Electroless Nickel Plating Explained
Electroless nickel-plating, like that from Poeton is a two-step process which involves electrochemical treatment of a substrate with nickel-plating in a solution. Electroless nickel plating is an extremely efficient way to install nickel into any type of metal, including brass, chrome, copper, and nickel. The electrochemical reaction between the nickel particles and the alloy layer results in a corrosion protection coating on the surface. Electroless nickel plating is used for both hot dip galvanizing and cold dip galvanization. Electroless nickel plating is also used in some other areas such as electroplating of certain plastics, silver, and gold.
Hot dip galvanization Electrolysis is a type of electroplating in which the electroless nickel plating solution is passed through an aqueous bath. An electric current is passed through the solution, which acts as an oxidizing agent to the base metals and protects them from further corrosion. Cold dip galvanization Electrolysis involves passing the solution through aqueous bath containing the metal and subjecting it to an electric current, which acts as a non-carcinogenic agent. The protection effect provided by this method is comparable to that provided by hot dip galvanization. However, due to the lower cost of using electricity to perform this process, it is much more economical to perform cold dip galvanization, which leaves less room for error.
Electroless nickel plating is effective in many applications because it leaves the substrate nearly free of corrosion. With nickel plating, the electrochemical process minimizes the electroplate resistance and provides protection against corrosion of the nickel metal. Electroless nickel plating minimizes surface abrasions, wears down soft metals, and provides protection from water seepage. This type of coating can also improve the mechanical properties of the material to a significant degree. It also provides a smooth and rounded finish to the material thus improving tool life and overall appearance.