A Beginner’s Guide to Electroless Nickel Coating

Electroless nickel coating is a process that covers metal objects with a thin layer of nickel without using electricity. This coating helps protect metals against the effects of corrosion, as well as making them more resistant to wear and tear.

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So, how does electroless nickel coating work and how is it different from its electrolysis counterpart? This guide explains it all.

How it Works

Before submerging a metal object into a chemical bath, it must be clean. Dirt, debris and oils are removed so that the coating can stick well to the metal’s surface.

The clean metal is then placed in a bath filled with nickel salts and other chemicals. The chemicals in the bath react with the metal, causing a thin layer of nickel to form on the surface. This happens evenly so that every part of the object gets coated.

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Benefits of Using Electroless over Electrolysis

According to Science Direct, one of the main benefits of using electroless nickel coating is that it coats the metal evenly, no matter the shape of the object. When using the electrolysis method, the current may not always reach all parts of the object, leading to uneven coating. This means that electroless coating is particularly useful for objects that have complex shapes, as all areas get the same level of treatment.

Another benefit of electroless nickel coating is that it creates a strong layer, outperforming the strength of electrolysis coating. This means it can be used in applications where longevity is a must, such as for machine parts and electronics. More information on the applications for this type of nickel coating can be found at poeton.co.uk/standard-treatments/electroless-nickel-plating/.

Due to its benefits, electroless nickel coating is a popular choice for protecting metal objects in many different industries. For machinery with moving parts, the smooth surface creates less friction, while for metal objects that are exposed to water, such as pipework, the even coating means there are no weak areas that could be prone to corrosive damage. With that in mind, electroless nickel coating is an essential part of many engineering applications.

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