Electroless Nickel Plating as an Alternative to Galvanisation

What is galvanisation?

When a metal is galvanised, a protective zinc coating is applied to it. This zinc coating is applied to steel or iron in order to prevent rusting.

Galvanising is used predominantly for protecting metals such as steel or iron with a coat of zinc. Galvanisation is an effective way of preventing the ferrous item from rusting, as the corrosion resistance of zinc is much higher than iron or steel.

It is also a cheap process, easily applied and has a long maintenance – free service life.

How is galvanisation achieved?

The most common method of galvanisation is called hot-dip galvanisation. Hot dip galvanisation is the process of submerging the steel parts in a bath of molten zinc. However, this process is also achievable through electrochemical and electrodeposition processes.

There are some differences between these processes. Hot-dip galvanisation produces a grey, matte coating to the surface of the metal, which is very thick and durable. Electroplated coatings are less durable and unsuitable for outdoor applications because of the thinness of the deposit. This can be overcome to some extent by painting the surface which slows down zinc consumption, therefore delaying the corrosion and extending its durability.

Electroplating on its own is cheaper than hot dip zinc coating. Therefore it is used for a number of outdoor applications, as it looks good when new, despite its relatively short durability and low resistance to the elements.

Electroless nickel plating as an alternative to galvanising.

Electroless nickel plating can be used as an alternative to galvanisation as it is both durable AND aesthetically pleasing. Not only does electroless nickel plating provide enough corrosion resistance to be used in harsh environments, the uniform coating it creates can be a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items such as those used in the defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace industries.

Electroless nickel plating is also much cheaper than you would imagine, considering the extent of its durability, and the wear resistance of the surface can be increased by using heat treatments. This makes it an ideal specialist plating where friction and wear may be problematic with regard to the use of the component.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating and how it can be used as an alternative to galvanisation, please visit our website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

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Electroless Nickel Plating for Sculptor Rupert Till

Our newest special project is a request from the widely successful British Sculptor Rupert Till. NiTEC will be electroless nickel plating a new piece to be put on display at The Chelsea Flower Show this May.

Wire sculptures by Rupert Till at The Chelsea Flower Show 2007

Wire sculptures by Rupert Till at The Chelsea Flower Show 2007

Rupert Till has established himself as a well regarded British sculptor with a worldwide client base of collectors. Since leaving The Chelsea School of Art in 1991 with a BA Hons Degree, he has built up a successful 17 year career, and as a result, his work is held in private collections and public spaces through the UK and Europe, United States, Australia and Japan.

Rupert focuses on working from life studies, drawing and sketching. His observations result in him capturing the movement and spirit of the animal. His inspiration comes from his passion for country pursuits and racing.

Rupert was born in 1969 and grew up at Londesborough near York. After studying Art at York, he completed a HND and BA Hons degree at Chelsea School of Art.

In 1993 he set up a studio in Hovingham, near York, before moving to Ireland for 10 years. In 2005 he moved back to England with his family and menagerie of pets to live in the Cotswolds.

 Rupert’s Artistic statement

“Over the past seventeen years I have established myself worldwide as the pioneer of life size wire animal sculptures. My early inspiration was growing up in Yorkshire.  My childhood was spent down at the bottom of the garden in the Hunt kennels observing the carcasses that lay around.

This led me to having a passionate relationship with nature. As a result of growing up in this world it I have the ability to readily capture the essential character and accurate proportions of an animal.

I like to start my work from life studies, drawings/ sketches/ models this is when I am able to capture the movement and spirit of the animal. My art evolves from the lines I see and the wire echoes this beautifully. My confidence to express this leads to my work feeling alive!

As my work continues to develop I now respond to a piece of work through bronze, silver and wire. I am currently working on various client’s unique commissions and putting together a collection of new work.”

Rupert Till's wire horse at The Chelsea Flower Show 2009

Rupert Till's wire horse at The Chelsea Flower Show 2009

Previous work

Rupert’s work has been exhibited at a number of locations including numerous galleries, exhibitions and The Chelsea Flower show. As well as this, since 1993 he has received commissions for over 700 pieces of work in private collections.

Private clients include Jilly Cooper, Oscar de la Renta, Swinton Castle and The Earl of Halifax. Rupert has also been commissioned to produce a number of public works for The Belgium Governement and the BBC.

Here at NiTEC, we’re really excited to be able to be involved with Rupert’s latest piece for this years’ Chelsea Flower Show. By electroless nickel plating his work, Rupert can be sure that the piece will withstand outdoor display without corrosion or damage to the surface.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting exclusive pictures from Rupert Till himself, documenting his progress of creating a piece set to be a hit at The Chelsea Flower Show.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating visit our website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

Bronze Boxing Hares

Bronze Boxing Hares