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Electroless nickel

The only anti-corrosion coating that also resists wear !

Electroless nickel

Electroless nickel plating is an anti-corrosion surface treatment which also protects your mechanical parts from wear.

This process allows the treatment of complex-shaped parts. The electroless nickel deposit will be perfectly uniform, to the nearest micron, even in the recesses or the most inaccessible bores of your part.

We can modulate the mechanical characteristics of the surface treatment according to your wishes and so favour rather hardness or rather corrosion resistance.

Unique in Europe, our line is fully automatic. It is able to treat different materials simultaneously thanks to its “intelligent” piloting. It offers significant production flow for large series but will also adapt to small series.

The maximum nickel-plating capacities are: 2000 x 1000 x 800 mm, 1.3 tons.

Our technical sheet reviews all the characteristics of chemical nickel.

Electroless nickel technical sheet

To help you in your choice of nickel and heat treatment, see our technical sheet which reviews all the characteristics of each of them.

The different types of plating

  • The « As plated » provides simple and durable anti-corrosion protection to maintain your parts over time. It is intended for applications without severe mechanical constraint.
  • Followed by a slight heat treatment of degassing, electroless nickel will be more adherent and less fragile.
  • The “hardened”, after a heat treatment at 300°C, will substantially increase the hardness of nickel by maintaining a very correct corrosion resistance. It is particularly suitable for parts subjected to friction wear. This treatment will therefore enhance the life of your parts for aggressive mechanical applications.
  • The diffusion heat treatment will in turn provide exceptional protection against corrosion while increasing the hardness (compared to “as plated”). Thus, behaviour to salt mist and hardness will be excellent. This process generates a “fusion” between the electroless nickel layer and the substrate giving them a perfect bond. It will be selected for severe mechanical applications in aggressive corrosive environments

The Saving

The « Saving » permits to protect partially the part from nickel-plating when absolutely necessary. This technique is sometimes complex to implement and goes against the philosophy of nickel-plating which consists in “sealing” the part completely with a metal film. Indeed, the saved area constitutes a possible initiator of corrosion.

However, the process allows not to cover a particular zone of your part when its characteristics (dimensions, material) require it absolutely.

Nickel removing

Our process allows the removal of a used or imperfect nickel layer. As a result of this operation, your parts find the original dimensions without any deterioration. Electroless nickel can be applied again to regain the desired protection.

The principle of Electroless nickel

The chemical deposition of nickel on a metal substrate is a widely used technique in multiple industrial activities. The different deposition processes are relatively complex and depend on several factors such as pH, temperature, composition of nickel-plating baths and the nature of the substrate.

The deposition process by “electroless” means begins with the immersion of the parts in pre-treatment baths (Degreaser / Stripper). This allows us to obtain a quality deposit with a very stable molecular cling on the substrate!

The parts are then immersed in a solution of nickel salts (Sulphate), reductants (Hypophosphite) and additives (acids / complexings / surfactants…).

Then an autocatalytic reaction occurs:

        NiSO4  +  3 NaH2PO +   3H2O
                 → Ni°(P) + 3 Na+ + 3H2PO3+ SO42- + 2 H2 + 2 H+

Nickel Sulphate + Sodium Hypophosphite + Water

→ Nickel-Phosphorus Alloy + Sodium + Orthophosphite + Sulphate + Hydrogen + Acidification

Achievement gallery

Here is a visual of parts treated with electroless nickel plating. Don’t hesitate to click on the photos to learn more about the treatment carried out on each of the parts. So, you will discover many applications of electroless nickel.