Replace Stainless Steel with Electroless Nickel Plating for Large Parts

Electroless nickel is often used as a replacement for stainless steel on large parts.

Stainless steel is very expensive, and it is often difficult to find a source to cast large stainless steel components. A more cost effective and time saving solution is to make large parts out of cast iron and then electroless nickel plate them for corrosion resistance.

Electroless nickel is perfect for plating large machined parts that need to be resistant to corrosion.

Conventional electro-deposit such as hard chrome or electrolytic nickel need to be machined after plating to hold dimensional accuracy. This re-machining on large, electroplated parts can cost hundreds to thousands of pounds. With electroless nickel plating, the job is complete once you have plated the part.

Consider electroless nickel plating

When designing large parts, electroless nickel should be considered if hardness, corrosion resistance, and wear are a concern.

Electroless nickel properties and characteristics often give it a significant advantage over conventional materials and methods. The equipment and methods used at NiTEC mean that even the most difficult large part can be plated correctly and consistently.

As leading specialists in the electroless nickel plating field, we have the facilities to plate large components, unlike small firms.

For more information on how we can fulfill your electroless nickel plating requirements, visit our website.


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

Benefits of Electroless Plating Over Electroplating

As specialists in electroless nickel plating, NiTEC believes that electroless plating is better than electroplating. If you don’t believe us, here’s the proof!

Some areas are too difficult to plate using electroplating, such as holes and deep recesses. Electroless plating, however, can achieve this.

No external electric current is needed in electroless plating.

Electroplating can produce a build up of coating on the edges and corners of components. Electroless plating produces an even and uniform coating even on complicated shapes.

Electroless plating produces a homogeneous coating.

Electroless plating does not involve any complex and costly anode arrangements, therefore electroless plating is cheaper.

Electroless platings are less porous, providing better barrier corrosion protection to steel based substrates.

Electroless plated nickel (EN) is used in a number of areas including aviation, aerospace, automotive, gas, oil, and chemical processing industries.

To find out more about electroless nickel plating visit our website at

Types of Metal Finishing


Electroplating occurs when an electric current is passed through a solution which contains the metal object and it acts as a cathode. Aluminum, cadmium, bronze, brass, copper, gold, chromium, lead, iron, platinum, nickel, tin, silver and zinc can all be used for plating ferrous and non-ferrous objects.

Electroless Plating

During electroless plating no electric current is passed. The chemical is deposited on the metal product causing a chemical reaction. Salt (source metal), complexing agent, reducer, various buffers and other chemicals are used to complete the process. Copper and nickel are commonly used in printed circuit boards.

Immersion Plating

Immersion plating is very similar to electroless plating, but unlike electroless plating which uses a mixture of two chemicals, immersion plating creates the metal plating reaction through the metal substrate. This process displaces the chemical, producing a thin metal deposit on the product. Immersion plating is proven to create more waste than electroplating and electroless plating.

Other methods of metal finishing include cladding, case hardening, galvanized coatings, electro-polishing and metallic coatings.

General Advantages of Metal Plating

Metal plating in general has the following benefits:

– It gives the surface of the product natural protection from elements that may corrode the surface. It extends the lifespan of the metal, and makes the products more resistant to natural wear and tear. Without it, the surface will corrode and wear off faster.

Metal plating enhances electrical resistance and electrical conductivity.

Metal finishing enhances the hardness of the metals, making it less volatile.

-The process of metal plating adds brightness and colour to the surface of the product. This enhances the appearance and the reflective nature of the metals.

Metal plating protects the metal from chemical corrosion and protects the surface from becoming tarnished.