What is Electroless Nickel Plating?

The Definition

Electroless Nickel Plating is the application of a nickel-phophorous alloy onto a metal substrate without using an electrical current. The electroless nickel plating process uses an autocatalytic chemical reaction to deposit a reliable, continual coating of uniform thickness. This uniformity of deposit, in some cases, eliminates the need for post-plate grinding.

The Process

Electroless nickel plating is an auto-catalytic chemical technique used to deposit a layer of nickel-phosphorus or nickel-boron alloy on a solid workpiece, such as metal or plastic. The process relies on the presence of a reducing agent, for example hydrated sodium hypophosphite, which reacts with the metal ions to deposit the nickel onto the surface.

High Temperature Environments

Electroless Nickel performs well in high temperature environments. There are two main factors to consider in very hot environments: the first being heat and the other is the elements to which the coating is exposed at those temperatures. When exposed to high temperature oxidizing environments such as flue gases, air, or steam, electroless nickel coatings perform extremely well up to their melting point of 1630°F or 890°C.