Electroplating was one of the early applications of nickel and it remains an important use today. It provides corrosion and wear resistance to the underlying substrate. In addition, it can also provide a smooth basis for a top coating of another decorative material, e.g. chromium and gold.
The properties of the coating depend on the composition of the plating bath and the deposition conditions. Further information is contained in the publications.
Electoplating of nickel can also be used to build up a coating on a removable former (or mandrel). Called electroforming, this process is capable of reproducing extremely fine detail which can be used in plastic moulding operations e.g. for DVD pressing. Actual components can also be produced, e.g. rotary printing screens.
Alloy plating is also possible and there is growing use of nickel-zinc coatings to replace cadmium coatings in the aerospace industry.
Nickel can also be deposited from solution by chemical reduction. Depending on the chemical composition of the solution, the deposit contains controlled amounts of phosphorus and can be heat treated to achieve different hardnesses and magnetic permeabilities. These electroless nickel plated items are utilised for wear and corrosion resistance as well as in computer hard disc drives.
10081 Properties and Applications of Electroless Nickel
10084 Electroforming - A Unique Metal Fabrication Process
10088 Plating and Electroforming - Essential Industries for Today and the Future
14031 Nickel Alloy Plating
- 10089 Avoid Ni Plating Losses
- Nickel Plating Handbook