Electroless Nickel Plating and its Unique Properties


Electroless Nickel plating is an autocatalytic chemistry, meaning it is not electrodeposited. It is a deposit of Nickel and Phosphorous onto a surface. As the process name implies, this reaction is autocatalytic: once it starts, the presence of nickel acts as a catalyst to keep the reaction going. Deposit thicknesses can range from a few microns to 100 microns. Electroless nickel plating is one of the most common finishes in the metal finishing industry.


Electroless Nickel plated sockets.
Nickel plated sockets


Typical Uses Of Electroless Nickel By Industry

Electronics Industry

    • Most media storage disks in computers are aluminum and plated with Electroless Nickel. Many other components, such as connectors, also find Electroless Nickel to be a beneficial finish.
Aerospace industry

    • Primarily on aluminum parts for corrosion resistance.

Phosphorous Content Offerings

  • Medium Phosphorous 4-9%
  • High Phosphorous 10-13%


Unique Properties of Electroless Nickel Deposits


  • Uniform deposit
  • The Phosphorous content makes the deposit somewhat self-lubricating.
  • As a general statement, the lower the Phosphorous content, the higher the as-deposited hardness. However, the lower the Phosphorous content, the lower the corrosion resistance.
  • All Electroless Nickel coatings can be hardened by heat treatment after deposition, increasing the Nickel’s adhesion.


Round steel nickel plated clamp.
Round steel Nickel plated clamp.


Learn more about about ProPlate’s Nickel plating capabilities.

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