What is Electroless Nickel Plating?
Electroless nickel plating (ENP) is a type of plating process in which a thin layer of nickel is deposited onto a metal or non-metallic surface using a chemical reaction, rather than using an electrical current, as is the case with traditional electroplating.
In an electroless nickel plating process, the surface to be plated is cleaned and prepared with a series of chemical treatments, then submerged in a solution of nickel salts and reducing agents. The reducing agents cause the nickel ions in the solution to be reduced to metallic nickel, which is deposited onto the surface to be plated. This process can be controlled to produce a uniform, precise thickness of nickel plating, even on complex geometries and internal surfaces.
Electroless nickel plating is commonly used to improve the wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and hardness of metal parts. It is also used in electronics and other industries for its ability to provide an even, conductive surface that can be easily soldered or bonded.
E-Nickel, or enp coating, is commonly used to protect machined components in many industrial environments, such as:
Oil and Gas: Valve components (balls, gates, and plugs)
Automation Equipment: Wear resistance rollers and sorting equipment
Automotive: Heat sinks, shock absorbers, gears, cylinder, and break pistons
Plastics: Molds and dies for injecting and "low and blow" molding of plastics components, extruders and machine parts rollers
AFT uses Enthone Chemical, ENfinity Plus, a High Phosphorus Nickel System. To ensure optimal plating chemistry, an Automated Chemical Feed System, Steady State, is used to keep the nickel bath running 100% concentration at all times. By using this system, each part is plated with compressive nickel deposit, producing a consistent plating rate, and shorter lead times, by reducing down-time due to chemistry issues.
What are the advantages of Electroless Nickel Plating?
Electroless nickel plating has several advantages over other plating methods:
Uniform and Precise Plating: Electroless nickel plating can deposit an even and precise thickness of nickel on surfaces of varying geometries, including internal surfaces of parts, without the need for complex equipment or electricity. This makes it an ideal method for plating complex and irregular shapes.
Corrosion Resistance: Electroless nickel plating provides excellent corrosion resistance, making it an ideal choice for parts used in harsh environments, such as the oil and gas, aerospace, and marine industries. It can also protect against chemical and environmental damage.
Wear Resistance: Electroless nickel plating can improve the wear resistance of parts, making them last longer and reducing the need for costly replacements. It can also provide a low coefficient of friction, making it useful for applications where parts are subject to sliding or rotating.
Hardness and Strength: Electroless nickel plating can increase the hardness and strength of parts, making them more durable and resistant to wear and tear.
Solderability and Bonding: Electroless nickel plating provides a uniform, conductive surface that is easy to solder or bond to, making it useful in electronics and other applications where good electrical conductivity is required.
AFT's Electroless Nickel Plating Capabilities
3 Production Nickel Plating Lines:
- Main Line - 2 Plating Tanks
- 4 ft wide x 4 ft deep x 8 ft length (800 gallons)
- 3 ft wide x 4 ft deep x 8 ft length (440 gallons)
- Able to run pipes, parts and tools up to 9.5 ft in length
- Hoist can support 2.5 tons
Small Parts Production - 2 Plating Lines
- 4 plating tanks (total 1000 gallons)
- Can apply to aluminum, stainless steel, brass, copper, and steel
- Post bake operation - build-up capacities .003 thick
AFT's Supporting Equipment
- Ovens - 2 Large High-Temperature Ovens - Up to 850 degrees (F)
- Blast - Walk-in Blast Room (20 ft x 8 ft x 8 ft) for large items, Blast cabinet for smaller items
- Masking Department - Experienced in extensive masking, ID pipe and complex shapes, where selective nickel is required
- Blast Room
- Phosphorus Production Line
- High-Temperature Oven
- In-House Laboratory
- Thickness Measuring Capabilities
- Eddy Current
AFT's Electroless Nickel Company Approvals
- Halliburton - ESC 153 1-3
- Halliburton - 70.83673
- Flowserve Corp.
- Weir SPM
- MIL - C - 26074
- AMS - 2404
- AMS - 2405
- ASTM - B - 733
- ISO - 4527
- AFT will meet or exceed most private specifications and standards
Please Contact Us or call 877-844-8595 for more information on AFT's electroless nickel plating process. To compound your savings on electroless nickel plated fasteners, trust us to be your one stop shop for both fasteners and the high-quality plating processes you need.