When it comes to a metal finish, one of the more popular choices, electroless nickel plating, has become the gold standard thanks to its durability and high performance. At ADV Plating we understand the importance of this unique metal and how it can be used to extend the longevity of metal products and parts. If you are looking to learn more about electroless nickel plating, our team can educate you on the many benefits it can provide.

What is electroless nickel plating?

Electroless nickel plating is a specialized process of depositing a thin layer of nickel onto a metal surface without the use of an external electrical current–which is the way traditional electroplating is often achieved. Instead, electroless nickel plating is done through an autocatalytic chemical reaction process. This particular method ensures that a uniform and consistent thickness of nickel is applied onto all surfaces–even those that may be difficult to reach with traditional plating methods, such as internal surfaces, edges, and corners.

What percentage of phosphorus content can be achieved with this method?

ADV Plating offers several different percentages to provide the best coating for a part’s specific needs. Phosphorus content can vary from low to high, with levels as little as 2% and as high as 13%. Each thickness has properties that may benefit our customers, such as corrosion resistance and hardness. Because of this versatility, electroless nickel plating can be used in various applications in certain industries, such as electronics, oil and gas exploration, automotive, and aerospace, just to name a few.

How durable is electroless nickel plating?

There are two factors that affect the durability of electroless nickel plating, including the thickness of the coat applied and the phosphorus content percentage. With coating thickness ranging from .5 to 75 microns (.0001″ – .003″), we can determine protection, wear, and corrosion to ensure longevity. Thicker layers of nickel plating provide better protection, though it can affect the functionality and dimensions of a part. Getting the right thickness is critical. Additionally, the percentage of phosphorus used can also result in various properties. The higher the phosphorus coating percentage, the better the part will be in acidic environments to reduce corrosion. Lower phosphorus coatings in the 2-5% range may be more wear-resistant. Electroless nickel plating, regardless of the coating thickness and phosphorus content, is highly durable, often withstanding very harsh environments and extensive war. This makes this process of nickel plating a reliable solution for metal parts that might be exposed to levels of high friction and extreme working conditions.

What are the advantages of electroless nickel plating?

In addition to being extremely durable, electroless nickel plating offers other significant benefits worth considering:

  • Uniform coating. The chemical process used during the electroless nickel plating process provides uniform coatings to ensure longevity and functionality. Certain internal cavities and geometries can make it difficult for other methods of plating to correctly cover, making this methodology the most popular.
  • Enhance corrosion resistance. If you are worried about your industrial parts becoming rusted or corroded, this method of nickel plating might be best. It can provide superior protection, allowing it to work great in harsh environments where high-use occurs.
  • Improved hardness. With the electroless heat treatment, nickel plating can become just as strong and hard as metals like chrome. This makes these treated parts a wonderful choice when it comes to parts needing more wear-resistant applications.
  • Non-magnetic properties. Many companies will use nickel plating not only because it is strong but because it has non-magnetic properties, making it great for the components of certain electronic devices.
  • Appearance. With its clean and bright finish, electroless nickel plating can significantly enhance the appearance of your metal parts. The process is also used to customize and achieve specific colors or finishes, making it a versatile option for various fields.
  • Electrical conductivity and lubricity. Electroless nickel plating has excellent electrical conductivity, making it an ideal choice for electronic components and devices. Its natural lubricity makes it an ideal treatment for moving parts that need to have reduced wear and friction.

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

Electroless nickel plating for metal equipment is often the right choice for our customers who are looking for a strong, uniform coating for parts, especially in select industrial applications where both durability and performance are critical. This exacting method of plating often improves the longevity of such parts that might otherwise experience extensive wear and tear with time.

What are some of the more common industrial fields that may benefit from electroless nickel plating services from ADV Plating?

Some of the industries that may benefit from this specific plating service from our company may include many of the following fields:

  • Aerospace. The aerospace industry often relies heavily on high-performance and durable metal parts, making electroless nickel plating a popular and reliable choice for various components used in the field of aerospace, such as aircraft engines and landing gear.
  • Automotive. With the constant wear and tear that automotive parts go through on a daily basis, electroless nickel plating effectively provides a protective barrier against corrosion and wear, especially for parts such as pistons, gears, and bearings.
  • Electronics. The non-magnetic properties of electroless nickel plating make it a suitable choice for many different types of electronic components that require high precision and minimal interference from any possible surrounding magnetic fields.
  • Energy. For industries involved in energy production, electroless nickel plating can be an essential process to ensure the durability and longevity of various parts that may be exposed to harsh environments, such as offshore oil and gas equipment.
  • Medical. In the medical field, electroless nickel plating is used for various components and instruments, including surgical equipment, implants, and medical devices. The durability and corrosion resistance of this process make it a reliable choice in the healthcare industry.
  • Oil and gas exploration. In the oil and gas industry, the equipment is often exposed to harsher and more corrosive environments, making this method of nickel plating a valuable solution for protecting many different critical components.
  • Defense and military. Just like in the field of aerospace, the defense industry also relies on strong and durable metal parts that can withstand extreme conditions, making electroless nickel plating a preferred choice for many applications.

Choosing a quality electroless nickel plating provider is easy with the help of ADV Plating!

If your company is looking for a reliable company offering electroless nickel plating, we invite you to contact us. Our team is ready to learn about your organization’s specific product needs, to determine which benefits and methods of electroless nickel plating will provide the greatest results for continued durability, longevity, and functionality in all of your surface finishing requirements.