Manufacturing companies are looking more and more to electro nickel plating for many of their processes. You will it find being used in a variety of consumer goods and manufactured products to enhance their value, utility and sales appeal. Nickel coatings can also be used to improve an item’s physical properties such as resistance to wear, corrosion, and heat while also providing a bight decorative appearance.
How It’s Done
An electric current is used to coat a conductive material, typically a metal, with a thin layer of nickel during the nickel plating process.
During the process, a negative charge is applied to the base material or substrate by attaching it to a battery or other power supply using a conductive wire. Then a rod made of nickel is connected to the positive side of the power supply.
Then the substrate is placed in a chemical solution consisting of water and nickel chloride salt. There is an electric current in the solution, so the nickel chloride salt separates into negative chloride ions and positive nickel ions. As the base metal is negatively charged, the positive nickel ions are attracted to it, and the negative chloride ions are attracted to the positive nickel rod. The nickel in the rod oxidizes and dissolves into the solution and then the oxidized nickel attaches itself to the substrate, and subsequently coats the material.
Nickel Plating Benefits
Electroplating improves a wide range of characteristics that are not inherently present in the base material. In general, it can provide improved hardness and superior strength, increase resistance to corrosion and wear, and improve ductility. The brightness of a product and its external appearance can also be improved with coatings of nickel.
Different nickel-plating chemicals can be incorporated into the process to deliver a range of finishes from matte to satin and from a semi-bright and fully bright cosmetic effect. Nickel sulphamate solutions are used for more functional coatings or electroforming. The latter is a process by which nickel is built up using electrodeposition onto a substrate and then removed to produce a nickel product which has the same texture and shape of the original substrate.
General Metal Finishing offers barrel plating, vibratory plating, rack plating, and electro-polishing services. With over 40 years’ experience in the field, the company provides plating services in a wide range of precious metals. For more information about their products and services, visit their website at www.pepgenmetal.com.