NiTEC Nickel Plate Thomas Heatherwick Benches

Electroless nickel plating specialists NiTEC have had the pleasure of nickel plating numerous aluminium benches for artist Thomas Heatherwick.

The benches are extruded, mirror polished, aluminium benches. They are made without fixtures or fittings, and electrolessly nickel plated by us!

The benches have been produced by the world’s largest extrusion machine, so each aluminium piece combines the back, seat and legs of the furniture into one element.

The sweeping parallel lines created through the extrusion process are contorted into random, gnarled endings. These arbitrary swirling forms of the bench are created through the initiation and termination of the extrusion process.

Famed for his adventurous and original use of manufacturing processes and materials across the disciplines of architecture, art and design, Thomas Heatherwick is also renowned for his innovative ideas at the forefront of manufacturing and design practice.

Heatherwick’s projects take the design process to its broadest reaches, from entire buildings to handbags, bridges to furniture,and always involve a radical approach to manufacturing processes and use of materials.

Heatherwick is now working on more commercial products using this process to create components for architectural construction, facade design and mass produced seating ranges suitable for contract.

To see Thomas Heatherwick’s work, visit the website http://www.heatherwick.com/extrusions/

To find out more about our involvement in special projects, or to find out more about electroless nickel plating, visit the NiTEC website.

Advertisements

Electroless Nickel Plating for The Natural History Museum’s Darwin Centre

Electroless nickel plating specialists NiTEC are proud to announce their involvement in the development of The Darwin Centre at The Natural History Museum.

The Darwin Centre is a new glass extension to the famous London museum, storing vast collections and housing new laboratories for scientists with ‘behind the scenes’ access for visitors. The extension is made of glass panels held together with steel ‘spiders’ that have been electroless nickel plated.

Phase I of the project was designed by the architectural firm HOK and completed in September 2002. Phase II was designed by CF Møller, and opened in 2009.

Phase I includes storage for the Museum’s collection of 22 million zoological specimens stored in spirit, and is a great example of a new wave of environmental architecture. The 120,000 square feet/ 11,150 square metre building is faced by a large glass solar wall, held together with the electroless nickel plated ‘steel spiders’, and is designed to reduce heat in summer and heat loss in winter. It has a ‘caterpillar’ roof made of recyclable materials, which lets in lots of natural light, and reduces the need for electricity.

The environmental features of The Darwin Centre  follow the designer’s wish to re-create ‘architecture parlante’. This is when the external appearance of a building reflects what happens inside, an idea which Alfred Waterhouse practised on the exterior of the main building with his use of animal sculptures.

HOK used zoomorphic brackets in the solar wall of The Darwin Centre. These are sun-tracking metal louvers which move and change the appearance of the building. The centre also has a triple-skin, caterpillar like inflated roof. HOK used these techniques to reflect the centre’s work and ideals.

The designers also wanted to provide a visual connection to the main museum building by Waterhouse. It therefore incorporates terracotta, and the steel frame echoes the blue terracotta of the Victorian building.

To find out more about NiTEC’s involvement in special projects, visit our website at http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk/special_projects/


Chilled Iron Shot-Blasting Services

Chilled Iron Shot-Blasting Services in Derby, Nottingham, Chesterfield and Sheffield

Chilled iron shot-blasting is the perfect process to clean all types of metal. Shot blasting will remove paint adhesive, plastic/rubber insets, grease and rust, leaving the component ready to be restored as required. The most common uses of chilled iron shot blasting applications are car restoration and repair, garden furniture, steel window frames and any other metal component that has suffered the ravages of time.

Shot Blasting Case Study – Car Restoration

A customer from Nottingham brought in the chassis of a 1965 Corvette Stingray for shot-blasting. The chassis was very badly corroded and in need of extensive repair. NiTEC was able to sympathetically remove all the remaining paint and the corrosion through shot-blasting. The customer has now rebuilt the car into the stunning example pictured on the left.

Our chilled iron shot-blasting facilities

At NiTEC we pride ourselves on using the most technically advanced equipment to achieve the highest quality finish on all our projects.

Our chilled iron shot-blasting facilities include: 

• The ability to shot blast components up to 20 tonnes in weight.
• It is also possible to blast with Aluminium Oxide 180-220 grit to produce the finest surface finish if required.

• The capacity to shot-blast up to a 216m³ components.
• A 316 stainless steel booth which minimises the levels of particles which settle on the work.

If you have a current resortation or repair project you would like assistance with, or would like to enquire about our services please visit our website http://www.electroless-nickel-plating.co.uk

What is Copper Plating?

To copper plate an item, a layer of copper is deposited using an electric current. Copper plating was traditionally used for electroforming and decorative purposes. However, copper is also an excellent conductor. This means that copper plating can be used for EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) shielding purposes.

The deposit from copper plating is very bright and has excellent levelling properties. One typical application for copper plating is for large aerials fitted under railway carriages.In addition, copper plate naturally kills bacteria, therefore, copper plating is frequently used to plate laboratory and medical equipment.

Bright copper plating can also be used decoratively as well as for functional purposes. Copper plating gives a highly polished copper-pink appearance.

As specialists in copper plating, NiTEC also have a range of lacquers available for copper plating solutions. These are great as they prevent tarnishing of the copper plating if it is intended for a decorative purpose.

 

If you feel the copper plating process is not for you, NiTEC are also specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, diffused nickel plating finishes and high-quality shotblasting & heat treatment.

Quality Electroless Nickel Plating

As specialists in electroless nickel plating, it is of the upmost importance that the quality of our work is of the highest standard.

We pride ourselves on working closely with customers to achieve the required quality. We believe that there should always be a discussion between the staff at NiTEC and the end user in order to set the optimum process parameters to achieve the specific plating needs.

The electroless nickel plating process is guaranteed to be carried out faultlessly with the help of a quality monitoring system.

The pre-treatment, electroless nickel process parameters, and the plated deposit can all be controlled to ensure the electroless nickel  process is perfect.

Quality depends on a number of different factors, including:

-The Substrate

-Pre – treatment

-Type of electroless nickel process

-Plating parameters

-Thickness

-Post Treatment

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

The Electroless Nickel Plating Process

The process of electroless nickel plating produces a nickel alloy that can be deposited without using an external power source. The electroless nickel solution involved consists of nickel ions, reducing agents and other chemicals. The most commonly used reducing agent is sodium hypophosphite. Nickel phosphorous alloys can be deposited on to specially activated surfaces, which act as a catalyst.

The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has the advantage of having an even thickness over all surfaces of the component, virtually regardless of its shape. This effect cannot be achieved with electrodeposited coatings.

Before the electroless nickel plating process can begin, the parts have to be treated suitably. Electroless nickel solutions operate specifically according to their end requirements in a pH 4-9 medium at a temperature of between 25-92 degrees centigrade. The thickness of the nickel deposit depends on the operating conditions and time. Depending on solution composition and working parameters it is possible to deposit nickel phosphorous alloy layers with a phosphorous content between approximately 2 and 14% by weight.

It is possible to plate almost all metals including stainless steel, steel, aluminium and its alloys, and brass. It is also possible to plate non-conductive materials such as plastic and ceramics. Each type of material requires a specific pre treatment method. The quality of the electroless nickel deposit is dependent upon the quality and surface finish of the substrate material. In contrast with many electroplated nickel coatings the electroless nickel deposit reproduces the substrate surface finish.

What is Diffused Nickel Plating?

NiTEC’s diffused nickel plating process is the highest standard for corrosion resistance via the plating process.

This method of nickel plating is so resistant to corrosion that it is suitable for marine environments. Mild steel plated using the diffused nickel plating process can be given a 30 year sub-sea guarantee.

Diffused nickel plating has been used extensively in the end-fittings for flexible pipe lines and top-side equipment.

Benefits of diffused nickel plating

Huge cost-saving implications.

Greatly enhanced performance when compared to even the highest grade stainless steels.

Simple plating process.

Independent salt spray testing was abandoned after 2000 hours because no corrosion could be detected.

NiTEC also specialise in electroless nickel plating technology, the process of copper plating, as well as shotblasting and heat treatment.

The Properties of Nickel Deposit

The deposit properties of an electroless nickel layer, and subsequently the performance of the plated component depend upon the following:

-The phosphorous content

-The purity

-The substrate

-The pre-treatment

-The thickness

The structure of nickel phosphorous deposits is either micro crystalline or amorphous, which is a form of metallic glass. Nickel phosphorous deposits are homogenous and generally pore free.

Electroless nickel deposits possess excellent chemical resistance and corrosion protection properties. Electroless nickel deposits are resistant against most organic and inorganic chemicals apart from oxidising acids. The chemical resistance is especially good in neutral and alkaline solutions and a protective layer of electroless nickel on steel or aluminiuim can provide years of lasting protection against even aggressive industrial and marine conditions. The thickness of the deposit depends on the specific corrosive conditions and there are recommendations for each.

Mechanical properties of electroless nickel deposits

Electroless nickel deposits can be plated with tensile or compressive stress. Depending on the type of deposit, the ductility is between 0.1 and 2%. The micro hardness of electroless nickel deposit layers is between 500 to 700 Vickers Pyramid Number.

Electroless nickel layers can also be co-deposited with different inclusions for many applications. This is used particularly to give improved abrasion resistance. Electroless nickel can be co-deposited with silicon carbide, PTFE or even diamond.

Electroless nickel deposits may also be heat treated to temperatures above 240 degrees centigrade. This process can improve abrasion resistance and increase hardness. It can also enhance adhesion. To achieve maximum levels of hardness, parts are required to be treated at a temperature of 400 degrees centigrade for one hour. It is possible to enhance the abrasive wear resistance of electroless nickel deposits by using heat treatment in this way. The average coefficient of friction is about 0.3 and can be much smaller in certain cases, even as low as 0.03.

Nickel Plating Steel, Aluminium and Brass

The process of electroless nickel plating produces a nickel alloy that can be deposited without using an external power source. The electroless nickel solution involved consists of nickel ions, reducing agents and other chemicals. The most commonly used reducing agent is sodium hypophosphite. Nickel phosphorous alloys can be deposited on to specially activated surfaces, which act as a catalyst.

The metal layer deposited by the electroless nickel plating process has the advantage of having an even thickness over all surfaces of the component, virtually regardless of its shape. This effect cannot be achieved with electrodeposited coatings.

Before the electroless nickel plating process can begin, the parts have to be treated suitably. Electroless nickel solutions operate specifically according to their end requirements in a pH 4-9 medium at a temperature of between 25-92 degrees centigrade. The thickness of the nickel deposit depends on the operating conditions and time. Depending on solution composition and working parameters it is possible to deposit nickel phosphorous alloy layers with a phosphorous content between approximately 2 and 14% by weight.

It is possible to plate almost all metals including stainless steel, steel, aluminium and its alloys, and brass. It is also possible to plate non-conductive materials such as plastic and ceramics. Each type of material requires a specific pre-treatment method. The quality of the electroless nickel deposit is dependent upon the quality and surface finish of the substrate material. In contrast with many electroplated nickel coatings the electroless nickel deposit reproduces the substrate surface finish.

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

What is Electroless Nickel Plating Used For?

Electroless Nickel Plating can be used in numerous fields.

The electronics and computer industry

Electroless nickel plating can be used in a variety of ways within the electronics and computer industry. Nickel deposits can be used for diffusion barriers, as a soldering aid, as shielding and to prevent corrosion and abrasion.

If the nickel deposit contains more than 10% phosphorous, it has no ferromagnetic properties. These deposits can be used as the base for magnetic memory disks, which have a ferromagnetic memory top coating.

The Aerospace Industry

Electroless nickel plating can be used for defrosting valves for plane engines, plugs, oil pump cases and bolts.

The hydraulic industry and mining

Electroless nickel plating can be used for hydraulic units such as drilling and support equipment. Nickel deposits on steel cylinders for support equipment provide resistance against corrosion and abrasive wear. The working life of drilling components can be extended significantly by using electroless nickel composites.

The Plastics Industry

Within the plastics industry, electroless nickel plating can be used to maintain and repair tools and moulds. It can be used as a corrosion protection layer on surfaces that come into contact with cooling water, and it is widely used as an undercoat to improve the adhesion of electroplated coatings on plastic mouldings.