Electroless Nickel Plating Companies
Electroless nickel (EN) plating is an auto-catalytic chemical reaction that results in a layer of nickel alloy, typically nickel-phosphorus or nickel-boron, to be deposited onto a solid substrate like a metal or plastic workpiece. A reducing agent, such as hydrated sodium hypophosphite, is crucial to the electroless nickel plating process because it reacts with the metal ions and allows for the nickel to be deposited.
A comparative metal plating process to electroless nickel plating is electroplating, which utilizes an electrical current in order to achieve the same process that electroless plating is capable of achieving without electricity. Electroless nickel plating, also at times referred to as nickel coating, is a common industrial process and can be utilized in several other industries including: petroleum, in which it is used on essential components such as oil field valves and fuel rails; automotive, used to plate power transmission parts such as drive shafts; residential, used in coating kitchen utensils, door knobs, bathroom fixtures and more; and electronics, in order to plate electric components such as hard drive disks and printed circuit boards (PCBs). Although nickel is the most common material that is utilized in electroless plating processes, it is not the only type of material that can be electroless plated.
Some Leading Manufacturers
Dayton, OH | 937-228-2191
As an ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9100 Rev C certified company, Hohman Plating is your source for high quality metal plating services. We have been providing coating and plating services since 1918, so we have what it takes to get the job done right! Regardless of your applications, our expert engineers are ready to provide the right plating for the job. We offer electroplating, electroless plating, vacuum coatings, sprayed finishes, and much more. Give us a call today!
Schaumburg, IL | 800-886-8004
For more than 45 years, TWR Service Corp. has been dedicated to providing quality plating services. With our experience in the industry, we have an established reputation for furnish quality and for the ability to satisfy even the most challenging plating jobs. We offer electroless nickel plating services along with conversion, gold, silver, copper and other plating services. Contact us today to discuss your applications and plating requirements!
Orlando, FL | 407-291-1023
Here at Peninsula Metal Finishing, we are the metal plating and coating experts. We focus on providing high quality, engineered solutions to meet the specific challenges of your plating applications. Whether you need electroless nickel plating, tin plating or any other kind of coating, you can count on us to find the perfect solution for you! Check out our complete offering of plating and finishing services by visiting our website or give us a call!
Arvada, CO | 303-432-8500
As the largest electroless nickel plater in Colorado, Advanced Surface Technologies has the capabilities to meet your plating needs. We are also one of the largest gold, silver, and platinum plating companies in the region. That means we can quickly respond to your plating requirements and get you the parts you need fast! We are confident that you will be 100% satisfied with our plating service! Call us or visit our website today!
Additional materials that can be used electroless plating processes include: gold, silver, tin, zinc, copper, chrome, cadmium, palladium and rhodium. Of these material types and after nickel of course, the most commonly used in electroless plating processes are gold, silver, copper and palladium. In gold plating, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the surface of another metal, this most often occurs in electronics in order to provide other metal’s with a corrosion-resistant and electrically conductive layer. Similarly used, silver plating is often utilized in the electronics industry as a less-expensive alternative to gold plating. However, silver-plated parts will not perform well in humid environments because of it does oxidize. Also used in the electronics industry, copper plating does not perform quite as well as either gold or silver, but is a much less-expensive option than either. In addition, copper has a higher conductivity than comparable other metals such as aluminum. Although palladium is not a common metal, in fact is a rather rare metal with a lustrous silvery-white color only discovered in 1803, one of its more common uses is that of electroless plating. Palladium works so well for electroless plating because it provides such excellent bath stability as well as a high corrosion resistance.
In addition to the more common metals used in electroless nickel plating, there are those that are widely used in electroplating, but not so widely used in electroless plating including tin, zinc, chrome, cadmium and rhodium. Electroless tin plating is also commonly utilized in the electronics industry, specifically for PCBs. Tin is typically alloyed with other metals such as lead or copper before it is used for electroless plating. Electroless zinc plating prevents oxidation of the plated metal. In addition, zinc is typically used in electroless barrel plating processes, which means that small parts are electroplated in large groups. Electroless chromium (EC) plating, or chrome plating, actually refers to an alloy of chromium rather than pure chromium, which can be very expensive and requires an electrical current in order to be plated. Electroless cadmium plating is not an incredibly common process because it is under some scrutiny because of some side-effects of the process with the metal that could potentially be hazardous to the environment. However, electroless cadmium plating remains widely used in the aerospace and military industries. Lastly, there is electroless rhodium plating, which is typically used on precious metals such as gold and silver for commercial applications such as jewelry.
The electroless plating process, which is also known as autocatalytic plating, is essentially a chemical reaction. In this chemical reaction, the metal being deposited onto the workpiece is immersed in an aqueous solution that is often referred to as a bath solution. Without using an external electrical power supply, the metal reacts instead as a result of the introduction of a reducing agent into the bath solution. The reducing agent, typically sodium hypophosphite, functions to release hydrogen and consequentially reacts with the metal ions of the material being deposited producing a negative surface charge and resulting in deposition. Contrastingly, the electroplating process uses an electrical current in order to reduce cations of a desired material from a solution instead of a chemical solution. When the reduction of cations occurs, a conductive object is coated with a thin layer of the typically metallic material. The electroplating process is primarily used for the deposition a layer of metal in order to provide the material being plated with a desirable property such as abrasion and wear resistance, corrosion protection, lubricity or aesthetic qualities that it would not otherwise have. Another application of electroplating is to build up the thickness of undersized parts.