Example of Nadcap Electroless Nickel on Steel

Electroless Nickel Plating (Nadcap accredited)

Uniform thickness...excellent corrosion protection...solderability...can replace stainless steel...eliminate the need for liquid Lubricants

Electroless Nickel Plating is the deposition of a nickel-phophorous alloy onto a metal substrate without the use of an electrical current. The electroless nickel plating process utilizes an autocatalytic chemical reaction to deposit a reliable, repeatable coating of uniform thickness. This uniformity of deposit can, in some cases, eliminate the need for post-plate grinding. Electroless nickel demonstrates excellent corrosion protection, with similar lubricity properties to plated chromium. Electroless nickel effectively coats parts with sharp edges, deep recesses, seams, threads, and complex geometries. Chem Processing offers varying alloys of nickel and phosphorous, including:

  • High Phosphorus (10% to 13%): superior corrosion protection; most resistant to acidic environments; greater than 65 Rc hardness with post-plate thermal treatment; amorphous deposit structure (the higher the amorphous nature of the electroless nickel coating, the better the corrosion protection)
  • Medium Phosphorus (5% to 9%): best appearance; mixed amorphous/crystalline deposit structure
  • Low Phosphorus (<5%): highest as-plated surface hardness (up to 60 Rc); most resistant to alkaline environments; best solderabilaty; lowest electrical resistance; crystalline deposit structure
  • Nickel-TeflonĀ®: increased lubricity; low reflectivity; can reduce or eliminate the need for liquid lubricants in some applications (see nickel-Teflon page for more information)
Electroless nickel can also be rendered non-magnetic, making it the optimal choice for electromagnetic shielding. Electroless nickel can be applied over a variety of substrates including stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass and many proprietary alloys.

Chem Processing Inc. Electroless Nickel Plating Capabilities:

  • AS 9100 certified and Nadcap accredited
  • Boeing, GE Aviation, Honeywell, Eaton and Rockwell approved
  • Plating thicknesses from 0.0001 to 0.0050 inches
  • Precision masking for selective plating
  • Salt spray corrosion testing per ASTM B117
  • Post-plate hydrogen embrittlement relief
  • Hardnesses up to 70Rc (high phosphorous with post-plate bake)
  • XRF thickness analysis

Applicable Specifications:

  • MIL-C-26074
  • MIL-F-14072 (M265)
  • SAE AMS 2404 & 2405
  • MIL-STD-171 (1.4.3)
  • ASTM B733
  • ISO 4527
  • ASTM B656
  • HS 201 (UTC Aerospace Systems/Hamilton Sundstrand)
  • PN 13.12 (UTC Aerospace Systems/Hamilton Sundstrand)
  • 580-0766 (Rockwell Collins)
  • 580-5296 (Rockwell Collins)
  • SP 1046 (Woodward)

Design Considerations

  • The electroless nickel plating process is aqueous and takes place at a temperature of 200F.
  • While the process applies a uniform coating on all geometries, adequate solution flow is required. Blind holes or obstructed areas may receive less coating.
  • Stainless steels and non-ferrous substrates may require post-plate thermal treatment to improve deposit adhesion.
  • High-phosphorous electroless nickel will often discolor when given post-plate thermal treatment for maximum surface hardness.

Common Applications of Electroless Nickel Coatings:

  • Aerospace Components: For wear resistance, corrosion protection, chemical resistivity and lubricity on valves, pistons, engine shafts, engine mounts, compressor blades and other flight-critical components.
  • Electrical Equipment: Due to solderability and conductivity properties.
  • Packaging & Handling Machinery: Due to wear resistance, cleanliness and attractive finish.
  • Chemical Manufacturing and Transport Equipment: Due to chemical resistance.
  • Molds & Dies: Corrosion protection minimizes erosion and abrasion. Low coefficient of friction improves release.
  • Food Service Equipment: For superior corrosion and wear resistance, attractive finish and cleanliness.
  • Plastics Manufacturing Equipment: For durability and release properties on injection molds and extrusion dies.
  • Oil & Gas Components: For corrosion protection in harsh undersea and underground environments for parts such as valves, pumps, pipe fittings and others.
  • Printing Industry Equipment: For abrasion resistance on conveyance and chemical resistance on printer cylinders.
  • Automotive Components: For wear protection and corrosion resistance on pistons, cylinders, gears, differential pinon ball shafts, fuel injectors, ball studs, transmission thrust washers, knuckle pins, hose couplings, heat sinks and others.
  • Salvage: For restoration of parts to their original dimensions or to bring mis-machined parts into tolerance.
  • Stainless Steel Replacement: Electroless nickel can serve as a cost effective replacement for 300 and 400 series stainless steel in some applications (see case study from firearms industry in this Products Finishing article).

OEM Approvals:

Boeing Approved Electroless Nickel PlatingRockwell Collins Approved Electroless Nickel PlatingRaytheon Approved Electroless Nickel Plating  GE Aviation Approved Electroless Nickel PlatingWoodward Approved Electroless Nickel PlatingUTAS Approved Electroless Nickel PlatingL3 Communications Approved Electroless Nickel PlatingSpaceX Approved Electroless Nickel Plating

Chem Processing Inc. offers electroless nickel plating services to manufacturers across the United States. CPI is strategically located in the center of the country, with immediate highway access and minutes from Rockford Chicago International Airport, a major international air freight hub.