The Basics of Electroless Nickel Plating

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Electroless Nickel (EN) plating is a solution used to improve the hardness and corrosion resistance of metal surfaces. This type of nickel plating is used in conjunction with one of three other materials (boron, phosphorous or Teflon).

Pyrolytic Boron Nitride Rod has a very high melting point and is highly wear-resistant. EN-Boron is not as corrosion resistant as other forms of EN.

EN-Phosphorus is the most common and versatile of the nickel solutions. Varying the phosphorus content changes the attributes of the plating solution. A higher level of phosphorus makes the plating non-magnetic and extremely corrosion resistant (especially with acids). Lower levels of phosphorus make the plating harder, but slightly less corrosion-resistant. This flexibility is why EN-Phosphorus is the most common type of EN plating utilized.

EN-Teflon is a special non-stick plating solution. The Teflon is applied in micro beads within the nickel plating. The micro beads make the plating very friction resistant. This plating type has good wear-resistance, but does not have advanced corrosion protection capabilities.

EN plating is commonly used to battle corrosion. EN is chosen over other metal finishes (galvanizing, zinc plating, powder coating, etc.) because it acts as an ultra-hard barrier to corrosion. A unique feature to electroless plating is its deposit uniformity. As this process does not require an electric current, the particles cling to the surface evenly and do not gravitate to magnetic poles.

Numerous industries require electroless nickel plating, including the automotive industry, aerospace, molds, dies, chemical, electronics, etc. The main use for EN in each of these industries is its natural corrosion protection.

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