a polished surface. Additionally, if plating a matte component such as a cast iron, the resulting finish will be a matte finish.
Electroless Nickel Plating is the preferred choice not only for its excellent results, but for its cost-efficient process.
Aerospace, Defence, Energy & Renewables, Oil and Gas, Rail, Industrial Applications, Medical and Nuclear.
The process of adding a metal coating to a surface is used to give the surface the qualities of whichever metal it has just been plated with, from wear resistance and durability to a more attractive, shinier finish. In the case of Electroless Nickel Plating, the nickel used lends a durable, more resistant quality, making it an excellent choice for surfaces which need to withstand corrosion and wear.
The most notable difference is that nickel that has been plated electrolessly provides a tough barrier against corrosion and wear. This makes it ideal for applications where the surface will be up against the elements, such as in marine applications. Electroless nickel coating is also more flexible in its application, allowing the component to take on the characteristics of nickel.
We foster a culture of quality at CBE+, with every operation performed by highly trained engineers and inspectors, ensuring all processes are completed in accordance with customer specifications and standards.
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