The Advantages of Electroless Nickel
Variation in Alloy Content
One of the distinct advantages of the electroless nickel deposition process is the ability to produce an alloy of nickel and phosphorus in varying ratios. Depending on the formulation and the operation of the chemistry, the film compositions can vary from 2 to 13 weight percent phosphorus. This variation in alloy content has a significant effect on the deposit microstructure and performance characteristics and offers flexibility to well informed platers and engineers that can take full advantage of these differences.
Electroless nickel demonstrates excellent corrosion protection, with lubricity properties similar to plated chromium. When properly applied, the coating is almost completely resistant to alkalies, salt solutions/brines, chemical or petroleum environments, and all types of hydrocarbons, solvents, amonia solutions, and acids. The E-Nickel coating provides a surface free from imperfections, or "pin-holes" which makes for long-lasting corrosion resistance.
Abrasion and Wear
The abrasion and wear resistance of the E-Nickel coating in the as-plated condition is superior to electro-deposited nickel and equal to conventional hard chrome after heat treating.
Electroless nickel can also be made 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.
Electroless nickel is a nickel-phosphorous alloy deposited by a chemical reaction from hypophosphite on a catalytic substrate without the application of an external current. Since there is no applied current during the deposition, electroless nickel deposits are free from the common nonuniformity of traditional electrolytic deposits. Therefore, Electroless nickel has the ability to coat parts with sharp edges, deep recesses, seams, threads, and complex geometries.