Blog

Understanding the Difference Between Electroless and Electrolytic Nickel Plating

Understanding the Difference Between Electroless and Electrolytic Nickel Plating

 

When it comes to metal plating, nickel is one of the most commonly used materials due to its excellent corrosion resistance and versatile properties. However, there are different techniques for applying nickel plating, with two primary methods being electroless and electrolytic nickel plating. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two techniques to help you choose the most suitable option for your plating needs.

Electroless Nickel Plating not currently offered by Master Finish:
Electroless nickel plating, also known as autocatalytic plating, is a process that deposits a layer of nickel onto the surface of a substrate without the need for an external power source. This technique utilizes a chemical reaction between a reducing agent and a metal salt to deposit a uniform layer of nickel onto the substrate.

Key characteristics of electroless nickel plating include:

Uniformity: One of the main advantages of electroless nickel plating is its ability to provide an even coating thickness regardless of the shape or complexity of the substrate. This makes it an ideal choice for plating intricate or detailed components.

Controlled Thickness: Electroless nickel plating allows for precise control over the thickness of the coating, making it suitable for applications where specific thickness requirements need to be met.

Corrosion Resistance: Electroless nickel coatings offer exceptional corrosion resistance, making them suitable for various industries, including aerospace, automotive, and electronics.

Wear and Abrasion Resistance: The deposited nickel layer provides enhanced resistance to wear, abrasion, and friction, increasing the lifespan of plated components.

Price: typically this process dependent on expensive chemicals tends to have a higher price per lb of deposited metal than electrolytic nickel.

Electrolytic Nickel Plating – This is where Master Finish really excels!
Electrolytic nickel plating, also known as electrodeposition, is a technique that relies on the application of an electrical current to facilitate the deposition of nickel onto a conductive surface. Unlike electroless nickel plating, this process requires an external power source to drive the deposition.

Key characteristics of electrolytic nickel plating include:

Deposition Control: Electrolytic nickel plating allows for precise control over the deposition rate, allowing for variations in thickness as per the specific requirements.

High Adhesion: The electrochemical reaction during this plating process enables excellent adhesion of the nickel coating to the substrate surface, making it suitable for applications where bonding strength is critical.

Decorative Surface Finish Options: Electrolytic nickel plating offers a variety of surface finish options, including bright, satin, and matte, allowing for aesthetic customization as required.

Increased Hardness: Electrolytic nickel plating tends to produce a harder nickel coating compared to electroless plating, which can provide enhanced durability and resistivity against wear and scratching.

Automation: Electrolytic nickel deposition being better controlled is much simpler to use in automated plating lines like the ones at Master Finish.

Both electroless and electrolytic nickel plating techniques offer unique advantages and are suitable for various applications. When choosing between the two, it is important to consider factors such as aesthetic requirements, coating uniformity, corrosion resistance, thickness control, and adhesion requirements. Consulting with a professional plating service provider can help you determine the most appropriate method based on your specific needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proven Process

Master Finish has been on a journey using EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System) to manage all the critical elements of our business.  We started on this Journey in 2016 and have found it instrumental to our success in so many ways.  It helps set a framework in...

Streamlining Success

How Master Finish Implemented Automation to Improve Production and Boost Customer Satisfaction As companies in the manufacturing industry face increasing challenges with production labor, it is becoming more critical to automate tedious tasks that are currently being...

Automation

Automation   Automation vs. Manual Processing for data and traceability. Machine data available from automated plating lines helps the team at Master Finish diagnose and correct plating issues on the fly to reduce scrap. The data on each motion in the plating...

Cyclemaster Remastered

Cyclemaster Remastered   Master Finish’s new plating line is now ready for business. Back before the pandemic swept the country and production plating demands were at an all time high Master Finish invested into a new state of the art automated rack plating line...

Hungry for More Innovation

Industry 4.0 makes manufacturers nimble during pandemic, hungry for more innovation BY JAYSON BUSSASunday, January 16, 2022 06:30pm John Mulder recently noticed that an inordinate amount of his staff’s time was being used to field calls from clients inquiring...

Master Finish Receives MacDermid Enthone DecoKlad License

This license makes the Michigan shop the first DecoKlad applicator in the Americas and the fourth to be certified globally in the program. Master Finish Co. has been awarded a license from MacDermid Enthone that makes it the first DecoKlad applicator in the Americas...

Welcome to the Team!

Please join us in welcoming Galvano to the Master Finish team. He plays an important role at Master Finish. He is our newest addition that demonstrates the quality of the plant wastewater Master Finish sends back to the city of Grand Rapids POTW. Galvano is named...

Eclipse Black Chrome

The Eclipse Black Chrome is truly one of its kind. This type of chrome plating is the darkest black chrome on the market and Master Finish is one of the first companies in North America to put it into production. This specialized plating system offers a variety of...

Environmental Commitment

Environmental Commitment At Master Finish, we are committed to being good stewards of the environment. We don’t only want to comply with legal requirements, but go above and beyond in making sure we minimize our operation’s...

Celebrating 60 Years

Following WWII, John Mulder and his high school friend, Wally Reed, started a metal finishing business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wally was the salesman, selling metal finishing equipment and supplies to metal manufacturing firms. John led the metal finishing job shop...