Why Electroplating with Nickel?
Relatively few metals are electroformed and of these nickel is by far the most important, accounting for most of the metal used in electroplating operations. This is due mainly to its excellent properties, particularly its strength, toughness and corrorosion resistance, and to the fact that processes for nickel electroforming are well understood and easy to control. Furthermore, the hardness, strength, ductility and internal stress of electroformed nickel can be varied and controlled.
Characteristics of Electroplating with Nickel & Thick Nickel Plating
- high density and free of pores
- atomic bonding between substrate and coating
- excellent corrosion protection
- effective wear protection
- alloying of hard materials (e. g. silicon carbide, SiC) or cobalt enhances the properties of nickel
Characteristics of Electroforming with Nickel
- all the above
- replication of the master mold structures down to 3 nm
- long-life expectancy of the mold copy due to increased hardness and wear protection
- reverse-side of the copy possesses a smooth surface with a straightness deviation less than 50 µm
Nickel is the optimal choice when plating for the first time as well as for repairing damaged parts or machines. Electroplated nickel coatings show significant advantages compared to the base material: better wear and corrosion protection. In addition, only very few chemicals attack nickel making it of valuable use, for example, in machines for food production.
Under high temperature conditions (>500°C/>920°F) and aggressive environments (e.g. heat exchanger tubes in waste incineration plants) nickel is the best plating for protection of the base material.