Aerospace Metals offers electroless nickel plating which is a process of depositing a layer of nickel alloy onto a surface without using an external electrical current. This is achieved by a chemical reaction between the substrate surface and the plating solution. The electroless nickel plating process typically involves the following steps:
- Surface preparation: The substrate surface is cleaned to remove any contaminants such as grease, oil, or rust. This is necessary to ensure proper adhesion of the plating layer.
- Activation: The surface is then activated by immersing it into an acid solution or by using a proprietary activation solution. This step removes any remaining oxide layer and prepares the surface for the plating process.
- Plating: The substrate is immersed in an electroless nickel plating bath containing a solution of nickel salts, reducing agents, and stabilizers. The plating solution reacts with the activated surface to deposit a layer of nickel alloy onto it. The thickness of the plating layer can be controlled by adjusting the time and temperature of the plating bath.
- Post-treatment: After plating, the substrate is rinsed to remove any residual plating solution and then treated to improve the adhesion and corrosion resistance of the plating layer. This can be done by using a post-treatment solution or by heat treatment.
The resulting electroless nickel coating provides corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and improved hardness to the substrate surface. Electroless Nickel Plating offers several benefits, including:
- Corrosion resistance: Electroless nickel plating provides excellent corrosion resistance, making it useful for applications in harsh environments.
- Wear resistance: The nickel coating is hard and wear-resistant, which makes it suitable for use in applications that require high durability.
- Uniformity: The electroless plating process creates a uniform coating thickness, even on complex shapes and surfaces.
- Dimensional stability: Unlike some other plating methods, electroless nickel plating does not change the dimensions of the substrate, making it a suitable choice for precision components.
- Versatility: Electroless nickel plating can be used on a wide range of substrates, including metals, plastics, and ceramics.
- Solderability: Electroless nickel plating provides a good surface for soldering, which makes it useful for electronic components.
- Cost-effectiveness: Electroless nickel plating can be a cost-effective alternative to other plating methods, especially for small to medium-sized production runs.
The coloring of electroless nickel plating is quite similar to stainless steel. The process plates consistently in cavities as well as recesses with no build up on the margins. Coatings over .001” thickness are ideal for corrosion resistance. The most popular coating for this process is medium phosphorus. High Phosphorus is utilized predominantly for increased corrosion resistance and food grade implementations. Mid and high phosphorus electroless nickel deposits are hard as they are deposited (HRc40-45) which is hardened by the process of baking which results in a coating comparable in hardness to hard chromium (HRc 65-70). Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call to get a free quote! Aerospace Metals specializes in electroless nickel plating as well as a wide array of complex anodizing processes.