One of the most popular metal finishing options in the industry is electroless nickel plating. Thanks to its numerous benefits, it has proven to be a great surface finishing solution across many industries. We are often asked about electroless nickel plating and its longevity, with many interested in learning if elements and components used in their field of work are rust resistant. Let’s take a closer look at answering the question, “does electroless nickel plating rust?”

Understanding how electroless nickel plating works

Having a greater understanding of how electroless nickel plating works is the first step in learning its many advantages. The electroless nickel plating process is a specialized chemical process that adds a layer of either nickel-boron alloy or nickel-phosphorus over metal, creating a new surface or coating. Whereas more traditional methods, such as electroplating, require the use of an electric current, electroless nickel plating utilizes a chemical reaction instead. This chemical reaction results in a uniform thickness of nickel plating across the surface of the part.

What are the benefits of electroless nickel plating?

Our team at ADV Plating often recommends electroless nickel plating for industrial components for many reasons.

· Uniformity. First, this methodology ensures the most uniform coating regardless of the size, shape, or elements of the component being treated, ensuring precision and consistency where it is needed—even on more complex components with many moving parts.

· Longevity. Electroless nickel plating lasts longer than more traditional methods, is more resistant to wear with time, and does not corrode as easily as other plating solutions. Most metal equipment used in various industries needs to be plated to effectively withstand continued and regular working conditions, especially in certain harsh environments.

· No electricity is needed. Because electroless nickel plating relies on a chemical reaction and not electricity, it is more cost-effective for companies seeking metal coatings for their industrial equipment.

· Can be customized. Electroless nickel plating offers a customizable finish from bright and brilliant to matte.

· Can cover various base materials. The metal covered with electroless nickel plating can be either conductive or non-conductive, allowing it to be used in many different situations.

· Cost-effective. Parts that are nickel plated last longer, which in turn can save a company money when compared to the cost of repair and replacement. An investment in plating can save thousands over the course of several years for many industrial companies.

· Versatility. Electroless nickel plating is the preferred choice for many industries nationwide, including oil and gas, electronics, aerospace, and automotive.

Does electroless nickel plating rust?

Most industries dealing with metal machines, mechanics, and components fear the worst: rust. Rust is a process that can occur when certain iron elements, including iron and iron alloys, are regularly exposed to moisture and oxygen. It creates rust on the surface, which can affect the integrity of the metal altogether. It can also cause components to break or become less effective with time.

This is where electroless nickel plating is a great solution. By providing a uniform layer of electroless nickel plating over metal elements, they can be strengthened and become more resistant to problems such as rust and corrosion. This is because the nickel plating coating creates a passive layer over the components to protect it against any corrosive elements, making it perfect for use in certain environments where the potential for rust and corrosion are significant.

What are some of the factors that contribute to the corrosion resistance of this method of plating?

Electroless nickel plating is known for being resistant to corrosion and rust, and this is due to factors such as the phosphorus content, the thickness of the nickel plating coating, and the environment in which the component is operating.

· Phosphorus content. One element that impacts corrosion resistance is the level of phosphorus in the plating. Phosphorus content is offered at three levels, low (1-5%), medium (6-9%) and high (10-14%). THe higher the percentage, the greater the protection against corrosion. High phosphorus is recommended in the most demanding environments, such as acidic and salt water. Medium phosphorus is recommended for elements that are in neutral pH environments.

· Thickness of nickel plating coating. With this method of plating, ADV Plating can ensure that the thickness of the coating is optimized to combat wear and protect against corrosion while still meeting required dimensional tolerances. The thicker the layer of nickel plating, the better protection it has against corrosion.

· The environment in which the component is operating. The operating environment of the component coated will also affect corrosion resistance. High-temperature or high-acidic conditions may require elements of machines and technology to be coated thicker for better protection against rust and wear. This ensures the longevity of components and allows them to work longer, even in environments that might otherwise significantly impact their functionality and durability.

Why should I consider electroless nickel plating for my industrial equipment?

Many fields of industry benefit from having their equipment treated using electroless nickel plating. It can help with corrosion resistance, longevity, and durability, making it a wise investment in various areas of industrial work. Knowing what factors may be present and may impact the functionality of these devices is also helpful, which is where the experience of our team at ADV Plating becomes incredibly vital in helping you develop and maintain equipment for your industry. Electroless nickel plating has been found to be one of the most reliable metal finishing solutions across multiple industries.

Learn more about the services offered by ADV Plating

We look forward to providing your team with superior service in electroless nickel plating. We invite you to reach out to us via phone or the Request a Quote form on our website to learn more about all of the surface finishing services we offer. We provide services nationwide. Contact us today!