Types of Nickel Plating and Their Benefits

There are many products on the market that incorporate a type of nickel plating in the manufacturing process. Nickel plating involves adding a thin layer of nickel onto a metal object for a variety of reasons including decorative purposes or to provide wear and corrosion resistance. The three most popular types of nickel plating are:

There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages for each coating and each one more suitable for some items than others. Find out which type of nickel plating is best for your application below:

Bright Nickel Plating

Bright NickelProperties:  To add bright nickel plating to an item, it must be submitted to an electric current. Bright nickel plating produces a bright mirror like finish due to its elevated sulphur content. It offers good conductivity but is not as ductile or corrosion resistant as other types of nickel plating. However, it produces high levelling properties to hide polishing lines and any other imperfections of the surface of a material.

Applies to: It can be applied to steel, aluminium, copper, brass and iron for a clean and bright finish. It is also ideal as a base for other electroplating coatings to increase brightness.

Ideal for: bumpers, rims, exhaust pipes and trims for cars, motorcycles and bikes as well as lighting fixtures and plumbing. It is also ideal for restoring any machinery mechanisms that are worn.

Electroless Nickel Plating

Electroless NickelProperties: Unlike other forms of nickel plating, electroless nickel plating is applied using an autocatalytic reaction and does not involve an electric current. It is effective for an even coating despite the shape of the piece and can deposit on surfaces which are non conductive. It is ideal for preventing corrosion and wear and for anything that requires an elevated hardness.

Applies to:  Plastic and a variety of metals as the layer contain 4% to 7% phosphorus.

Ideal for: kitchen instruments, door knobs, bathroom taps, office equipment, drive shafts, rotors and oil field valves. Electroless nickel plating is frequently used as a coating in printed circuit boards for electronics with an added layer of gold to further prevent corrosion.

Dull Nickel Plating (Nickel Sulphamate)

Nickel Sulphamate (Dull Nickel)Properties: The process is similar to bright nickel plating but produces a dull, matte finish. Dull nickel plating is hard wearing, malleable and offers significant corrosion resistance. The coating can build thickness and useful for abrasion and dimensional corrections purposes.

Applies to: Used as an undercoat for chromium, tin plating, silver plating and gold plating.

Ideal for: machine parts, springs or things where movement is required. Dull nickel plating is also ideal for joining applications that entail brazing, soldering or laser welding, and is known to be the chosen coating for the restoration of vehicles pre 1933.

Dorsetware offer all three nickel plating services in Poole, Dorset. For further assistance as to which type of nickel plating suits your project, please contact our Dorsetware team on 01202 677939 or fill out our online contact form for a no obligation same day quote.

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