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.


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.

Electroless Nickel Plating Experts Increase Component Life in Subsea Conditions

Electroless nickel plating specialists NiTEC work closely with their customers and suppliers, and have developed a number of different types of treatments and techniques in metal plating services.

NiTEC enable metal finishes and metal coatings to 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.

NiTEC have recently developed SEATEC 100 which can sustain harsh marine conditions for thousands of hours. This level of performance is unprecedented within this industry.





SeaTEC 100 is a cost-effective answer to extending the life of mild-steel operating in a marine environment.

SeaTEC 100 protects mild steel from salt spray corrosion for many hours. Developed and tested by our specialist team, this product is a new and exciting innovation within the engineering industry, and is ideal for use in sub-sea conditions.

Features of SeaTEC 100

– Increases the strength of items such as pipeline connectors -when the material is at it’s weakest level.
– Tested to withstand salt spray conditions for over 25,000 hours.

Plates metal components, valves and connectors that will be used in a marine environment.

– Available in a variety of colours.

Benefits of SeaTEC 100

– Extends the life of materials such as mild steel.
– Downtime as a result of corroded parts is reduced or avoided altogether.
– The costs of repairing, replacing or maintaining parts is reduced.
– An ideal plating for oil rigs and pipes used to transport oil and gas.

If you would like further information about nickel plating, plating services or metal finishes, visit