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.

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Replacing Hard Chrome with Electroless Nickel Plating

A great feature of electroless nickel plating is its hardness. Hardness values for electroless nickel deposits are in the range of 450-750 VHN, depending on the phosphorous content of the deposit.

Another great feature of electroless nickel plating is wear resistance. It’s often assumed that hardness is synonymous with wear resistance, and depending upon the wear mechanism applied, this is true in some cases.

Hard chrome can be used when it’s important for the surface to be hard and wear resistant. The advantage of this is that it is very hard, in the region of 800-1100 VHN. The downside, however, is that as the deposit is applied electrolytically, the result is an uneven coating. This means the surface may need post plating machining.

With electroless nickel plating, the surface is guaranteed to be uniform. And although the hardness value isn’t as high as chrome, this can be overcome by using heat treatment.

Hard chrome tends to soften with heating, but all types of electroless nickel plating can be hardened by using heat treatment. In fact, with the right heat treatment, some electroless nickel deposits can be harder than 1000 VHN, making the hardness of electroless nickel plating comparible to that of hard chrome.

As well a electroless nickel plating, we also specialise in diffused nickel plating finishes, copper plating as a process, shotblasting and heat treatment.

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

Nickel: The Facts

As Electroless nickel plating specialists, NiTEC know a lot about nickel. So we’ve gathered together the best facts about our favourite metal!

Nickel occurs naturally.

It is a lustrous, silvery-white metallic element.

Nickel is the fifth most common element on earth.

It occurs extensively in the earth’s crust.

Most of the nickel cannot be excavated because it is in the earth’s core.

The melting point of  nickel is 1453 ºC, which is very high.

Nickel resists corrosion and oxidation.

It is very ductile.

It alloys readily.

It is magnetic at room temperature.

Nickel can be deposited by electroplating.

It has catalytic properties.

Nickel and NiTEC

As well a electroless nickel plating, we also specialise in diffused nickel plating finishes, copper plating as a process, shotblasting and heat treatment.

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

Benefits of Electroless Nickel Plating: Uniform Coating

The deposit formed by Electroless nickel plating is based on a chemical reaction. Therefore, the deposit collects in equal thickness over all the part, regardless of its shape.  

The alternative, electrolytic plating, relies on an electrical current passing from an anode to the component, the cathode, which is then subject to changes in current density, applicable to its shape. These variations in current density result in variations in deposit thickness.

Therefore, the metal surface finishing process of electroless nickel plating is a more suitable choice for engineering components as it provides the surface with a uniform coating.

Benefits of a uniform coating 

As the components are not deformed by the plating process, the uniformity of the coating obtained by the nickel plating makes the process ideal for engineering components.

Electroless nickel deposits are excellent for corrosion prevention. With regard to the corrosion protection mechanism, the nickel deposit exhibits electro-negative or ‘noble’ behaviour. Therefore, the nickel plating process relies on total encapsulation of the substrate to be effective.

The uniform coating of the nickel plating means that the surface is very hard wearing, resistant to corrosion and durable in a variety of environments. Due to the nature of the chemical reaction, the deposit that forms is an alloy of nickel and phosphorus.

NiTEC are also specialists in diffused nickel plating technology, the copper plating process and the process of shotblasting & heat treatment.

For more information about nickel plating services in the UK, take a look at our website.

Benefits of the Electroless Nickel Plating Process

There are many benefits to choosing the electroless nickel plating process.

Corrosion resistance

Electroless nickel plating extends the life of everything it coats.  The life of any metal exposed to harsh environments can be extended using electroless nickel plating, therefore reducing the cost of repair and replacement parts.

Uniform coating

Electroless nickel plating  has a completely uniform coating. It’s a perfect solution for critical high-end engineering items including defence, healthcare, automotive and aerospace.

Cost-effective

Specialist electroless nickel plating is much cheaper than you would imagine. NiTEC have 5 dedicated nickel plating lines and can offer reasonable quotations.

Wear resistance 

With the appropriate heat treatment, electroless nickel plating can be hardened up to 950vhn. This makes it ideal for areas exposed to friction and wear.

We are specialists in many industry sectors

As well a electroless nickel plating, we also specialise in diffused nickel plating finishes, copper plating as a process, shotblasting and heat treatment.

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