NiTEC: One of the UK’s Largest Electroless Nickel Plating Specialists

As specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, NiTEC have tanks up to 10 metres in length with a lifting capacity of up to 20 metric tonnes.

This length and lifting capacity are unique to NiTEC as an electroless nickel plating company in the UK, as the maximum competitive solution is only 3 metres in length. Here at NiTEC, we have the facilities and expertise to plate parts for large applications, such as oil pipelines.

High-end service at cost-effective price 

As specialists in the electroless nickel plating process, NiTEC’s turnaround cannot be beaten. We have 5 production lines and therefore have the capacity and speed to turnaround work very quickly. Our standard lead time is 5 days, but we can turn parts around within 24 hours. Our competitors offer a 3-5 week lead time.

We also offer supporting finishes such as bright tin plating, matt tin platingbright copper plating, as well as treatments such as shot blasting and heat treatment.

Despite NiTEC’s capacity to plate large components, no job is too small for us as a plating company. We regularly electroless nickel plate components from small pins and connectors to large castings weighing up to 25 tonnes.

NiTEC’s range of treatments, techniques  and coatings can be applied to a wide range of component types and environments, ranging from the desert to arctic conditions, to the middle of the ocean, above and beneath the waves. We have recently developed SEATEC 100 which can sustain harsh marine conditions for thousands of hours. 

To find out more about electroless nickel plating, diffused nickel plating, copper plating, shotblasting or heat treatment, visit the NiTEC website for more information.

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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.

Shotblasting and Heat Treatment

To ensure the very best quality nickel plating, it’s very important that the surface is prepared properly. The best way to do this is through shotblasting and heat treatment solutions.

As nickel plating specialists, NiTEC have the capacity to shotblast components up to 20 tonnes in weight. To ensure a high standard of surface finish, we use Aluminium Oxide 180-220 grit for the heat treatment process. As well as this, we also offer chemical cleaning and activation processes.

The shot blast booth used for shotblasting and heat treatment has a capacity of 216m3 and is made from 316 stainless steel. These features help to minimise the levels of particles which settle on the work.

NiTEC’s heat treatment facility

The furnace in our heat treatment facility has a temperature range of 0-700 °C. NiTEC has two furnaces, furnace 1 is 1.5m x 1.5m x 2m high, and furnace 2 is 1.7m x 1.7m x 2.2m high.

Shotblasting solutions

We can create heat treatment profiles for many different requirements with our chart recording equipment that monitors the temperature changes of the furnace and the work. This means that we can be sure that the material gets up to the required temperature for exactly the right amount of time. Therefore, we eliminate the possibility of heat sinks on large components or mixed loads.

Heat treatment solutions

Heat treatment solutions can be used for stress relieving and de-embrittlement as pre-plate and post-plate treatments. Small components can be loaded onto shelves to maximise the heat treatment capacity, and minimise the cost of the treatment for the company.

NiTEC are also able to diffuse the electroless nickel layer into the steel using high temperature heat treatment solutions for sustained periods. This process doesn’t affect the increased corrosion protection that this type of deposit offers, making it ideal for the offshore oil industry and perfect for marine environments. It also has the benefit of giving the coating a degree of flexibility.

We do also offer electroless nickel plating as an option, the process of diffused nickel plating and bright copper plating.

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