Advanced Electrolytic Nickel Plating
ENS Technology is a leading provider of nickel plating services. We provide nickel platings in various types, classes, and grades (see below), along with platings to meet QQ-N-290A standards. We pride ourselves on carefully maintaining the purity of our plating chemistries to maintain the highest levels of quality. We analyze our plating baths multiple times per day to ensure proper chemistry, and continuously filter them to remove drag-in residue and other contaminants.
What is Nickel Plating?
Nickel plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of nickel onto a metal part. Workpieces must be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt, corrosion, and defects; heat treating, masking, pickling, and other processes may also be required prior to plating, depending on the material being coated and the plating requirements. The prepared part is submerged in a special electrolyte bath, where it serves as the cathode of the electroplating process. A nickel anode is dissolved in the bath, forming nickel ions which travel through the solution and attach to the cathode.
Nickel plating is strong, durable, and malleable, and provides excellent corrosion resistance. It exhibits a low coefficient of friction and is magnetic. Nickel plating is easily solderable using standard soldering techniques.
Many nickel plating applications utilize copper underplating to further improve corrosion resistance (see “Corrosion Resistance,” below) or brightness.
ENS’ Nickel Plating Services
ENS Technology provides nickel plating for any need. We use a variety of nickel plating processes to meet your specifications. Based on your application and performance requirements, nickel can be deposited soft or hard, with dull to bright finishes. Nickel platings can range in hardness from 150 to 500 on the Vickers scale. Color can range from dull gray to stainless steel-like.
Note: No steel parts having a tensile strength of 220,000 or greater will be nickel plated without specific approval of the procuring agency.
Types of Nickel Plating
Type I nickel plating uses no brighteners in the chemical bath and results in a more ductile coating. Type I platings are commonly used as underplating on brass alloys to prevent zinc migration; they are also used to prevent whisker formation on tin components.
Type II nickel plating is often called “bright nickel plating” due to its brighter, shinier finish imparted by the inclusion of brighteners in the chemical bath. Thanks to its corrosion resistance, low coefficient of friction, and aesthetics, Type II plating is generally used as a top coat.
Grades & Classes of Nickel Plating
ENS Technology can provide nickel plating in the class or grade that your application requires. Available types, grades, and classes of nickel plating include the following:
- Grade A: 0.0016” thickness
- Grade B: 0.0012” thickness
- Grade C: 0.0010” thickness
- Grade D: 0.0008” thickness
- Grade E: 0.0006” thickness
- Grade F: 0.0004” thickness
- Grade G: 0.0002” thickness
- Class 2: for engineering applications
The corrosion resistance of nickel plating is directly related to its thickness. For effective corrosion protection, nickel plating must be applied over an underplating of copper or yellow brass on zinc and zinc-based alloys. In no case should the copper underplate be substituted for any part of the specified nickel thickness.
Post Plating Processes
All steel parts that have a hardness of RC 40 or greater require a post-plating bake at 375°F (± 25°) for three hours.
Contact ENS for Complete Nickel Plating Services