Electroless Nickel plating is by far the most widely used process for engineering applications as well as general metal finishing applications. It's unique physical characteristics include excellent corrosion protection, wear and abrasion resistant, ductility, lubricity, solderability, low co-efficient of friction and anti-galling characteristics. High as plated hardness that can be further increased by subsequent heat treatment makes it one of the most sought after plating process in metal finishing industry. Electroless nickel plated parts have passed over 1,000 hours exposure in 5% salt spray tests.
One important advantage of chemical deposition( electroless nickel) over electrodeposition is the uniformity of deposit thickness, even over complex parts. Electroless deposits form evenly and equally over the entire part,even in blind holes and over gear teeth and threaded couplings. These parts are very difficult to plate electrolitically because of current density variations across the surfaces,even when specially formed anodes and "thieves" are employed.
Future of electroless nickel plating is very bright as industry continues to discover its benefits. Plating on aluminum, its use in oilfield tools and equipment and in minimg continues to grow. Its usage in the electronics industry is great and continues to expand,both in existing areas of technology and those on the cutting edge of the state of the art. Computer memory discs, printed circuits and surface mount devices, EMI shielding and micro-electronics all benifit from the properties of EN.
1-4% w/w . Hardness as plated 60-62 Rc . Magnetic. Compressively stressed hard EN deposit with excellent corrosion resistance in alkaline environment.
The following table compares some but not all the plating deposit properties of Electrolytic vs. Electroless Nickel
5-9 % by wt. Hardness 47-54 Rc, but higher hardness is obtained by heat treating. Slightly magnetic as plated. Long life on aluminum, low friction.
10.0-13.0 % w/w. Higher hardness obtained by heat treating. Non magnetic as plated