When it comes to electroless nickel plating (or ENP, as it is often referred to), you will be hard pressed to find any other nickel-plating companies capable of matching the work we do at Karas Plating. We provide high-quality plating solutions to our clients all over the UK and have done so for more than seventy years. This is a fast and effective process, widely in use across several industries.
Electroless nickel plating is an immersion-based autocatalytic plating method that, unlike many similar techniques, does not require an electrical current. We utilise a chemical reducing agent (often sodium hydrosphite) to reduce the nickel ions in a metal deposit. With different solutions and multiple applications, it is easy enough to vary the thickness of the metal plating in this way.
At Karas Plating we utilise all three methods of electroless nickel plating. The density of phosphorus in the immersion solution confers different properties to the components being plated.
High-phosphorus ENP offers better protection against corrosion; medium-phosphorus ENP results in a harder finish; and low-phosphorous ENP produces a uniform finish across the components, and greater corrosion resistance in alkaline environments.
Whatever specific qualities you need for your plated components, we will be able to adjust the phosphorous levels to meet them.
Electroless nickel plating has an extensive range of uses in numerous industries, particularly where the target metal needs to have resistance to wear and corrosion. This makes the process of particular importance in the automotive and aerospace sectors, as it is often used for plating valves, rotors, pistons, and gears.
This is far from its only use. Indeed, it would be easier to list the sectors where ENP is not a vital plating technique. Aside from car and aeroplane parts, electroless nickel plating is utilised for drive shafts, fuel rails, the optical surfaces for diamond turning, kitchen utensils, bathroom fixtures, door knobs, and a variety of mechanical and electrical tools.
In the world of electronics, it is commonly used as a method for coating printed circuit boards and the manufacture of solid hard drives.
Because the ENP process produces a coating with a high level of hardness, a common application is in the salvage of worn parts. A coating of up to 100 microns can be applied to the worn surface and then machined down until it is flush with the rest of the piece.
Electroless nickel plating brings its own range of benefits to the table. It is a very energy efficient process, as it does not require an electrical current to create a deposit of nickel on the surface metal. Thanks to the immersion technique used to complete the process, complicated shapes can receive a thorough coating, something which cannot always be guaranteed with other methods.
The coating of nickel is also uniform across the component, so you will not be left with uneven surfaces. This facet of the process means that it can even be used to repair worn parts.
The process also creates a finished surface that is highly resistant to corrosion, making the target material long-lasting under several different conditions.