Electroless Nickel Plating for an Oil Rig Vortoil Pipe

NiTEC are a UK based metal plating company specialising in electroless nickel plating and providing worldwide metal plating services. Nickel plating is perfect for use in the oil and gas industries because of the adjustable thickness of the electroless nickel coating, good cohesion and performance, and excellent corrosion and wear resistance when used as a barrier layer.

As specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, we were asked to nickel plate a Vortoil Pipe for use on an oil rig. The Vortoil Pipe is used for separating crude oil from seawater. Understandably, the environment is very harsh and so a high degree of corrosion prevention and wear resistance is required. This made electroless nickel plating an obvious solution to the problem.

The nature of the operation means that the tolerances of the pipe must be less than 3 microns over the length. Although electroless nickel plating is known for the uniformity of the deposit, over very large items there can be slight thickness variations due to localised changes in temperature and activity.

The pipe was approximately 4m in length, and needed to be electroless nickel plated internally and externally, including all the attached pipes, holes and fins. The deposit thickness required was 100 microns and the tolerance was < 3 microns variation in any area.

While the size and material posed no problems generally, conforming to the tight distribution tolerances over that length needed to be addressed. The high standards of quality and excellent monitoring system used by NiTEC enabled the accurate deposit thickness of the electroless nickel plating. A jig was manufactured with a motor, which was attached to either end of the pipe. The pipe was then electroless nickel plated horizontally, while turning very slowly, like being on a spit.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating, please visit the NiTEC website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

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Electroless Nickel Plating a Large Manifold for the Mining Industry

NiTEC are a UK based company providing worldwide metal plating services and specialising in electroless nickel plating.

We were approached by Joy Mining Macinery to manufacture a component, a piece of pipework that needed plating to prevent it from corrosion and wear. Joy Mining Machinery is a global leader in the development, manufacture, distribution and service of underground mining machinery for the extraction of coal and other bedded materials. Therefore, NiTEC’s high standards of quality electroless nickel plating and fast turn-around times were vital to the success of the project.

The component itself was approximately 1.5m square, by 1m deep. It appeared to be a solid block of steel, with two small holes in opposing corners on one face. The block also contained an intricate network of pipes, which would be used to carry water as a coolant. Joy Mining needed this pipework plating to ensure corrosion prevention, which the process of electroless nickel plating can provide to the highest standards.

To plate the component, flexible pipes were connected to the holes in the block. The electroless nickel plating solution was then pumped from a holding tank through the block, and back to the holding tank, on a continuous basis.

As electroless nickel has to be at 90°C to operate, the block was immersed in a tank of cleaning solution, maintained at 70-80°C to prevent heat loss and flash rusting of the exterior of the block. The plating solution was analysed and maintained throughout the process and any necessary additions were subsequently made to the holding tank.

If you would like further information about nickel platingplating services or metal finishes, visit http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk