Characteristics of electroless nickel plating
Electroless Nickel (NiP) is a process which deposits a film of nickel phosphorus alloys over surfaces such as aluminum and alloys, stainless steel, carbon steel alloys, copper and its alloys and certain non-conductors.
Depending on the percentage of phosphorus in the bath, electroless nickel plating can be classified as follows:
Besides these more conventional treatments, we also offer Nickel PTFE, a high-phosphorus plating (10-13 %P) that joins with PTFE particles (8- 9% of its weight), that provides the coating an exceptionally low coefficient of friction (between 0.05 and 0.1) and excellent wear resistance.
This characteristic makes it the best choice for any part that will receive continuous wear.
All processes have a common characteristic that makes electroless nickel plating a very suitable process for any sector: the uniformity of coating deposits throughout the part, whatever its shape (no dispersion). This saves possible corrections after treatment; along with problems with very tight tolerances (margin of error ±10% in layers).
Therefor, and unlike the other conventional plating baths that work via electrolysis, a part´s interiors are completely coated, and at the same plate thickness as on the exterior.
The characteristics of the deposit vary depending on the percentage of phosphorus, but in general all treatments improve the base material´s hardness, along with its anti-corrosive feature.
All of these processes can be done both at rack or in barrel, depending on the part´s size and shape.
After being coated with the different nickel plating processes, different heat treatments can be applied at different temperatures relative to the properties to be obtained.
The possible treatments are:
- Hardness treatment: To increase the hardness of the nickel deposit.
- Adherence treatment: To improve the deposit´s adherence, especially on materials like aluminum and stainless steel.
- Dehydrogenation treatment: This is used on carbon steels that will suffer from mechanical forces. Upon removing the occlusion of hydrogen generated during the substrate´s pre-treatment, the deposit´s elasticity and adherence improves.
- Flocculation treatment: This treatment, specific to nickel PTFE, clusters PTFE particles on the deposit´s surface, improving its non-slip features.
If you have any questions about the characteristics of Electroless Nickel see our downloads section for more information.