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.
Typical Uses Of Electroless Nickel By 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.
- 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.